News Analysis: FinancialForce.com ERP Arrives To Signal The Era Of Best Of Breed Cloud Suites
FinancialForce Debuts Its Full ERP Suite
On February 19th, San Francisco headquartered, FinancialForce.com announced the launch of its full suite of ERP offerings built on the Salesforce1 platform. Backed by investments from UNIT4 and Salesforce.com, the cloud based vendor began as a single ledger financial management system built on the Salesforce.com Force.com platform. The announcement and product launch shows how FinancialForce:
- Delivers a full ERP suite on the Salesforce1 platform. The platform brings together a series of organic products and recent acquisitions in HR, supply chain, and project management (see Figure 1). The December 2010 acquisition of Appirio's professional services automation assets form the Professional Services Automation offering. The 2013 acquisitions of Vana Workforce and Less Software brought the human capital management (HCM) and supply chain management (SCM) capabilities.
Point of View (POV): The management team at FinacialForce.com was smart to bring in acquisitions built on the original Force.com platform. Post merger integration was greatly simplified as the products shared a common architectural base. More importantly, the acquired solutions were easily upgraded to the Salesforce1 platform to create an end to end ERP cloud based ERP suite. Customers gain the full advantages of the Salesforce 1 platform and integration with the core Salesforce CRM offerings.
- Demonstrates focus on long term growth and viability . FinancialForce.com showed 80% year over year growth in revenue run-rate compared to 2012. Headcount grew 62% year over year with over 260 global employees. Furthermore, customers represent a global base with 27 countries and users in 45 countries.
(POV): Cloud has gone mainstream and customers now expect their cloud companies to demonstrate viability. The mergers and acquisitions required to build a full cloud ERP suite signal a maturity by FinancialForce.com and the market. Early customers of the full suite provide positive references on both the synergies of the ERP offering and the flexibility of the Salesforce1 platform for extensibility.
The Bottom Line: Cloud Apps Consolidate As Customer Interest Increases
As cloud adoption continues to accelerate, customers must battle a host of challenges with best of breed point solutions in the market. As with the on-premises applications world, the need for master data, common integration points, business process harmonization, upgrade compatibility, and identity still remain as challenges in the cloud world. Integrated best of breed cloud suites have an inherent advantage over point solutions. Hence, further consolidation will occur as customers expect a seamless experience. In FinancialForce.com case, the integration at the platform level provides as seamless integration to Salesforce as possible in the market. This recent development now puts FinancialForce.com in similar short list with Acumatica, Epicor, Microsoft Dynamics, and NetSuite for end to end cloud suites for the two-tier and mid-market. Based on hundreds of conversations with buyers, expect the next stage of cloud mergers and acquisitions to focus on analytics solutions as current offerings only provide simple reporting.
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