Independent analysis of software rates technology providers on products that address key elements of business planning software across seven product and customer experience evaluation categories.

BEND, OR, October 10, 2023 /24-7PressRelease/ — Today Ventana Research released its 2023 Buyers Guide for Business Planning, a quantified, research-based report evaluating technology providers and products. The Buyers Guide assesses 13 vendors’ products using our Value Index methodology to evaluate software in seven key categories that are weighted to reflect buyers’ needs based on our expertise and research. The Buyers Guide for Business Planning evaluates products that address key elements of business planning as we define it.

The purpose of business planning is not simply to create a plan — it is to make better decisions. Planning and budgeting software should make the process faster, more agile, less burdensome, and more intelligent so that managers can make better decisions more consistently. Since the early 2000s, Ventana Research has advocated using a dedicated application to increase the business value of planning and budgeting. In 2008, we first articulated a new vision of using a planning software platform to improve the business value of corporate budgeting. This approach allows business units to plan in the way that best serves their needs while enabling the financial planning and analysis (FP&A) group to integrate their plans to construct a unified operating plan and budget. This idea has since been widely embraced by software vendors and increasingly adopted by organizations.

Technology is essential to making planning and budgeting more strategic, more productive, and more consequential to an organization’s success. Planning software increases the business value of planning and budgeting because it serves the needs of the senior leadership team, business managers, and the office of finance, thereby increasing an organization’s agility.

“We live in a time of uncertainty, not unpredictability,” notes Robert Kugel, Senior Vice President and Research Director at Ventana Research. “Managing an organization in uncertain times is always hard, but tools are available to improve the odds of success by making it easier and faster to plan for contingencies and scenarios. Software makes it possible to quickly consider the impact of a range of events or assumptions and devise a set of plans to deal with them.”

The Buyers Guide for Business Planning evaluates the following vendors that offer products that address key elements of business planning as we define it: Anaplan, Board, IBM, Infor, insightsoftware, OneStream Software, Oracle, Planful, Prophix Software, SAP, Vena Solutions, Wolters Kluwer and Workday.

The research finds Oracle atop the list, followed by SAP and Anaplan. Companies that place in the top three of a category earn the designation of Leader. Oracle has done so in five of the seven categories; SAP in four; Anaplan in four; Board in two; Planful in one and Workday in one category.

The research places vendors into one of four overall categories: Exemplary, Innovative, Assurance, or Merit. This representation classifies vendors’ weighted performance overall in Product Experience and Customer Experience. The vendors were awarded the following categories:

– Exemplary: Anaplan, Board, IBM, OneStream, Oracle, SAP, and Workday.
– Innovative: No vendors placed in this category.
– Assurance: No vendors placed in this category.
– Merit: Infor, insightsoftware, Planful, Prophix Software, Vena, and Wolters Kluwer.

This Ventana Research Buyers Guide for Business Planning is the distillation of over a year of market and product research efforts. It is an assessment of how well vendors’ offerings will address organizations’ requirements for business planning software. The index is structured to support a request for information (RFI) that could be used in the RFP process by incorporating all criteria needed to evaluate, select, utilize, and maintain relationships with technology vendors. An effective product and customer experience with a technology vendor can ensure the best long-term relationship and value achieved from a resource and financial investment.   

The structure of the research reflects our understanding that the effective evaluation of vendors and products involves far more than just examining product features, potential revenue, or customers generated from a vendor’s marketing and sales efforts. We believe it is important to take a comprehensive research-based approach since making the wrong choice of a business planning technology can raise the total cost of ownership, lower the return on investment, and hamper an organization’s ability to reach its potential performance. In addition, this approach can reduce the project’s development and deployment time and eliminate the risk of relying on a short list of vendors that do not represent the best fit for your organization.

“The power of Business Planning enables enterprises to be agile and dynamic to the requirements and outcomes needed by any organization,” said Mark Smith, CEO and Chief Research Officer at Ventana Research. “The Buyers Guide provides a definitive tool for business and finance to best assess and select the planning platform and tools that can help ensure that all participants in the process can contribute and manage to the best possible performance.”

The Buyers Guide for Business Planning is neither sponsored nor influenced by technology vendors and is conducted solely in pursuit of Ventana Research’s mission to provide value to business and IT through the Consulting, Advisory, Research, and Education (CARE) portfolio of services. Ventana Research’s goal is to help guide organizations to optimal efficiency in their use of technology investments for business and IT. Please click here to learn more and read the Buyers Guide for Business Planning.

About Ventana Research

Ventana Research is the most authoritative and respected market research and advisory services firm. We provide insight and expert guidance on mainstream and disruptive technologies through a unique set of research-based offerings including benchmark research and technology evaluation assessments, education workshops, and our research and advisory services, Ventana On-Demand. Our unparalleled understanding of the role of technology in optimizing business processes and performance and our best practices guidance are rooted in our rigorous research-based benchmarking of people, processes, information, and technology across business and IT functions in every industry. This benchmark research plus our market coverage and in-depth knowledge of hundreds of technology providers means we can deliver education and expertise to our clients to increase the value they derive from technology investments while reducing time, cost, and risk.

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