Given the nature of my business, I may be a little biased on this subject, but it’s for good reason. Let me tell you a little story. There was a time in my life where I spent 5 years at one client. I’m not complaining. It was a wonderful time in my life. I had just gotten married, and during that time I was able to have both of my babies and not be on the road, which is typically never an option for consultants in our line of work. During that 5 years, I implemented Planning for a company, helped them through several upgrades, built out the system piece by piece, helped through the budget cycles, and performed all of the Planning functional/admin responsibilities. There were days it was an 8 hour job, but there were days where it was not. In fact, I don’t think it was ever a full working 40 hour work week, but the client required that I be onsite during business hours. My point to this is……after implementation, the client didn’t need a full time consultant as their admin. They would’ve easily had the same exact support from a 3rd party support, AND saved money by not paying the 40 hour/week consultant fee.
In the last few years I’ve seen noticed a few things. Companies have admins to manage their environments, but the admins then learn the trade and become consultants. The admins get promoted to another position (upward or lateral). The admin is FP&A user that got thrown into the role of the admin and is so swamped with their FP&A duties, they just don’t have the time for it. The IT department refuses to take on the burden of managing a financial application.
This is why I think a Managed Service just makes sense for the EPM world. With the trend in the economy and rise in healthcare costs, companies are looking to cut costs in any way possible, but can’t afford to NOT have someone prepared to support/recover/maintain their million dollar EPM application if something goes wrong. Taking the EPM admin burden off of your FP&A analysts who just don’t have time for that mess helps them finish their projects on time, and allows the experts to resolve EPM issues..
For my peeps in the Dallas area, I’ll be talking more on this topic at our North Texas Hyperion User Group Meeting on August 20th. I’m going to cover the different types of Managed Services, how to determine what you need for your environment, and how to prepare for it. Hope to see you there!