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Adaptive expands CPM offer; Salesforce in HCM market

Adaptive Insights offers new templates for corporate goals, sales and finance; fast integration with Salesforce for analytics.

Adaptive Insights is offering new cloud software that aims to link together the three major functions of an enterprise and further cut the need for using Microsoft Excel spreadsheets.

Adaptive's corporate performance management software currently focuses on budgeting, planning and forecasting. Paul Turner, the company's vice president for marketing, said the new business budgeting software, Adaptive Solutions, provides an additional way for organizations to deploy performance management by linking the entire revenue lifecycle.

"Most CPM applications integrate primarily with the ERP system or general ledger, and are focused on the financial system of record," Turner said. "Managing the revenue lifecycle, however, means integrating data from sales and service too. This provides alignment between all three functions."

The business budgeting software from Adaptive offers about 20 new templates in the areas of corporate goals, sales and finance. The templates help align the three areas with dashboards, models and reports.

Adaptive's service team or partners would tailor the templates to users' needs. That could involve tasks such as configuring reporting functions and dashboards in the business budgeting software. The new software is aimed at offering ways to link the categories of corporate goals, sales and finance.

Currently, for example, a financial planner might only be using Adaptive for expense planning and Excel for forecasting revenues or tracking a sales quota.

"If you book a deal on the sales side, that might consist of recurring revenues that need to be recognized over the term of the contract," Turner said. "On the services side, you would need to make sure you are not hiring too far ahead, or you would need to know if you are not hiring enough to meet demand."

If a user already has Adaptive, and wants to expand deployment for revenue, there is no incremental cost for the templates, Turner said. Either Adaptive's services team or its partners would arrange for use of the templates to accelerate deployment. However, the company would need to purchase an additional license if an extra user was needed, for example, to plan sales.

Adaptive and Salesforce forge faster tieup

Adaptive also released a new way for businesses to integrate with Salesforce.com customer relationship management (CRM) software. The integration -- called Adaptive Integration Salesforce.com Data Source -- allows a user to add CRM to the dashboard of Adaptive's CPM software.

It provides a direct drag and drop connection to Salesforce through the cloud, making it easier and faster than current integrations with Adaptive, according to the latter vendor. Before, integration with Salesforce was accomplished either through custom integration, or from using Excel to export data from Salesforce.

An important advantage of the new integration, Adaptive claims, is that it allows a manager to use Salesforce's Wave Analytics, which is designed to be faster and easier to use. With Wave Analytics, organizations running Adaptive and Salesforce can equip everyone in the organization with data to make decisions, Turner said. They also could adjust planning and forecasting based on insights from analytics.  

Incidentally, Salesforce.com is an investor in Adaptive.

Salesforce enters fray for human capital management software

Salesforce is entering the crowded field of human capital management (HCM) software. The CRM software vendor recently released Salesforce for HR, which it said could complement an enterprise's existing HCM software. According to a press release, the product will provide functions such a help desk, analytics, engagement applications and collaboration tools.

Powered by the Salesforce platform, it could be integrated with an enterprise's system of record, typically human capital management software, said Jim Sinai, senior director for AppExchange & platform for Salesforce. "This layers on top of that to deliver all the employee applications that you need on a daily basis," he said.

The product plugs into applications such as Releco HR, which helps with leave management, performance, rewards, expense and training, Litmos, a learning management system, and TargetRecruit for hiring and recruitment.

A key feature is support for Salesforce's Wave Analytics, said Bobby Amezaga, a director of product marketing for Salesforce. For example, Wave Analytics could help an HR manager dig into the performance of a program to provide special training for new employees, he said. Using Wave Analytics, the manager could select a job title and break down participation by job title. Participation by engineers, for example, might be lower than with other jobs, meaning an issue could be quickly identified.

Also, a manager could click on "action," save an image of a pie chart, annotate it and share the image either via Salesforce Chatter or by email. "Maybe they are in the wrong program, maybe the content is not right," he said. "That is an example of how you can bring all of this data in and get deeper insights quickly and make decisions more quickly rather than wait a week, or two weeks or a month to get data from the analysts."

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