Bryan Woliner, Vice President of Finance and Information Technology at Root Capital, shares how DataBlend helps the organization achieve better data quality and increased efficiency with systems integrations.
Please provide a description of your organization and mission.
Root Capital is an interesting organization.
We invest in the growth of agricultural enterprises so they can transform rural communities. These businesses purchase crops such as coffee, cocoa, or grains from smallholder farmers. With growth, they become engines of impact that can raise incomes, create jobs, empower women and young people, sustain peace and preserve vulnerable ecosystems.
We supply these businesses with vital resources: access to capital, trade and technical partners, financial training and conservation practices. We work in hard-to-serve geographies where others don’t. To date, we’ve distributed $1.2 billion to improve the lives of six million people in farming communities.
Please provide a description of your role and responsibilities within your organization.
I’m the Vice President of Finance and Information Technology. I oversee our IT Department and Finance Department, which includes accounting, financial planning and analysis, and treasury.
Please describe the challenges that your organization faced which led you to seek out a new cloud-based integration solution.
Because Root Capital is almost entirely a cloud-based organization, we had thought of going the full-stack enterprise resource planning (ERP) route at various times. Ultimately, we realized we could gain better functionality at a lower price by handpicking best-of-breed technology that meets the needs of our different functional areas.
However, there was the challenge of lack of integration between those systems. We faced the risk of picking systems that worked great for an individual department, without having the necessary integration to achieve better efficiency and data quality, with less duplication, across our full cloud-based IT environment.
What factors made you decide that DataBlend was the right integration solution for your organization? Did you look at other solutions?
We started piloting DataBlend because of the additional flexibility it offers. We have been working with Ethan and the Carlson team for a long time, about seven years, so we were early adopters of DataBlend.
Specifically, we liked the fact that it is more flexible and not tied into a specific system, compared to connectors that are only compatible with their respective proprietary ERP or other financial systems. For example, DataBlend is highly effective at integrating Adaptive Insights, as well as Sage Intacct and Salesforce.
The fact that, with DataBlend, we can leverage the APIs of many cloud-based systems, as well as perform more functions (data filtering, etc.) with its feature-rich interface, makes it the best choice of integration platform for us.
Which systems are you using DataBlend to integrate with? What are the key benefits?
The systems we are currently integrating with are Sage Intacct, Salesforce, and Adaptive Insights. The benefits we are experiencing are better data quality and increased efficiency with systems integration. DataBlend allows us to combine both financial with non-financial data in a single system that gives us greater ability to do financial analysis, reporting, and data driven decision-making.
Please describe some of the benefits you experienced after implementing DataBlend.
The results we have experienced include faster pull time for information, more confidence in data quality, and the ability to pick best-of-breed, cloud-based systems without being constrained by their respective integration tools. We feel we can rely on DataBlend to integrate most of the systems we choose.
We have also saved costs on staff time. All in all, DataBlend is very competitively-priced with a comprehensive feature set that meets our needs.
What are some of the other benefits that you have experienced that may be less quantifiable?
DataBlend has removed silos within the organization because staff are no longer only looking at information within their departmental systems. Now, they gain new insights into financial and non-financial data that may have been stored in other departmental systems and was inaccessible to them before we started using the platform.
DataBlend saves time and reduces expenses by providing a more efficient way to integrate ERP with other financial and operational systems. You have less operational risks and more trust in your data quality. You also gain so much value from being able to combine financial with non-financial data that previously lived in silos systems.
From financial analysts to senior management, any member of the staff can get a holistic and comprehensive picture of the health of their organization. In general, many organizations are looking to select best-in-breed, cloud-based systems. However, I feel one of the potential shortcomings of this approach is the lack of integration options. Because DataBlend provides the flexibility to move data between so many different cloud-based systems, organizations have the ability to select systems that best meet their needs without having to worry about limited integration options that come with each of these systems.