If your organization is in the process of selecting Adaptive Insights as its corporate performance management (CPM) solution of choice, there is a good chance that you will use one of their many partners for the implementation. After all, partners who specialize in implementing Adaptive Insights bring a lot of “best practices” knowledge and experience to the table. The right partner can be critical to a successful project and help drive FP&A transformation in your finance organization. However, not all partners are created equal so it pays to do some research to determine which firm would be the most appropriate fit. Here are several factors to consider when evaluating Adaptive Insights partners:
Experience with Adaptive Insights
Naturally, significant experience with the full Adaptive Insights suite is a must for any credible implementation partner. Not only that, the firm’s consultants should have many years of Adaptive experience implementing the solution and be Adaptive-certified. They should also have a corporate finance background as they should have experience “walking in your shoes.” Here are some questions you should ask:
- How long has the firm been an Adaptive Insights partner?
- How large is their Adaptive Insights practice?
- Are their consultants Adaptive-certified?
- Do they have nation-wide coverage?
- Do they outsource to external consultants?
- Do they have any consultants dedicated to Adaptive integrations?
- How many projects have they successfully completed?
- Do they have an implementation methodology with a track record of success?
- Do they have a large customer base with references in your industry?
- Do they provide post-implementation support?
Vertical Industry Expertise
Implementing Adaptive Insights is not only an opportunity to deploy a leading-edge CPM solution; it’s also an opportunity to incorporate best practices in budgeting, planning and reporting for your particular industry. Make sure that your implementation partner has experience working with several companies in your industry. At Carlson, we have cultivated expertise (see our team bios as an example) in a number of vertical markets which allows us to incorporate specific elements into your model. By working with numerous clients in the same industry, we have learned best practices in each of those segments. One of the benefits of working with a partner with vertical experience is their ability to cross-pollinate what works with other companies and bring new ideas and approaches to your organization.
Adaptive Insights is typically integrated with ERP, CRM, HRIS, and other systems. Your implementation partner should have deep integration experience to automate and streamline the import and export of data so that Adaptive can serve as a central hub of decision-making. When considering integration experience, the partner should also have an understanding of the KPI’s and non-financial data that should be accessible within Adaptive. Not only does Carlson have experience with the Adaptive Integration and Data Designer, we have also developed our own cloud-based integration platform, DataBlend, that brings unique benefits to Adaptive integration. DataBlend is already being used by more than 100 customers.
Company Growth and Sustainability
The firm you select for your implementation should become a long-term partner of your company. After all, your business may evolve or you may wish to implement new modules and features. As such, you will want to make sure they will be around for the long-term and are on solid financial footing. If their Adaptive practice is expanding, there is a good chance they are doing the right things. If their business is stagnant or shrinking, that could be a red flag or a sign that they are focused elsewhere. While private companies often will not provide financial information, you can often determine their growth if they have won national awards such as the Inc. 5000 or more local awards such as the Boston Business Journal Fast 50.
Adaptive Insights Awards and Recognition
A clear sign of credibility as an implementation partner is whether the firm has received any awards or other recognition from Adaptive Insights. Every year at the Adaptive Insights Partner Summit, the Adaptive executive team presents awards to those partners who have demonstrated excellence in a variety of areas. Ask the partners you are considering whether they have received any Adaptive awards and when. Some partners who are truly dedicated to success with Adaptive Insights have won awards year after year. This is a key distinction and should factor into your decision-making. Also ask your Adaptive sales representative about the reputation of any partners on your shortlist.