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Cloud-based financial analytics firm sets sights on UK
Host Analytics expands cloud-based financial analytics with new UK office and customer win
Host Analytics, a US financial software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider, has opened a new office and announced a new customer in the UK.
The 12-year-old company is targeting UK and European enterprises with the local presence to support a handful of existing customers, as well as the new customer, display, broadcast and IT services company NEC Europe.
Gavin Johnston, European finance director at NEC Europe said the company wanted to streamline the planning process and carry out more detailed financial performance analysis.
“By moving our financial reporting, budgeting and planning processes to the cloud with Host Analytics, we will be able to integrate our existing systems and deliver the necessary depth of data, as well as providing a full forward looking view of our operations across Europe,” Johnston stated.
Keri Brooke, Host Analytics marketing vice president, told Cloud Pro that NEC and other UK customers, including GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Skrill (formerly Moneybookers), were proof of the growing interest in cloud-based corporate performance management (CPM) software.
“Years ago, CFOs [chief financial officers] were not fully educated that their data is more secure in our data centre and the performance is actually better,” she said. “Finance IT systems have lots of moving parts and upgrades pretty much mean doing an implementation again.”
Brooke added that a lot of enterprise resource planning (ERP) vendors were recognising it was time to overhaul their transaction systems. “We’ve SAP doing this with its HANA technology,” she explained. “And this has led to a lot of pent up demand.
“A number of companies going through an ERP upgrade are also looking at CPM solutions to help with testing along the way, which is another compelling reason why CPM in the cloud is becoming more mainstream. We have been building in product integration and are built off one database system,” she continued.
Brooke also cited the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) agreement signed with Dell last year for its Boomi SaaS connector technology in support of the provider’s integration capabilities, alongside pre-configured connectors built into its modules for the likes of SAP, Intact, NetSuite, Salesforce and SAP ByDesign.
She confirmed the provider would be “looking at [Microsoft] Dynamics next,” as part of its development focus on integrating with the finance systems of enterprises with between $10-50 million (£6-31m) and $1-billion (£622m) in turnover annually.
Hosted Analytics’ data centre is based in St. Louis, Missouri, with US backup facilities provided by Sungard. But, while Brooke said the firm has UK hosting and backup facilities in place, she added it had “not switched them on yet, as no customer has asked for it,” as a testament to security and reliability of the services its US capacity facilitates.
The delivery of specific industry or competitive datasets to complement corporate financial planning, budgeting and reporting modules is also offered as ‘data-as-a-service,’ she added.
Gartner’s latest CPM research found 30 percent of enterprises were looking to take on cloud-based CPM services in the next year.