FinancialForce plots expansion, updates ERP suite, eyes services automation

FinancialForce, a cloud ERP system built on top of Salesforce, has launched a New York City office and updated its software to automate professional services and manage financials and revenue models.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

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FinancialForce, a cloud ERP vendor built on Salesforce's platform, is plotting its next phase of growth with an expanded presence in New York and updates to its software for both ERP and professional services automation.

The effort to manage the financials behind consulting and services businesses could move FinancialForce into larger enterprises and upstream from its core small- and mid-market customers.

Tod Nielsen, CEO of FinancialForce, said in an interview that the company's East Coast presence will allow it to expand into new verticals and comes as it is expanding its global operations.

"I joined a year ago added a new management team and we're focused on growth and customer success," said Nielsen.

Nielsen in the last year added marketing, product, financial, and customer officers. "It is a services economy and customers are saying they want to be responsive with pricing models and managed services," said Nielsen.

Indeed, FinancialForce's updates to its Professional Services Automation (PSA) offering revolve around allocating resources to projects and assigning people that are the best fit for a job.

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The PSA Spring 2018 release features skills filtering, search capabilities to account for partial availability, and criteria to analyze resourcing. The main goal is to enhance utilization for companies with services businesses.

Nielsen said that 80 percent of customers are also Salesforce users. FinancialForce primarily competes with Oracle's NetSuite and Intaact. "But there are a ton of customers with on-premises legacy apps," he added.

PSA with the latest update also gets Salesforce Lightning user experience themes and provides more analytics and forecasting to track backlog and sales pipelines.

Nielsen said that PSA is designed for organizations with a professional services component where consulting isn't a core business. Most customers for PSA are coming from spreadsheets and are often larger companies with smaller services units, he said. "Services automation is a green field opportunity," said Nielsen.

For the broader FinancialForce ERP platform, the company added the following:

  • A new release of Billing Central that improves subscription and usage billing. Customers will be able to use multiple revenue models and configure complex charges.
  • A Billing Central self-service community portal.
  • Payments Plus, a revamped accounts payable and payment processing workflow inside of FinancialForce Accounting. Payment Plus streamlines data entry and has a shopping cart user interface with the aim to reduce errors.
  • Updates to FinancialForce Revenue Management to support ASC 606 and IFRS 15 revenue recognition standards with transition tools for reporting.

Dan Brown, chief product officer at FinancialForce, said the updates are designed to combine automation, higher touch points with customers, and agility. "The services economy is putting pressure on companies to change," said Brown. Here's a look at the analytics dashboard:


Going forward, FinancialForce's Brown said the company will look to leverage and integrate with Salesforce's Einstein platform. "We are at the beginning of our investment in Einstein," said Brown.

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