Are you thinking about implementing OneStream Software in your company? The platform philosophy is one of its most significant advantages. However, this philosophy also requires a different way of thinking and working. Assess if you, as CFO, and your company are ready for OneStream Software.
All our Support Consultants at Swap Support agree that OneStream is an excellent product that opens many possibilities for the “digital transformation” of the finance function. Its founders clearly achieved their goals of having a fully integrated platform to integrate the financial processes of any finance organization in One Model (One Data Model). However, the question is if OneStream is an excellent solution for YOUR finance organization.
Is OneStream Software the right solution for you?
In our experience, that can only be answered after having an unbiased understanding of your organization’s situation, such as:
What is the current maturity of your present finance organization (please see our article to discover the Maturity levels for EPM/CPM)?
What level do you aim to achieve?
What level can you actually achieve in the next 2 years?
Remember: history is the most important predictor of the future, so analyze how your organization has reacted to previous similar projects. Have the company's owners supported those “transformational projects”, or were these projects left alone by top executives when project challenges happened? After all, any project has challenges, and that is why risk mitigation actions should be foreseen in advance. How well have other departments accepted cross-departmental initiatives in more straightforward projects? Do they manage to cooperate between them? Do their managers trust other managers? Is cooperation between departments the norm, or is it the exception?
Be sure to analyze those behaviors after COVID, as those behaviors could have changed (positively or negatively) compared to pre-COVID behaviors.
Are you ready for OneStream Software?
After several years of supporting EPM/CPM systems, we know that finance digital transformation projects rarely fail because of technology. Most of the time, they fail because even if the CFO is supportive and ready for a change, the rest of the company is not prepared for a new approach. After all, changing to One Model is a significant change of paradigm.
Suppose your "history" on transformational projects is poor, but you still want to transform your finance department with a One Model software like OneStream Software. In that case, it might be better to implement “change management” strategies first, preferably by an outsider such as a change consultant. We suggest you do this at least 6 months before you start the implementation, or else you may have considerable delays in your project. In the worst case, you will get the same value as from your current EPM but at a much higher cost.
Different approaches for different situations
Suppose your organization is still silo-based, stuck to siloed processes patronaged by top executives or owners. Then it might be better to go for similar silo-based applications, which can be “owned” by different departments, and then “glued” through interfaces developed by your IT department (or by Swap Support Service Desk).
Not being a right fit for the One Model that OneStream proposes doesn’t mean your company is bad or antique. It only means your company operates better when different departments work independently (probably even competing). In that case, it’s probably better for you to go for an independent-but-interconnected EPM/CPM solution like Tagetik or Oracle EPM Cloud.
If still those tools are “too-integrated” for you, analyze a “best-of-breed” approach. Select the best fit for your Planning & Forecasting needs and implement it as a stand-alone; select the best fit for your Consolidation needs, then the best fit for your reporting needs. Over time, integrate everything through secure cloud "down-up" batch processes or APIs, ensuring your company “islands” data exist in a unified, safe, and maintained data warehouse.
Are these last two options more complicated than One Model? Yes, from a technical point of view. However, making people change their way of thinking and behaving is not easy either. Usually, company cultural transformations take no less than 18 months (unless in survival crises. For example, COVID changed our way of working remotely).
What is the best option for you?
All roads lead to Rome. That’s certainly true when talking about Finance Transformation. But you need to ensure that: a) you are on a proven road, b) you move forward no matter the speed, and c) you have as few unplanned stops as possible.
Said that, don't miss the opportunity to discover OneStream Software. Enjoy their marketing pitches, their demos, and their knowledge, and then decide if it’s the right solution for your company at this moment.