COMMUNITY Q2 2013
Win Extra Cash For Referrals Operational Consistency Task Force Mike Sullivan EPM Academyâ€™s Growing Portfolio & Capabilities Jennifer Harlan Employee Recognitions
Hiring Updates Where Does BPC Rank Rick Bryant From the Front Line Steve Sussman
Anatomy of a Disaster Charles Dagaev PMO Update Connie Folk Connect with Column5 Becky Wright
NEW Hires Click the name for their LinkedIn Profiles. Dennis Frey Consultant, Southwest Region
Mitchel Palmer Marketing Coordinator, Marketing Eddilyn (Lynn) D. Pineda Project Manager, Philippines Israel F. Anotado BPC Consultant, Philippines
Arlowne Paul J. Gamido BW Consultant, Philippines
Paul Christophersen Sr. Consultant, Mountain Melody Holley Project Manager, PMO
Edwin A. Gabon BPC Consultant, Philippines Manni Bojnordi Project Manager Matthew Black Consultant, Southwest Region Patrick Wong Consultant, Bay Region
Subscribe to our blog! 2
Facing Adversity to Achieve Even Greater Heights I
like to play chess, and I taught my son to play. I have one rule: I will never throw the game and deliberately let my son win. My wife criticizes me because she thinks that I am being too hard on him and demoralizing him BY DAVID by beating him every DEN time we play the game. BOER Perhaps unfortunately for my son, I firmly believe you learn when you struggle and step up to overcome adversity. With every game we play, I see my son is adding more moves to his game, and that experience, coupled with a rapidly growing desire to finally beat me, makes him a progressively better player. He can now give me a scare or two with his skill and intensity. This is a good metaphor for our business and the process we go through to learn from our mistakes, adapt and make rapid changes to yield superior performance. This is also a quality of a well-functioning EPM solution in any of our clients. As many of you know, Column5 has been challenged with a few business issues that peaked in Q4/2012 and Q1/2013. While those times were difficult and presented specific hardships, we rallied and changed our trajectory. In this process of dealing with adversity, so much has been learned and we are much stronger for having refined our strategy to overcome those challenges. Delivery Resources If you have been working with BPC for more than 3 or 4 years, you probably know by now that the product has been in significant transition technically. The product specs say BPC supports both Microsoft and NetWeaver, but in reality, Microsoft sales are very rare these days. The vast majority of our new projects are on the NW platform. For this reason, aspects of our skill sets must evolve. As a company, the number of resources we need that can
develop stored procedures and Microsoft SSIS packages is down sharply, and the NW and BADI developers are up. This is a healthy transition that better positions us for success in the future. BPC for Microsoft customers tend to be smaller companies, which required dynamic consultants with broad skills. Since the acquisition in 2007, this has changed. For one, SAP customers tend to be much larger. Â The combination of a different technology stack and more complex integration needs calls for a different project delivery team makeup consisting of more specialized resources. We can predict that this will continue to shift as a major Service Pack is expected towards the end of 2013, and version 10.1 is due out in 2014. Column5 has likewise changed our strategy for who our ideal candidates are to hire. In the past, we focused on Finance skills with technology capabilities deeper than basic Excel skills. Today, we are hiring skilled team members with specific experience in NW, SAP as well as advanced business processes. Customer Profile Market analysts tell us smaller companies increasingly focus on saving money over implementing robust solutions, and prefer to buy cloud solutions that are cheaper to implement. Thus our average customer profile is moving upscale. Large, multinational companies with a more ambitious vision for EPM are becoming a larger part of our portfolio. The positioning we are representing as our capability is a much more sophisticated, value-focused message than what our smaller competitors are articulating. We have more work to do to perfect this, but so far, so good. The fact is, we are doing so well that we rarely lose. As we go against more expansive service firms with deeper relationships, we are proving our team is capable of beating global system integrators like Deloitte and others. Itâ€™s an exciting time to think that our firm can influence
Not me and my son, but I’ve seen this look on his face!
performance management best practices at the level we do. I think about what influence I’d like to have on the market – do you? What imprint would you like to leave on our customers? What’s Next? We are working on more efficient ways to get our unique story out to a broader audience. Already, the investment we make in intellectual property production is a multiple of our competitors. Almost all of our competitors completely lack a blog, much less one that is updated weekly. They have limited content prepared at events, and are not as visionary when it comes to the content they do share. Results they deliver for clients they do manage to win tend to be mediocre. Our Application Reviews are documenting the many shortsighted implementations our competitors produce. So why would we ever lose a single deal? Our main problem is we need to make it even easier for customers to tap into our information, and be up front and center with this knowledge advantage on every prospective engagement. We need to find a platform to get our message out in a superior way. We are currently negotiating with 2 prestigious partners to hold sessions with high level executives focused on EPM within our target demographic. We’re expecting big things as we get this word out!
Do you want to be part of this momentum and have your voice heard around the world? Feel free to reach out to Becky Wright (BWright@column5.com) to contribute your views on the market, EPM processes, a technical tip or anything you think customers or prospects would like to hear. You could be published on our blog, present during a webinar, or even an event! There’s no doubt that we are a great company, with the top win/loss record in the industry, but the fact is we don’t always win. We know competitors who don’t stick their necks out to innovate like we do will certainly cheer our struggles. It doesn’t change the fact that they are not like us…they’re spectators on the sideline and it is not in them to do what is necessary to lead the market. As Steve Jobs said, “Innovation is the difference between a leader and a follower.”…and this from the great philosopher Woody Allen, “If you’re not failing every now and again, it’s a sign you’re not doing anything very innovative.” There is no shame in making mistakes and then recovering to do better tomorrow. I do believe there IS shame in never trying. Like you, probably, I am very competitive and I want to win every time. I also want to break free from delivering mediocre solutions where only the least sophisticated customers
are pleased. That’s what these ‘spectating’ competitors deliver because they don’t strive to improve. My commitment to you is to never stop innovating and striving to lead the market. I want us to take on those challenging situations and produce the case study where our processes and technologies add hundreds of millions to the bottom line. In order to do this, especially for the most influential customers in the world, we have to be innovative, and relentlessly push to try new things. We have again achieved great success in landing some of the biggest names in the industry…with more on deck to win as I write this. No matter how successful we are, we do still need to remain vigilant, and recognize that when we struggle, we need to make rapid course corrections to emerge stronger. Following this simple process, we made course corrections and are growing stronger than ever. Together we will continue to take Column5 to even greater heights.
What’s In It For Me? In this issue you will find a multitude of resources to help you increase and improve:
• Your knowledge and experience • Alignment to Column5’s deal-winning messaging and branding standards • Visibility within the company and in the marketplace and • Your income! This is one of the largest and most valuable editions of this newsletter we’ve put together to date. I challenge you to consume it all and execute at least one of the actions proposed, and as always I look forward to seeing your contributions! “In life, lots of people know what to do, but few people actually do what they know. Knowing is not enough! You must take action.” — Anthony Robbins Q2 2013
Operational Consistency Task Force I
n the last edition of The Column5 Connection we introduced that the Delivery, PMO and COE teams have formed an operational BY consistency task force. MIKE This task force is SULLIVAN charged with reviewing the current state of operations and making recommendations, both short and longer term, to ensure that Column5 is ready to for the next wave, and each subsequent wave, of growth. We would like to share a few of the items that we have been working on. Design Standards We have reviewed several customer requirement and design documents and found that they are not quite as consistent as we would like them to be. We are working on putting together a new design standard that will: • •
Be consistent across every project Have the right level in detail in every section. Currently we have detailed information in some sections of the document and higher level information in other sections. We need to have the details
to support the development effort and clear any ambiguity in the specification and related quote (more on this below). Be organized in a way that is easy to understand for our customers and easy to create for our architects. Do we organize the document by business process, BPC model or some combination of both? We certainly do not have all of the answers yet and we welcome any feedback that you have in this area.
A Different Approach You may ask why is this design standard so important, after all we have gotten pretty far with the existing process. Sure we want to be more consistent and continually improve, but there is more to it than that. A more detailed specification will allow us to be more flexible in the way we deliver projects. It will be possible to have people that specialize in either the requirements gathering/design or the development. We will be testing this process out on our Consolidation
BPC Logic Bootcamp is filling up fast! Although the next course isn’t until December 3-5, people are anxious to reserve their seat! Cost for the course is $4,500 and it will take place in our Scottsdale office. For more information, click the logo and share the details with your clients!
Contact Jim Blodgett, firstname.lastname@example.org or x772 COMMUNITY
Implementations first because these implementations are fairly standard across most of our customers. We are also pushing our customers to use our standard consolidation approach and starter kit. The idea is to fill out a specification at the time of design that can also be used by the developer to implement the solution. Not only does this give us flexibility in the way that we staff our projects but it also provides more opportunities for our consultants and changes the hiring profile.
EPM Academy’s Growing Portfolio and Capabilities T
he EPM Academy Learning Portal is a great way for you to gain new product knowledge, or augment your existing product knowledge. As a Column5 employee, all eLearning offerings are available to you via the EPM Academy Learning Portal. BY To access the EPM JENNIFER Academy Learning HARLAN Portal, go to http:// elearning.column5. com and log in. If you are unsure of your login credentials, email SharedServices@column5. com. Once you are logged in, on the “Register for Courses” page. Besides making all client offerings available to you, we’ve also got 18 Lunch & Learns, presented by your colleagues in their respective areas of expertise. Below are just a few of these exciting topics. • BPC HCM Accelerator • SSM and Streamwork Integration • Planning & Consolidation 10 Overview • Intro to Disclosure Management • Accounting and Financial Overview • Disclosure Management
A Special Thank You Presented by Jennifer Harlan
I would especially like to recognize the hard work and dedication that Sandra McCormack & Jenny Goddard have put into the ‘Lam Research Custom eLearning Project’. Their efforts have been crucial, and enabled a challenging project to be delivered on time, with exceptional deliverables!
We recently sold an All Access Pass to Campbell’s Soup, which included a customized portal!! • • • • • • • • •
BADI Overview Strategy Management BPC Custom Process Flows XBRL and UBMatrix BPC Allocations Sales and Operations Planning Profitability and Cost Management Analyzer BPC Logic Basics
Tell clients about our eLearning offerings, as well as our custom portal capabilities! Refer them to http://elearning.column5.com and advise them to enroll in 7 Free Sample Chapters & eLearning Demo. This provides them with first-hand knowledge on the look and feel of our eLearning courses. And as always, the EPM Academy latest course offerings are always available on SharePoint.
Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.”
From the Front Line
Sales Transformation Breeds Success! I
believe learning is a perpetual process. What I love about a small company like Column5 is that I am never bored - there is no shortage of challenges to overcome, and I have the opportunity to try new things and change direction quickly. Before I talk BY STEVE about the changes SUSSMAN we’ve made to our sales approach, I’d like to share a few observations about the market overall. First, you’ve probably all heard the old adage that “we’re all in sales”. This is very true in a services company like Column5. Our consultants are our product: The way they carry themselves, the expertise they possess, and the results they deliver all contribute to closing our deals. Even if you’re not speaking to a prospect, creating positive stories at the customer you are working on will make it easier for my team to sell more services around the world. So, truly, we are all in sales and having a great team that is passionate about customer success like we have at Column5 makes my job easier. The second concept I’d like to discuss is that there are some unique qualities at Column5 that impact the quality of our output in both sales and delivery operations. For those of us who were from OutlookSoft, we know being a ‘third party’ vendor selling into an SAP or Oracle shop was very difficult - some have even said it is like
Amtrak Detroit Edison Maxim Integrated NVIDIA NovaChem Mosaic Phillips Plastics
LAM Research NBCU New Balance
being on the Russian Front in WW2. It wasn’t easy, but the shared experience we had being successful in those difficult conditions, made our team shrewd competitors with a passion for the success this product can bring to our customers.
We Want YOU… in the next issue! Send me a picture and description of what YOU did on your summer vacation! We will publish a feature article in the next issue of Column5 Community showing the fun Column5 employees had over the summer!
Email pictures and description to Becky Wright email@example.com
We look forward to your participation! COMMUNITY
Competitors today who lack the invaluable experience gained during the “lean years” are not as equipped to compete with our veteran teams. It’s been 6 years since OutlookSoft was independent, and today BPC is the solution that is welcome at the table as opposed to forcing its way in through the back door. That’s great news on the one hand, but it also makes some of the teams selling the product a little lazier and less familiar with competitive practices that can conspire to snatch a deal away. As we grew last year, I looked for ways to scale the sales function of Column5. Obviously, there is no way to “create” someone with the same experience I describe above - that could only be achieved if you went through it. We hired sales people I thought had the right ingredients to be successful. They were good communicators, presented well, and had experience selling software and/or services in this same space (Business Intelligence, EPM, etc). However, they lacked deep familiarity with the software, and the passion for customer success only years of a close relationship with specific technology can bring. So, I made the decision to select more seasoned team members from consulting ranks with the “gift of gab” to become our sales team. Our most experienced consulting employees can tell you 10 customer stories for every situation in vivid detail. They can talk about
the history of the product and how it has changed in capabilities, and discuss where it is likely to go. They also know a lot about what competitive products bring to the table. And most importantly, they smile. They smile because they know BPC is a highly capable tool, customers have been successful, and Column5 is far and away the best team in EPM. It is said customers buy from people they like. With the recent changes we made in sales, we brought those smiling sales people with a deep connection to the product to the front lines. They wear their passion for customer success on their sleeve, and they represent us well. This has resulted in an incredible surge in demand. We have closed more deals with new customers in the last 90 days than we had in the previous 12 months combined... an impressive winning streak given our increasing marketing engine. Some customers will still make decisions based on price, quite possibly to the detrimental outcome of their project. That’s OK...we will get them when they replace the “cheaper” service provider! In addition to changing our personnel, we also made some fiscal decisions that have yielded some strong returns. Everyone knows sales people are “coin operated”. In other words, they make decisions based on what’s good for their wallet, more than any other role in an organization. For this reason, commission plans are the most likely plan to be tweaked year after year looking for that perfect balance to drive the company in the right direction. Given the especially close relationship
between compensation and performance in sales, we tried something last year that we have since changed. We empowered the sales person to choose which deals were a priority, and when to pull in team members. When given that much strategic decision making, the decisions tend to reflect the personality of the decision maker. A conservative sales person did not waste time with competitive deals where there was risk of
losing. A more aggressive sales person put their hat in the ring in innumerable deals, diluting the ability to contribute effectively on any given deal. Both extremes (which we had represented in our sales corps) contributed to a run of challenging sales cycles in Q3 and Q4 of last year...which caused us to lose momentum. I know we all felt that, as did I.
So, I changed the strategy to be more constrained. We now focus on just 10 deals in the US and Europe we want to win. These are large enterprise accounts, household brand names, high value engagements, and likely to produce a strategic success story. We will visit these accounts, pull in resources, and spend whatever it takes to show these prospects the “C5 love”. For those accounts outside the top ten list, we will still pursue them, but we will be more likely to focus on selling these prospects via webex and phone to keep our costs low. That strategy has paid off in dividends. We have won 8 of 10 top ten accounts, and the remaining 2 have not yet decided. Quite a successful turn around. I am very proud of the entire team we have at Column5, and I look forward to overcoming the spike in demand we have to grow the company rapidly. I live in Southern California, and I drive along the beach frequently...I can tell you based on my experience in software and the ocean...I know when the wave is coming...and its here!
Americas, West Region - Scott Kolka Active projects: Intel: Staffing 13 people for a worldwide forecasting phase 1.
Apple: Currently engaged on phase 2 planning with 5 people.
LAM Research: Final testing of phase1 CRM forecasting in BPC with a 6 person team.
Nvidia: Wrapping up Blueprinting with a 4 person team, leveraging Filipino resources.
Maxim Integrated: Blueprinting phase. NBCU: In our 5th engagement with NBCU, currently a joint UK and US based team leveraging Filipino group. We are also bidding on a migration project to finally take NBCU from BPCM to BPCNW.
State Fund: Supporting their system and improving their planning process – been going on 7 years running with Wally Campbell and Patrick Wong on it currently.
Upcoming Projects: SAP has asked Column5 to help them win planning business at eBay. The POC will be showcasing BPC v10 on Hana.
Amkor: BPCNW migration from v7.0 to v10, rolling out consolidations and eventually a migration form Hyperion to BPC for Planning. New Staff: We are pleased to welcome: Dennis Frey – currently working on Maxim Integrated. Dennis comes from PG&E where he was active in the BPC implementation doing abap programming as well as management of the system.
Patrick Wong – currently engaged at State Fund. Patrick was referred by Wally Campbell to Column5. Prior to joining us Patrick worked in Finance and maintained his company’s BPC system. Matt Black – readying to begin work on the Mosiac project. Matt comes to Column5 via Rural Metro, where he worked with Bradley Beverly on a planning and reporting implementation.
Promotion: J (Guarav) Goel has been promoted to Sr. Consultant! Those of you who have worked with J I’m sure will say how knowledgeable and helpful he is on the the BPC/BW environment. He is currently heading our data integration efforts at Lam Research as well as writing BADi’s.
Americas, East Region - Adam Schulang The East Region has been very busy in design and development work for some key Column5 accounts including Co-operators Insurance, Nordson, OG&E and most recently New Era Cap. Additionally, the Mosaic project is launching soon and application assessments have led to new projects at NOVA Chemicals and Eastman – who also attended Technical Services Administrator Training. The region is actively recruiting for new talent and is poised for growth. Great job to Stefan Dunhem, Dave Kolka, Deb Silverman, Jeremy Carpenter and Bryan Weir (Thanks to Will Leonard for his contribution to the East region engagements too! We won’t hold that fact that he’s COE against him…. Too much).
EMEA, UK – Martin Lloyd BP Shipping Column5 have just delivered a Blueprint to BP Shipping in the UK for a BPC 10.0 NetWeaver environment. This will be the first NetWeaver environment within BP. The objectives of the project are to provide an integrated Performance Management solution covering all Financial Planning, Forecasting, Reporting and Analysis activities for
the 2014 Plan (by November 2013). Realization will commence in the next couple of weeks. BP Shipping manages a large fleet of vessels, most of which are held on long term operating leases, but this is changing; these operating leases are coming to an end and in December 2012, BP announced it had signed a contract with STX Offshore and Shipbuilding to build 13 new tankers in Korea. The first of these will be delivered in late 2014. BP Shipping’s chartering teams based in London, Singapore and Chicago also charter third party vessels on both time charter and voyage charter basis. BP Shipping also provide marine expertise to other parts of the BP Group and has a Vetting & Clearance team which provides services both within and outside the BP Group. This team consists of marine professionals based in Singapore, Shanghai, London, Rotterdam, Houston, Chicago and Los Angeles.
NBC Universal Networks International NBC Universal have worked with Column5 in California on a number of projects and has chosen to implement BPC 7.5MS to support budgeting and reporting needs for Universal Networks International Division, which consists of brands including – Universal, Syfy, 13th Street, DIVA, E!, and Studio Universal across several regions including UK, West Europe, LATAM, APAC, and Canada. The first stage was a requirements gathering and design exercise when representatives of all the countries with NBCU International were consulted and a design developed to satisfy their disparate requests. This was performed by a team split between LA and London working long hours to accommodate the various time zones; London is 8 hours ahead of LA, Western Europe 9 hours, Moscow 11 hours and APAC about 16 hours ahead. This meant that conference calls were being held starting at 8AM in LA and ending at 7PM in London which was 9PM in Moscow. These were supplemented by one-on-one calls with the countries who couldn’t make the conference call timings. Everyone worked some peculiar hours but I’d
Company Call on July 16! Column5 Philippines Delivery Group
like to pick out May Ku in London and Brian Hsu in California who always seemed to be talking very late or early in the day. The blueprint was delivered and now they are well into the realisation phase.
APJ, Philippines - Philips Manalaysay Column5 Consulting Philippines Recognizes a Special Consultant: Cecil Dipasupil ￼ Cecil is a high-performance consultant at the Meralco BPC Project in Metro Manila. The usually soft-spoken Cecil has taken the project to a higher gear as its lead consultant on the job. Known for her demeanor and
Email any questions you’d like answered during the call to: Becky Wright
very congenial personality – Cecil has demonstrated that she too can take the lead and manage the project’s key stakeholder well and with authority. Cecil hails from Batangas - a town south of Metro Manila. Batangeños, as they are called, are well known for their strong will and determination in challenging circumstances. Cecil joined Column5 in June18, 2012. She enjoys implementing SAP BPC and is particularly interested in the process reengineering derived from BPC implementation. She holds a degree in Industrial Engineering. Thank you for your hard work, Cecil!
Watch your e-mail for more details! Q2 2013
Where Does BPC Rank in the EPM Market? D
o you ever wonder what the perception of BPC is in the market? How does it stack up against other vendors like Hyperion or new comers like Host Analytics? Gartner, one of the leading analysts firms, releases an BY annual survey of CPM RICK vendors called the BRYANT Magic Quadrant for Corporate Performance Management. The survey is not specific to planning and consolidation but rather encompasses the entire corporate performance management suite which includes strategy management, profitability and cost management and disclosure management so it is not an apples to apples comparison but it gives you an idea of where SAP ranks in this space. You can see that SAP ranks very highly and that it is basically a three horse race between SAP, Oracle and IBM for the leadership position amongst CPM vendors. If you have been following the MQ for a while like I have, you would not have seen SAP in the leaders quadrant of the MQ before 2007 (I wonder what happened in 2007?). Before 2007 they
were in the challengers quadrant with their SEM suite of applications far behind Oracle and IBM. Since 2007 SAP has been steadily gaining ground on Oracle, the longtime leader in this space by virtue of its acquisition of Hyperion. In fact, if you look at market share numbers it is a dead heat with SAP and Oracle each having 26.1 % of the market. However, SAP is growing its market share at a 28% clip compared to Oracle at 13% (these are based on an IDC market share report published in 2012). The full Gartner MQ report can be accessed on SharePoint. So from a technology standpoint, you can see that SAP has the momentum but it isn’t all unicorns and rainbows (to steal a phrase from Dave). In doing research for the Magic Quadrant for CPM, Gartner also surveys customers on their satisfaction with their CPM solution. Gartner surveyed 275 customers from 13 vendors; 17 or those customers were SAP EPM/CPM customers (each vendor submitted 15-30 customers for Gartner to survey). The survey focused on customer satisfaction ratings as they relate to vendor, product and implementation attributes. ￼ On this
front, you can see that SAP has some work to do. They’re below average ranking is not great but is an improvement over the 2011 survey where they finished dead last. As a point of comparison, Oracle dropped in position from last year (from 9 to 12). At the top of the list are some of the smaller vendors in the space. Their high satisfaction ratings are likely due in large part to their size; every customer is of the utmost importance to these vendors. Whereas the large or very large vendors, like SAP or Oracle, have massive customer bases and product portfolios where process, procedure and pure size of the organization get in the way of truly supporting their customers. Most customers are just a number to these mega vendors. Which is what makes what we do so important. We’re out there making customers successful, providing thought leadership and innovations to the EPM market while SAP moves on to the next big thing (HANA, Mobility, Cloud, take your pick). There are a lot of interesting insights in this survey and rather than me rehashing it, I encourage you to read through the survey results for yourself. Here’s the link.
Catching up with COE
Our team has grown recently. We’ve added 3 new team members bringing the total of COE resources to 6. In case you missed the announcements, here is a quick bio on each COE team member.
Shrini Devarajan - Shrini joined Column5 in February of this year. Shrini brings a deep skillset in FI CO, BW and BPC to the team. He has over 11 years of experience with FI CO and BW and 5 years of experience with BPC. Such a wealth of experience with BW brings with it a lengthy list of skills. I’ll list a few here, HANA, SEM BCS, SEM BPS, IP (Integrated Planning), BeX reporting, BO Webi reporting, ABAP (BADI/BAPI/Routines. He has implemented planning and consolidation systems for customers in the Oil & Gas, Retail, Banking, Manufacturing, Telecom and Energy industries. Shrini is currently working on the Intel project. Will Leonard - Will joined the COE in April. He has10 years of experience in Financial Planning & Analysis and Financial Systems, and 6 years of experience with BPC. Will recently celebrated 3 years with Column5. He is certified in Business Planning & Consolidation 7.5, Version for Netweaver, Will has quickly become one of Column5’s leading experts in BPC on the Netweaver. Will is currently
working on the New Era and Coca-Cola Enterprises projects. Keith Roberts - Keith joined the COE in May. He has over 20 years of experience with financial management, budget planning/control, human resource management, operations management and contract management. He has previously held positions as Financial Manager/ Controller, Business Analyst, Materials Manager and Production Control Manager. And Keith has 10 years of experience with BPC. Keith has been with Column5 for 6 years. He is Currently working on the Intel and Flextronics projects. John Anttila - John has over 20 years of experience with financial planning and business intelligence systems, he brings strong technical skills with relational and OLAP databases. He has proven experience in understanding and implementing the financial and business requirements of clients in many different industries. John is able to manage and deliver multiple project
implementations and has extensive financial modeling, script logic, BADI and reporting experience. John is currently working on the Apple project. Martin Lloyd - Martin brings over 20 years of industry experience with Enterprise Performance Management having been part of the teams that brought Hyperion (1988) and OutlookSoft (2003) to the UK. During his career he has delivered projects across a wide variety of industries covering consolidations, budgeting and forecasting, sales and operational planning and reporting for both financial and operational data. One of the highlights of his early work with Hyperion is the creation of a custom journals module for Hyperion Enterprise which was used by many clients. Prior to joining Column5 in 2009 Martin was the managing director of k-twenty Consulting which he founded in 2005. He is a Chartered Accountant and is certified in Business Planning & Consolidation 10.0 and SAP HANA. Martin is currently working on the BP Shipping project.
New Extended Support Program
WIN CA$H & Bragging Rights for Signing a Customer Up!! If you sign a new customer up for one of the Extended Support Programs from Column5 Technical Services, you will get a check from Charles!!!
Programs & Prizes Include: Basic Package $100 prize Standard Package $200 prize Enhanced Package $300 prize Premium Package worth $400!
Here are some Selling Points to share with your customers: Our support programs include ALL consulting services that Column5 offers** – both functional & technical, including new items like: Reports | Input Schedules | Logic | Upgrades | Updates | New Installs | Functional or Environmental Reviews | Technology Stack Issues | And so much more! And we’ve made improvements to our programs including: Hours expire Quarterly instead of Monthly | Reduced SLA times | All for a new, lower cost. **Note: Minimum package length is 1-year contract! C harles sent out an email with full details on May 20. Please refer to that email or contact Technical Services for more details. TechCons@Column5.com This isn’t a regular, old support program from one of our competitors – this is a Column5 program that provides access to ALL of the amazing services that our consulting team features. Prize money award winners will be announced as they come in. Let’s make Charles start writing some checks this week! Contest applies to North America and UK regions only. A program for the Philippines region is in development and coming soon!
Technical Services Update
Anatomy of a Disaster at a Large LA Client Column5 has a reputation for being the best EPM team around the world, and this is largely based on the volume and depth of our experience on both the NW and MS technology stacks. I’d like to discuss a few recent examples where our level of expertise has shone in very clear contrast when comparing how our competitors implement the product. For Tech Services especially, this is a critical differentiator that can make a more efficient development process, as well as a more effective solution at go live and years down the road.
had the occasion to visit a client in Los Angeles (and am still visiting), who has been experiencing significant performance problems. This is a customer who enjoys bidding competitors against each other. BY Each phase of work is charles DAGAEV awarded to the “best” partner, resulting in competitive firms working on various projects simultaneously. The good news is the customer gets an easy comparison of the capabilities that each firm brings to the table. The bad news for our competitors is that there are easy comparisons available to establish benchmarks on what to expect. The client has been very pleased with the work we have done to date, and at least one competitive firm - not at all. The main issues I was pointed to was users were reporting ~25 minute send times for input templates, some “missing data”, and error messages. I was called in to “get rid of the error messages” and “make it faster”. As we all know, performance is the perceived system responsiveness that is seldom the output of a single decision, rather it is really the cumulative results of just about every design and development decision throughout the project. In this case, it was hard to know where to begin. The templates were chockfull of convoluted Visual Basic, the logic code was developed completely outside the product in custom stored procedures, the DTS packages used NO BPC functionality, and the technical environment was not optimized or configured correctly. On top of that, the application has many design quirks that would not help matters even if everything else was perfect.
Of course the client thought the foundation was probably OK, and maybe they thought we were building an ice cream sundae and the only thing needed was an upgraded cherry on top. As it turns out the ice cream was the wrong flavor, some of it wasn’t ice cream at all but actually oatmeal, and the whipped cream was tofu. (Sorry for the food analogy, I haven’t had lunch yet!) I realize some of you like Tofu, but in this case, that’s not what the customer ordered. Rather than this being a quick repair job, getting this solution to perform will take more effort than they originally thought. Here’s what I think this illustrates for us: With some team members who have over 10 years’ experience with the BPC product at Column5, this kind of development technique is simply not allowed here. While the tool
pervasive boundaries and show them the right way to deploy BPC. As a result, this kind of technique is normal, even ‘celebrated’ because the developer appears to be so intelligent and talented to create all this complex code. Never mind the code should never have been created in the first place. The customer pays the price now and into the foreseeable future. Common App Review Findings: Botched Upgrades Here’s something I am seeing more often at various customers. I know our sales guys get tired of me lecturing them about how important it is to do upgrades or hardware sizing (System Landscape Design) properly. Sure, sometimes we will even lose a deal based on price as compared to other firms who are more than
As we all know, performance is the perceived system responsiveness that is seldom the output of a single decision, rather it is really the cumulative results of just about every design and development decision throughout the project. is flexible and you COULD do this sort of deployment, it’s not advisable as the tool’s flexibility becomes “just enough rope” to hang yourself if you’re not careful. In some of our competitive firms, they completely lack the experience and supervision to establish
willing to cut corners to get the job done, but they then run for the hills when the system implodes down the road. I won’t compromise on quality...and I believe we never should. It always seems the customer that we lose on price come
back later to find they saved no money at all, but ended up paying more to get it right! Every time BPC is upgraded, server components like web services, data tasks, registry keys, and many other files here and there are also upgraded. On a clean installation, you don’t find any incompatibilities because all of those files are designed to work together. On upgrades, it can be a different story if you don’t follow the right path. When you have a custom data package or a web service that some development work is leveraging, then it is possible that an upgrade can change that relationship. A migration tool can only migrate the most common objects, and isn’t typically sophisticated enough to delve into custom development objects (visual basic), find all the soon to be obsolete references, and then port those over to the new versions, while ensuring compatibility. Therefore, this is a manual task that has to be considered as part of the upgrade (and drives the cost up). It is always a best practice to think…“Is what I am designing going to work in the next version, or am I forcing the client to go through an arduous task of upgrading because I decided to do it this way”? Many of the applications I have reviewed recently did not go through proper upgrade processes, and I can almost see the tree rings of their past as I look into the application and servers. I see out of date web services struggling to be work with updated server code, I see old data packages referencing obsolete tasks that now cause memory issues, I see one foot in the past and one in the present...and the client is at
their wit’s end. The list goes on and on of subtle, yet highly damaging configuration anomalies that produce what many of our clients call “the ghost in the machine”. When you get strange error messages in the night, when the performance isn’t all right...who you gonna call? That’s right...Column5 Tech Services!!
Hiring Update W
ith more Wins come more challenges to adequately staff new projects – a good problem to have! A number of initiatives are underway or being developed to improve our capacity planning including changes to CRM and Projector. One of the biggest requirements is getting a good pipeline of candidates to cover our growing delivery needs. Column5 now advertises our open jobs on LinkedIn and we have initiated a career tab on our LinkedIn company page. On this page we plan to add additional information to entice the best EPM consultants in the industry to come work for the best EPM Solutions company! Over the past two months we have interviewed over 40 consulting candidates and it is interesting to hear what they want in a place to work: • Regular training programs for consultants to learn new products as well as improve their existing skills • Focused implementations that concentrate on expanding EPM advantages in the client’s company and justify a stronger ROI • A PMO methodology that specifically targets the EPM project requirements • Something less than 100%, longterm travel (this consultant said their company wanted to place him on a
Column5 Referral • • •
2-year Monday through Friday project that required a cross-country flight!) An implementer who didn’t focus on just automation of Excel but on enhancing processes Someone who “gets” how to improve performance from a technical level Being rewarded for putting in extra hours and achieving high utilization Etc, etc… you get the idea.
The message received from these candidates is consistent: the place they currently work at does not provide many of these items – certainly not ALL of them. It doesn’t matter if they are working for a Big 4 player or a niche boutique – without the focus and investment on EPM that we have they are missing out!
Refer a New Hire and Reap the Rewards! The hardest part about interviewing candidates is getting past what they tell us so that we can truly know if they are a good fit for Column5. If you have worked with someone whom you think is Column5 quality please refer them to us. Please direct them to our LinkedIn page or to the Careers page on our website and apply! Most importantly, please let your manager know that you referred them and what your opinion of them is. A nice fat referral bonus is yours for the taking!
We must become the change we want to see.” ~Gandhi
Resources from ASUG
Because Column5 is a member of ASUG the benefits of membership pass on to you too! Attend informative webcasts, join a community, attend a chapter meeting, influence SAP, participate in training opportunities – all of this and more is available to you at ASUG.com. If you haven’t signed up yet, please use the visual instructions to the right. ontact Becky Wright, C firstname.lastname@example.org or x783 with any questions.
Column5 EPM Academy Courses Qualify for CPE Credit! Column5 EPM Academy training has been approved as a registered sponsor on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. EPM Academy training is now authorized to grant CPE credits for all of its SAP EPM and BPC training classes in all delivery methods, including Self-Study, Group-Live, and Group-Internet-Based courses.
Thank You, Rachel Presented by Andy Wall
I would like to publicly recognize Rachel McCormick’s hard work and dedication to the Company and the legal department. Rachel possesses an incredible gift of organization and detail that is unmatched and those talents and hard work add so much value to our overall processes. Her thorough review (and lately the creation) of the contracts at times is a thankless job that happens behind the scenes with no fanfare. However, the level of detail and understanding of the requirements, pitfalls, changes in law, and scope of content necessary for a solid contract should never be forgotten or ignored. Additionally, with the departure of certain employees Rachel has consistently volunteered to take on additional roles which have resulted in longer work days and additional
responsibilities all without a drop in quality. Finally, in addition to all of her standard duties and responsibilities she has to constantly put up with me. She serves as my calendar, checklist, confidant, technical support, and friend. My job might not be possible without Rachel her support and level of McCormick detail. With that I want to give Rachel a very hearty and public THANK YOU!
What’s New: People, Process and Technology PMO Vision – To be a valued business partner across Column5 disciplines by coordinating and brokering the client relationship, providing a portfolio of highly marketable services and executing flawlessly on Column5 engagements enabling delivery of the value proposition for each project.
What’s coming in the PMO Pipeline?
Organizational Change Management (OCM) is BY being added a Service CONNIE Offering from PMO. FOLK OCM is an approach to transition individual, teams and organizations to a desired future state. Notice I didn’t mention Technology in that definition. So why is OCM important to our projects? Many system implementations fail to deliver the estimated benefits. There are many cases where the system has been installed, the training completed, the system moved over to production and success declared. Then, due to user resistance or lack of acceptance, the system is not fully used or not used at all. The successful implementation of most systems depends upon the people that are impacted consistently and constantly supporting the new system. PMO will work with the client to produce and deploy the overall Change Management Plan to ensure the people side of the implementation is in lock step with the technology deployment ensuring we have a high adoption rate of our solutions.
Design Document Standards
PMO is partnering with COE and Delivery to enhance the Functional and Technical Specification with standards for completion. As part of the Engagement Delivery Guidelines, it now typical to staff a project with a smaller team of core resources for the Design Phases; additional resources are then added for the development phase. Coupled with our movement towards leveraging offshore
resources for the development phase, the quality of the Design Document becomes of utmost important to a seamless handoff from Design to Build.
Look for additional information on each of these topics soon!
PMO on Column5 Website – when clients are looking for BPC Project Management experts, we want our Program Management Office to be frequently found on the web! Becky and I will be working together to spotlight our PMO Services on our website. Look for additional services beyond BPC Project Management to be showcased on our website.
In the last issue, I discussed a renewed focus on the project initiation phase of the project. Once the SOW is signed, the typical project has several weeks of activity to setup and organize the project prior to the consultants going onsite. We are moving to a model whereby the Project Manager will engage with the client to review the Project Startup activities and ensure the client is prepared with requirements and
Process Update Project Initiation
other key deliverables prior to engaging the delivery team onsite. In some scenarios, the client is responsible for Tier 2 Requirements (As Is/To Be Process) and the Project Manager will work with the client to have a sufficient level of detail available for the delivery team. The Sales to Delivery handoff process is in full swing and sales will be providing a “solutions overview” document to the delivery team moving forward to ensure there is alignment with expectations set with the client during the sales cycle. Look for these new templates to assist you during the Project Initiation Phase and beyond: • •
• • •
Project Startup Checklist Project Responsibility Matrix (RACI) – client to detail their resources for the project with your help. Two Week Look Ahead – provided to the client each week to outline what activities and resources are needed from the client side to support the project Meeting Notes Template Meeting Agenda Solutions Overview Document
Project Close – Survey Says!
We have started to build a library of results from completed projects based on the Project Objectives as articulated in the Tier 1 Requirements (Project Objectives and Success Criteria). As these results are published, I will be soliciting your input for recently closed projects, without a PM, so we have a more comprehensive feedback set. For Projects without a PM, the Region Manager is responsible to meet with the client and complete the Project Close Survey. Please
reach out to the PMO if you require support get complete this survey. A few additional questions are being added to the project close survey; if there are any key questions you would like to see added, please send me your input.
Dashboards – PMO will begin by creating dashboards manually summarized by region and across regions. Project performance against objectives, scope, timeline and cost will be included at the start. The finalization of the dashboards content will be an iterative process based on your feedback. Once the content is finalized, the plan is to produce the dashboards systematically. Earned Value Analysis – EVA is an industry standard for measuring a project’s progress by forecasting cost at completion and analyzing variances in the schedule and budget throughout the progress of the project. This analysis will be available as part of the published Budget Report and likely hooked to projector to enable as much automation as possible. PMO Scorecard – How is the PMO doing against our internal performance measures? The PMO scorecard will contain performance metrics in alignment with the company objective specific for PMO. Please continue to send your feedback on how well the PMO is meeting your needs and what additional support or services you have in mind for the PMO. Your ideas help us stay current and your input is always appreciated.
Please join me in welcoming three Project Managers who recently joined the Program Management Office!
Eddilyn Pineda (Lynn)
Eddilyn Pineda joined Column5 on the 9th of April, 2013. Lynn holds a B.S. degree in Computer Science and has experience in project management across the industries of Telco, Logistic, Banking and Finance in the Philippine setting.
Melody Holley joined Column5 May 7th. Melody has a B.S. in Accounting and 15 years of project/ program management experience. She holds PMP, Master Six Sigma Black belt and Change Management Professional certifications.
Manni Bojnordi joined Column5 June 20th. Manni has an MBA and Master of Industrial Engineering and has more than 15 years of project and overall management experience. He is PMP certified and has taught accounting and statistics for management at Apex College.
Connect with Column5
Column5 Social Media Sites & Guidelines S
ocial media is becoming more and more of a game changer in our business. We’ve realized some pretty dramatic change in our social media subscribers in the past BY 18 months, going from BECKY virtually no followers WRIGHT in January 2012 to now nearly 1000. We are also seeing a dramatic increase in the number of website visitors coming from our social media outlets – these aren’t just Column5 employees or people looking for work – these are real
customers and prospects. This dramatic shift is driving us to focus more heavily on our social media initiatives and this article will give you an overview of performance as well as tips for you to align your profiles with our winning messaging and branding standards as well as increasing your visibility in the market through active participation.
Our blog now boasts over 50 articles packed with hundreds of keywords that have
dramatically increased our organic search engine results. In fact, some of our blog articles are so highly viewed that they are #1 on the organic search results! This has allowed us to cut our Pay-Per-Click advertising budget while delivering even better results – for FREE! Our goal for the next quarter is to continue to publish at least 1 article per week and in the 4th quarter and beyond we hope to publish multiple times per week. ￼ Your participation is key to our success! Visit our BLOG and SUBSCRIBE in the top, right hand corner to get all of our articles delivered right to your Inbox! LEARN – read what your co-workers are discovering and writing about! PARTICIPATE – write a useful comment that adds more value to the article! (Note – please do not mention any customer names and keep your comments respectful – if you disagree, please do not post it to our blog, communicate directly with the author) CONTRIBUTE – Showcase your knowledge by contributing a blog article! Send it to BWright@column5.com now!
LinkedIn continues to be our strongest-performing social media outlet. This particular outlet is highly viewed by our current and prospective customers. With marked increases over the past 6 months, our focus on LinkedIn is higher than ever. We have built a new Careers page and are now focusing more effort at posting updates on a regular basis and participating in relevant LinkedIn group discussions. Our LinkedIn search results dramatically increase as “followers” increase….
Visit our Column5 LinkedIn Company Page and… FOLLOW – Column5 in the top, right hand corner of the page. LEARN – read and watch our latest posts! PARTICIPATE – write a useful comment in response to a post or in a group! (Note – please do not mention any customer names and keep your comments respectful – if you disagree, please do not post it to our blog, communicate directly with the author) ALIGN – Please make sure your LinkedIn profile spells Column5 with NO SPACE between “Column” and “5” and ensure that your profile description of Column5 follows the messaging on my profile.
FOLLOW – Column5! LEARN – read and watch our latest posts! RETWEET – our posts!
Column5 Facebook Page
Our Facebook page is quickly emerging as a great place for Column5 employees to interact and show positive support for company initiatives. The more Column5 employees we get to interact in a positive manner on the page will give our increasing number of customer and prospect followers a greater insight into the “Column5 Community” and do much to personalize our interactions with them. You do business with people you like and it’s important
for us to use Facebook to promote our Column5 “personality!” Visit our Column5 Facebook Page and… LIKE – Column5 in the top, right hand corner of the page. LEARN – read, watch and LIKE our latest posts! PARTICIPATE – write a supportive comment in response to a post! (Note – please do not mention any customer names and keep your comments respectful – if you disagree, please do not post it to our blog, communicate directly with the author) A renewed focus on social media is coming soon with more emphasis to also be placed on our Column5 YouTube page. Make sure you are subscribed to catch all the latest developments!
Our Twitter account: @Column5 remains strong but support for Twitter seems to be dropping off within marketing circles. Although we haven’t felt the effects of the drop in support, I credit this to the fact that everything you post on LinkedIn is easily connected to your Twitter account for broadcast – keeping this outlet in a position of high value for us. The marketing team is committed to utilizing this tool more often to retain and capitalize on its value. Visit our Column5 Twitter Page and…