FinancialForce takes collaboration to the next level

23rd May 2016

Linking front to back office processing is a central tenet of the modern finance agenda. After all, joining the dots between customer-facing systems and core financial systems makes complete sense in optimising financial processes, sharing insights and encouraging people to work together, says, Gary Simon, Chief Executive of FSN and Leader of the Modern Finance Forum on Linkedin.

 

 

 

But integrating transaction data, data analytics and people seamlessly across an organisation can prove extremely challenging.  However, an announcements last week by Financialforce, the cloud ERP vendor, illustrates how businesses can link data, processes and people by utilising the latest social technologies.

However, it’s one thing to increase collaboration around data on the inside of a business but quite a different proposition to push collaborative processes beyond the natural boundary of the organisation.  But this is exactly the ambition behind the release of FinancialForce’s new product, “Professional Services Communities”, a social project management platform.

Here the core thesis is to allow all of the key stakeholders, (internal or external) to collaborate around project data, giving customers, project managers and subcontractors real-time visibility of key project data. In the past companies have had to resort to separate applications sitting outside of the core project management and accounting functions but of course Financialforce is no stranger to collaboration. It was one of the first ERP vendors to embed social capabilities such as salesforce’s “chatter” into its financial applications.

Built on the Salesforce Community Cloud, Professional Services Communities enables organizations to break down communication barriers between customers, partners and subcontractors, and gain deeper, real-time visibility into projects. This allows services professionals to more effectively collaborate with all project stakeholders and focus on more impactful work, as opposed to back-and-forth emails on status updates, budgeting and other time-consuming, administrative tasks that don’t tie directly back to project success.

Capabilities of FinancialForce Professional Service Communities include, document sharing, storage, and management of project related files, including versioning to help everyone keep on track of changes and updates to documents as a project progresses. And with all stakeholder having visibility to what is effectively a central hub for all project interactions - and associated data - project leaders can quickly determine who’s available, and when. Access rights ensure that a given party can access only the information they need.

 

Professional Services Communities has built-in Chatter, for real-time communication with other employees, customers and partners within the same application and mobile access ensures that users on the move can access and update project data from anywhere.

 

What FinancialForce demonstrate is that if companies are to make a step-change in performance then they must first unify their data and processes between the front and back office.  Doing this ensures that all relevant stakeholders are connected to the process.  But more importantly it provides the foundation for connecting people to each other as well.   

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