In this article, I will outline several trustworthy software solutions targeted at the strategic planning needs of enterprises. I will outline how each addresses EPM key performance indicators (KPIs) and helps users in high-level enterprise resource planning decision-making.
Could your business processes be more strongly based on the most accurate, timely enterprise performance data? If you answered “yes,” then it’s time to consider employing enterprise performance management technology within your business units.
The best enterprise performance management software will be able to help with financial forecasting, e-commerce reporting processes, supply chain effectiveness, and strategy creation and implementation.
So let’s look at what these solutions are, what they do, and the best options on the market.
What Is Enterprise Performance Management Software?
Enterprise performance management (EPM) software is an on-premise or cloud-hosted digital tool designed to collect and manage metrics related to financial performance and business planning processes.
Enterprise applications for performance management will often cover budgeting, forecasting, and profitability planning solutions. The core functionality of EPM is to help you analyze, understand, and report on your enterprise workflow methodologies.
What is the difference between ERP and EPM Software?
ERP systems are more likely to address A/R, A/P, financial reporting, cash management, and budgetary management. EPM systems are more likely to address highly detailed operations plans, complex enterprise planning, complex budget maintenance, and support for capital asset planning.
Much of the software on this list touches a bit on both ERP and EPM solutions, with EPM systems remaining the strongest focus.
Best EPM Software List
Here’s a shortlist of the best enterprise performance management software:
User Interface (UI): Enterprise performance is a huge undertaking so the best EPM tool will have a UI that deals well with busy, complex data and a broad feature set. The user interface should be tidy, readable at a glance, and provide drilled-down details with minimal clicks and menuing. Bonus points for maintaining a crisp, colorful, modern UI.
Usability: Training staff on an EPM system is a huge undertaking so usability scorecards focus on the availability of detail-oriented training solutions, real-time customer support features, predictive help documentation (webinars, FAQ, forum, tutorial videos), and ongoing educational initiatives (particularly as software updates come and go).
Integrations: EPM deals a lot with financials and reporting and so the software should be able to connect with other tools commonly used for such purposes, for example, Salesforce, QuickBooks, Microsoft Excel, CRM data sources, and self-service human resources.
Value for $: Dealing with an enterprise and its stakeholders means you’ll need a robust, easily-scalable, and fairly priced tool. Is the EPM pricing structure easily adaptable to the needs of your growing and changing enterprise?
Workday Adaptive Planning is a smart enterprise planning solution used by the likes of HubSpot, Goodwill, Apptio, and Cumulus Media. Gartner 2020 positioned them as a Magic Quadrant Leader in Cloud FP&A. Users are empowered to evaluate multiple scenarios across large data sets; plus, they can collaborate from anywhere—by web, mobile, and Excel. Department managers will benefit from dynamic headcount and skills-based planning solutions.
Workday Adaptive Planning costs from $800/user/year and offers a free 30-day trial.
Easy to create and share various reports
Flexible dimensions, attributes, and timeframes for planning
Excellent scenario analysis and change comparison tools
Formulae creation is accessible and intuitive
There aren’t any web resorts within the dashboards
No corporate consolidation (multiple organizations/HQ partners in one group)
No way to preserve previous forecasts if actuals are restated/adjusted
Oracle EPM Cloud helps you model and plan all aspects of corporate human resources, finance targets, sales departments, and your supply chain. They are recognized as a leader in cloud financial close solutions thanks in part to their built-in global reporting requirement standards, automatic cash flow, and balance sheet calculations, and intelligent process automation (IPA). Oracle offers smart insights and personalized recommendations using their comprehensive AI.
Oracle Cloud EPM costs from $500/user/month and offers a free 30-day trial.
Automating of XBRL tagging and taxonomies
Easily automate reconciliation processes
Offers best practice configuration built right in
Good automated cash flow reporting and multi GAAP reporting
3. OneStream XF – Best EPM software for manufacturing operations
OneStream XF is a modern, comprehensive platform for corporate performance management that works to boost agility of enterprise planning, budgeting, and forecasting processes. Manufacturing operations will appreciate their drill-down planning and analysis by product lines, brands, functions, geographies, plant sites, and customers. They also have over 50 additional apps accessible in their marketplace, further extending the value of their service.
OneStream has customized pricing upon request.
Highly flexible, adaptable performance solution
Expansive marketplace for additional apps
Easy, thorough integration with underlying data sources
End user training can be embedded right into the application
Configuration of certain items seems to require excessive menuing
Dashboard comes across as a bit busy
Their standard documentation could be more detailed
4. EPM Live – Best for Microsoft SharePoint integration
Ignite’s EPM Live is a Microsoft SharePoint integrated enterprise work management solution designed to enhance your ability to track and manage all projects and associated costs. Hone in on specific performance management needs by subscribing to the solo EPM Live module or expand the solution’s capabilities through an Ignite Unlimited plan—over a dozen products for customer experience, digital engagement, sales and marketing, and process automation.
EPM Live costs from $6/user/month and offers a free 30-day trial. Enterprise plan pricing is available upon request.
Comes with 70 ready to use functional extension modules
Built-in social collaboration tools assist team performance
Fantastic cost and resource management features
Easy, native integration with any Microsoft program
Minimum pricing plan is not suitable for large enterprises
Excessive clicks required for small things like closing a project or service request
Requires MS Sharepoint software at an additional cost
ARES PRISM includes a whole suite of enterprise-oriented tools for budgeting, resource planning, performance measurement, funds allocation, earned value management, time-phasing, cost and schedule analysis, risk tracking, and forecasting. Executives will benefit from their forward-facing and outward-facing data gathering and analytics systems, which are designed to speak coherently to both internal decision-makers and external stakeholders.
ARES PRISM has enterprise pricing upon request and offers a free demo.
Features comprehensive project controls capabilities
Adaptability to various WBS strings
Handles change implementation well
User-friendly, flexible data import and export functionality
Standardized reports can be a bit tricky to deeply customize
Outdated-looking graphical interface
No way to incur AI and automation as a trend in a new market
6. Epicor – Best EPM software for retail analytics
Epicor ERP business intelligence and analytics boasts real-time, in-context data made accessible to customers, vendors, and inventory managers. Their fully integrated retail management system comes with built-in best practices, data-driven customer loyalty guidance, competitor price comparisons, and other performance solutions. Be sure to take advantage of their robust employee scheduling features and document management tools.
Epicor costs from $175/user/month and offers a free demo.
Good supply chain management (SCM) functions
Highly customizable with a new REST API implemented in 2019
Infor Dynamic Enterprise Performance Management (Infor d/EPM) merges intelligent business tools and financial planning capabilities to help you assess current and potential activities. Their user-friendly modeling tool empowers managers to create, test, and deploy scenarios with machine learning insights and recommendations. You’ll find yourself able to easily manage work-in-progress delivery costs, timelines, and project execution.
Infor d/EPM has enterprise pricing upon request and offers a free demo.
Unifies planning P&L, balance sheet, and cash flow
Powerful and user-friendly modeling tool
Unlimited versioning for what-if scenario planning
UI often incorporates too much text on each screen
Reports need some manual intervention for them to look presentation-worthy
Planview is a comprehensive enterprise PPM system with a sleek, modern take on reporting and analytics modules that make visualizations endlessly accessible and digestible. Tap into their solutions for strategic planning, program management, road mapping, investment prioritization, and financial planning. Planview’s PPM-oriented strengths include excellent stakeholder engagement features and trade-off analysis for shifting priority navigation.
Planview costs from $20/user/month and offers a free 30-day trial.
KPI analytics tiles are clear and customizable
Very affordable per-user/per-month cost
Easy to configure data entry screens with drop-down lists and unique fields
Strong investment and capacity planning capabilities
Forecasting for teams vs resources features are a work in progress
Timesheets would benefit from more user-friendliness
Can’t chart resource availability based off of the project scope dates
9. Axiom EPM – Best EPM software for cost management
Axiom is a sophisticated, flexible enterprise performance management solution used by companies like Capita, UCL, Splendid Hospitality Group, and Engie. They do strategic planning, budgeting, and forecasting, reporting and analytics, profitability, and cost management for complex data estates. Their cost management module boasts clear, evidence-based costing algorithms as well as profitability trends across business lines.
Axiom EPM has enterprise pricing upon request and offers a free demo.
Easy to set-up and adjust user security for data access
Myriad customization and possibilities for reporting templates
Premium consulting package includes unique reports for any data set
Spreadsheet-style database is intuitive for anyone who has used Excel or Sheets
Can be challenging to drill-down to a single or specific charge
Uses paid FTE metrics for reports rather than productive FTEs
Interface is not as engaging and modern as some competitors
10. Anaplan – Best EPM software for supply and demand planning
Anaplan is a EPM software designed to mobilize complex scenario planning in order to empower agile decision-making. They easily develop an accurate supply forecast across your entire network with the flexibility to pivot focus as needed in an ever-changing marketplace. Their intelligent, advanced reporting features predictive warning of S&D stock-outs, excess inventory, and wasted capital to better streamline your inventory flow.
Anaplan has enterprise pricing upon request and offers a free demo.
Easily link multiple planning streams to one centralized location
Features a robust calculation engine with near-instant results
Handles large data sets well and can manage low granularity of data
Easy scenario/what-if analysis and forecast adjustments
Integration with other third-party platforms could be expanded
Time for the audience to weigh in. Are you currently using any corporate performance management (CPM) tools that you want to boast about? What’s your best business performance management tip? Is there a SaaS financial planning tool that you would add to this list if you could? Sound off in the comments.
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