Background - Our business process and technology experts routinely help our clients establish the business case for investing in change. We understand not only the value of making change, but also the various methods to actually implement change.
Our Experience - Since 1995 with our first project for Verizon, then Nynex, we have helped our clients build a successful programs to methodically invest in business systems.
Front to Back - There is still too much "Build it and they will come!" in systems development for Finance. Our consultants look at things differently. We ask "Why?" and "What?" a lot more than we say "How."
Strafford starts by modeling and prototyping key user-facing functionality that is needed to improve Information Performance. This is the "front" of our solution. Then we iteratively build out the middle and backend functionality, modifying as we go in response to client feedback. This step-by-step approach ensures the best possible fit within the shortest amount of time and with the minimum amount of rework.
The Strafford Process
Background - The Strafford methodology is centered on helping our clients make improvements to business process. We understand where process change is required and where the addition of new technology can help. Since we focus in one area, our work is straightforward, lacking the "science project" nature of all too many consulting projects.
The Process - From beginning to end, you will feel our process covers each area in the detail necessary. Process steps include:
- Review of Existing Process and Systems
- Building Requirements for the Future State
- Educating the Buying Group on Technology Options
- Initial Demonstrations and Final Vendor Selection
- Program Planning
-Finalizing the Business Case
Reviewing the Options
Background - We discuss all the options available to our clients when it comes to improvement. Many times we can help with business process improvement without the disruption of technology change. At the same time, we want to make sure our clients do not build an old business process into a new technology, so we work all the angles available to our clients for improvement.
Functional Options - Some of the areas we find fruitful include:
The Closing Process:
- Workflow and Orchestration
- Data Management
- Options with Flash through Detailed Statutory Packages
- Empowering the Strategic Process
- Eliminating the Budget Book
- Moving toward Rolling Forecasts
- Building Straightforward Management Books
- Managing Alternative Views/Hierachies
- Improving Distribution
Background - When business process improvements are identified, focusing on the correct technology can be straightforward. Of course, we leave proper time for each member of the buying team to quickly understand the options as well as develop their preferences.
Tailored Technology - A technical problem usually has any number of solutions. The key advantage of partnering with Strafford is that we let the job pick the technology, not merely the list of companies we have chosen to partner with. We often mix and match technologies and different strategies to tailor a solution that best matches your needs. This takes best advantage of your existing investments and incorporates the "best-of-the-best" new technologies from vendors. We employ technology to fill real gaps rather than push neat features that your organization simply won't ever use.
Focus - Our process is different -- We focus our time on deterministic requirements or those capabilities that are:
(1) critical requirements
(2) implemented truly differently across the packages
Why waste countless hours investigating requirements that do not matter or that are similarly implemented in each tool? We focus your time on the key requirements so you can quickly get to the core of a decision process and the inevitable trade-offs required in any decision. The key question is always -- "What improves my chance of a successful investment to improve business process?"
Key Evaluation Areas - The major areas of our evaluation are:
- Vendor/Company Issues
- The User Experience
- Financial Intelligence
- Core Functionality
- Administration, Maintenance and Support
- Technology Issues
- Licensing and Cost
- Implementation Process & Risk
Oracle - Hyperion
SAP - BusinessObjects Planning and Consolidation (BPC)
IBM - Cognos
Building the Business Case
Background - After the decisions are made, often the business case still needs to be made. Many of our clients still want to demonstrate a Return on Investment (ROI) to their management teams. Other clients, normally those with executives that have experience with Business Intelligence or Business Performance Management (BPM) initiatives do not work a formal ROI, but do ensure a true program for investment is developed. Participating in as many processes as we do, Strafford has a complete understanding of project justification across many facets of interest to our clients and their management teams. We can help build the business case or simply provide the detail to our clients.