SoftLayer has achieved significant benefits by replacing their legacy budgeting and planning software with the Alight Planning solution. The full story was featured in a webinar earlier this month with the Institute of Management Accountants entitled: Case Study: Measuring the ROI of Planning Software.
Rand Heer, Alight Planning CEO, comments on the webinar, “We were pleased to have over 800 finance professionals attend the IMA webinar earlier this month. The SoftLayer success story is generating a lot of buzz in the industry and third-party analyst firms are expressing interest in developing an in-depth case study that would verify the ROI which is estimated at 50x.”
SoftLayer is the global cloud infrastructure platform that operates 13 data centers in the US. Given the rapid growth in this sector, the annual budgeting process was insufficient; SoftLayer took a dynamic, continuous approach to planning throughout the year. SoftLayer first replaced spreadsheets with Centage’s Budget Maestro software package. In 2009, the finance team began a search to replace Centage with a solution that would enable a more intuitive and integrated driver-based planning model and rapid scenario analysis in order to support the rapid growth.
“While Centage was a step up compared to planning in spreadsheets, we could not create an integrated driver-based model, “said Gary Kinman, Vice President of Finance and Analytics at SoftLayer, “Since sales units were stored in an isolated module, sales units could not be used to drive capital expenses or operations headcount. Of course, we could drive revenue in Centage with sales units, but with Alight Planning, our driver-based model is now fully integrated. Analysis to adjust volume or pricing of a certain product that required 30 minutes in Centage was taking 3 minutes in Alight Planning. Our ability to quickly perform analysis on-the-fly with Alight Planning is leading to better decisions. We now have a better feel for the direction to take as a company.”
“The ROI Calculator developed earlier this year is generating some interesting conclusions about the state of budgeting and planning software,” said Ben Lamorte of Alight Planning. “Gary and I reflected on life before and after Alight Planning leading to a documented efficiency savings of about $100,000 over the last three years associated with moving to Alight Planning. The $100,000 is a result of doing the same things SoftLayer did with Centage, but doing them faster with integrated driver-based panning – we call these type 1 benefits. Benefits of over $3M were associated with introducing new planning processes that were not even attempted prior to Alight Planning. These type 2 benefits included optimizing cash management and analyzing profitability by location. To our knowledge, SoftLayer’s implementation of Alight Planning represents the largest ROI documented in the history of mid-market planning software.”
SoftLayer is the global cloud infrastructure platform provider built for Internet scale. Headquartered in Dallas, the company operates 13 data centers in the US, Asia and Europe; worldwide network points of presence; and a high-speed global network for secure, low-latency communications. SoftLayer’s modular architecture, full-featured API and sophisticated automation create a flexible platform that seamlessly integrates physical and virtual systems. With 100,000 servers under management, SoftLayer is the largest privately held Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provider in the world, with a portfolio of 25,000 leading-edge customers from Web startups to global enterprises.
Alight Planning is a true driver-based financial planning and reporting software package that automates business modeling for more accurate strategic plans, revenue projections, budgets and rolling forecasts. Its unique architectures and intuitive interfaces provide enable finance teams to rapidly build any driver-based planning model, while delivering traditional budgeting and planning structures such as line item detail, integrated financial statements and multiple-user security. Rapidly deployed and IT-independent, Alight Planning has been embraced by organizations of all sizes. Alight has over 300 customers including Kaiser Permanente, British Telecommunications, Pittsburgh Mercy Health, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, and Verizon Wireless. For more information about Alight Planning, visit http://www.AlightPlanning.com or call 800-960-7717.