Carlson Thought Leadership in Finance & Technology

Cloudfest '16: Thanks for a Successful Event!

November 9, 2016 / by Dave Phillips


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On Thursday November 3rd, more than 50 finance professionals and solution experts gathered at the Harpoon Brewery in Boston for Cloudfest, a celebration of the leading cloud financial solutions.  The event was hosted by Carlson Management Consulting, Adaptive Insights, Intacct and BlackLine.  The turnout exceeded expectations and was a great way to kick off our first-ever Cloudfest event.  We really appreciate those who battled the traffic and the pouring rain to attend!  For those who were unable to join us, here’s a quick recap of the evening’s events:

Mike Mooney, who leads business development at Carlson, kicked off the event with a welcome note and review of the agenda.  He introduced Ethan Carlson, CEO of Carlson Management Consulting, who took the stage to talk about how “best in class” cloud solutions are enabling and accelerating the transformation of finance.  Of particular note, he discussed ways in which cloud financial solutions deliver competitive advantage to the data-centric organizations who use them. Cloud financial solutions create competitive advantage.jpg


Ethan also related how we at Carlson rely on cloud solutions to manage our own financial operations.  A key component of pulling everything together is DataBlend, our cloud-based integration solution that ties together our systems (Intacct, Salesforce, OpenAir) so that we have a more holistic view of company performance.

Andrew McDonnell from Adaptive Insights discussed how budgeting, planning and reporting on the cloud delivers efficiencies and productivity while improving collaboration among stakeholders. Adaptive Insights is the leading purely-cloud corporate performance management solution.  Andrew began by framing the challenges facing finance teams still using spreadsheet-based processes:

  • 74% of effort is wasted in rekeying and manually rolling up data 
  • 90% of spreadsheets contain data and formula errors
  • 64% of annual plans are out of date by the time they are put into effect

He then explained how finance teams can benefit from a solution that combines the ease-of-use of spreadsheets with the power of a comprehensive CPM suite.

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Nancy Sperry from Intacct was up next and she talked about how their cloud ERP solution delivers rapid return on investment with reduced implementation times compared to legacy systems.  Intacct has been disrupting the ERP market and now has over 10,000 customers.  We are very excited to be partnered with this dynamic company!

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Mandy Tehrani and Greg Freitas from BlackLine explained how their system helps accounting teams accelerate and automate the financial close. Designed entirely in the cloud from the ground up, BlackLine helps finance and accounting teams move away from spreadsheets to centralize key accounting functions within a single platform.

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Ethan Carlson then retook the stage for an overview and demo of DataBlend, our cloud-based integration solution.  DataBlend allows finance teams to create a central hub of decision-making in Adaptive Insights by pulling in real-time data from systems such as ERP, PSA, CRM and others.  He demonstrated the new workflow builder by creating a connection from Salesforce into Adaptive Insights.  The integration process took only a few minutes and clearly impressed the attendees as he received an unprompted round of applause! 

One of the highlights of the evening was the customer panel.  Moderated by Chris Pinto, the panel included Amy Hosworth-Swan, Kenny Mitchell and John McGrath.  The panel discussed their firsthand experiences with cloud financial solutions and how they’ve benefited their finance teams and organizations.  They also provided advice for those who are considering “moving to the Cloud.”

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The evening concluded with networking and demo stations, where attendees were able to see the solutions in action and get answers to their questions.  Of course, since the event was held at the Harpoon Brewery, the taps were flowing and a great time was had by all.  Thanks to everyone for making the event a success and we look forward to hosting more Cloudfest events next year!

Interested in learning about Adaptive Insights, Intacct, BlackLine or DataBlend?  Take the first step and request a demo!

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