Host Analytics

Host Analytics is one of the bigger CPM software vendors that offer a SaaS model of technology delivery. In fact, they call themselves the biggest. They do have a pretty large client list and some interesting add-on features that make them worth a look.

Although they are more geared as a planning, budgeting, and forecasting solution, their reporting suite does offer some interesting dashboards. Of particular value is the ad-hoc reporting technology, which is strong during the budget review phase and can often sort out data issues quickly. While its not a full fledged BI tool, it does seem to have good ability for quick and dirty analysis of data in realtime budget crunching. In addition to those they also have nice scorecarding and static report abilities.

Another interesting and somewhat unique feature is the Decision Hub. I think the name is a little misleading. A better moniker might be Information Hub, as it’s a way to quickly source publicly available data like rates and research information that can be incorporated into the models as a reference point, making it easier for users to populate their forecasts and budgets.

Being a cloud based service, implementation times will generally be quick. Customers have reported to be up in running in a little as a few weeks, but 2-3 months is probably a safer bet to get everything lined up. Its also compatible with other ERP systems like Netsuite, for easy integration. As a hosted service, no IT involvement is needed. The templates and administration is web based. The Input Templates, for user data entry, are fairly intuitive and can use Excel formulas and syntax, which makes for an easy transition from the Excel planning paradigm.

It interesting that they emphasized Microsoft SQL server as the backend database. Many SaaS providers have been going open source and shared computing infrastructures, using things like Hadoop and Linux. Their system has appeared to scale well though.

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