Carlson Thought Leadership in Finance & Technology

Ensuring Client Success with Carlson Support for Adaptive Insights

February 28, 2019 / by Lauren Strohmeier

When your organization benefits from world-class financial technology solutions, services, and support, great opportunities happen. Business users of the Adaptive Insights Business Planning Cloud are experiencing improved business performance that comes with active and collaborative planning. They are creating the path for growth through financial planning, reporting, and analysis.

Has your organization implemented the Adaptive Insights Business Planning Cloud?

Getting the most value from your solution depends not only on a successful and smooth implementation, but also the ongoing use of the system as your business evolves. Carlson Management Consulting provides exceptional support that ensures continued success.

Aude Stewart, Support Manager at Carlson, shares how you can bring this value to your own organization through our team’s support, solution expertise, and deep finance knowledge.

Aude StewartCan you share your background in finance?

My background in finance began when I attended a business school in Paris, France. For the next twenty years, I worked in finance departments across various industries, specifically manufacturing, automotive, aerospace, and more.

During my previous role as a FP&A Manager, I implemented Adaptive Insights. That’s when I became familiar with the solution. I loved it so much, I decided I wanted to work with it full-time. That’s how I became an implementer of Adaptive Insights.

Why did you join Carlson?

That’s an interesting story. At a previous company, I was a client of Adaptive Insights. Because I had a good relationship with the sales rep in charge of our account, he frequently asked me to be a reference for potential customers. I provided a lot of references for him.

One day, I called him and said, “This is what I want to do. I want to implement Adaptive Insights. Are you hiring?” Also, I’m based in Atlanta. At that time five years ago, Adaptive Insights didn’t offer remote positions for implementers. Since I didn’t want to move, I couldn’t work there.

The sales rep suggested I call Ethan Carlson, Founder and CEO of Carlson Management Consulting. So, I did! That’s how we got in touch. I’m really enjoying the experience of working at Carlson. This is the best job I’ve ever had.

How does Carlson Support ensure successful ongoing use of Adaptive Insights?

Carlson Support ensures ongoing use of Adaptive Insights by providing highly-customized and responsive support. When a client comes forward with questions, there’s a lot that is unsaid. Within every question, there is subtext. For instance: Why did they ask us this question? What are their goals? Why are they trying to do something a certain way? I try to understand the underlying issues and deliver the best solution.

In addition to ensuring Adaptive Insights fulfills their needs, we explore their internal processes and help them achieve a better way of managing their finances. In essence, they also get some management consulting. In so doing, the benefits they enjoy with Adaptive Insights are that much more powerful.

Because we work with organizations in a variety of industries, we’ve experienced many paths to success in budgeting. This holistic perspective helps our clients get the most out of their Adaptive Insights investments.

What differentiates Carlson Support?

We really cater to our clients’ needs. I’ve never seen an organization be this good to its clients. The Carlson culture is all about being helpful, providing value, and being of service. Our culture extends to the high quality of support we provide. Our solutions and services are also customized to our clients’ needs. They feel like we’re really paying attention to them and in tune with their businesses.

What are some typical areas of support that you and the team provide?

We provide many areas of comprehensive support, and this is how it works. Clients reach out to us through Email Support, which creates a ticket. Through our ticketing system, we track all our support activity and incoming inquiries.

The time it takes to resolve the issue depends on the question and specific parameters. If the situation can easily be resolved, we quickly communicate solutions to them. For example, we’ll say, “There are three ways you can fix this. . .” Within a 30-minute to an hour call, we usually resolve any minor issue.  

Sometimes, issues arise because something more structural needs to be redone. We then ask ourselves: Is it because a business process changed? Has the way they processed data in their ERP system changed? In these situations, we present cost-effective solutions out of what was initially one support question. This saves them time, money, and headaches in the longer term. To ensure Adaptive Insights is fulfilling their current needs, we’ll have weekly calls for about three weeks until we complete the update.

What’s a day in the life like as a Support Manager?

Exciting! There are new inquiries daily. We prioritize the inquiries based on their complexity and level of Support: Standard, Gold, and/or Platinum. I frequently offer to meet with a client to listen to their needs. If a team member has more specialized expertise, I’ll put them on the case.

Occasionally, emergencies can occur. Recently, I had a client call me on my cell to let me know they needed us to handle their issue as a priority. When these emergencies do occur, we put top priority on them. At Carlson, we’re very responsive because our clients’ satisfaction is of utmost importance to us.

What’s your favorite aspect about your job and why?

I like how my job is different every day. I love that diversity. Because I help clients in a variety of industries, I’m making new discoveries about how they do business and manage their budgeting.

These experiences give me an informed perspective that I leverage to provide highly customized Support. My favorite aspect about being a Support Manager is when that perspective makes a difference for clients and their organizations.

What qualities do you bring to make a difference for Carlson’s clients?

I love solving problems. The other day, I was speaking with my manager, Chris Pinto. Because all issues are under my purview, they’re not necessarily on his radar. He said to me, “You never call me with any problems.” That feedback revealed how effective I am at resolving issues myself.

Additionally, I have extensive knowledge of Adaptive Insights. From a technical standpoint, I’m skilled at finding solutions that help our clients maximize the many benefits of their Adaptive Insights systems.

I’m also thorough and give my all to projects. I also believe in educating our clients by sharing best practices in finance and technology. They experience even more amazing results when they benefit from an optimized Adaptive Insights system and best practices.

Carlson has ecstatic clients. Our clients often return to us after moving to other organizations. They realize we bring more than our technical expertise with Adaptive; we help our clients increase profitability through more business opportunities. Our counsel helps them run their businesses better. They get a lot more value from our involvement in implementing Adaptive Insights. 

Can you share a time when you solved a particular client challenge?

I helped a client whose original system configuration was working, but it was not ideal for the non-financial end-users. Specifically, it was organized by a legal entity, which was great for their accounting team. However, it wasn’t ideal for budget managers who are thinking in terms of function and business units.

To optimize their Adaptive Insights system, I suggested an alternative that changes their organizational structure to a functional organization tree, using an Adaptive feature called level attributes that gives an easy way to report to the accounting team. The budget managers now have a more efficient way to budget and the accounting team still gets all the reports they need.

What hobbies do you enjoy outside of work?

I play golf. Becoming a pro golfer was a childhood dream! I enjoy playing golf competitively and participating in championships.

What I love about golfing is that it’s an activity in which one can’t ever achieve perfection. The golfer is always striving to be better. I also like how universal it is. When I was a kid, I played against my dad and won, even though he was twice my size. People of all backgrounds and skill levels can play and still have fun. I play with my kids a lot because it’s a fun activity for the family.

I also read often. Because my job is exciting, I like to clear my mind and enjoy quiet time. Nonfiction is my favorite genre. I read self-improvement books and biographies. I love to hear people’s stories and their experiences. After reading a story, I’ll think, ‘That’s incredible; this person faced all these hurdles and achieved all they did.' I love those kinds of stories.

My favorite author is Bob Goff. He writes about how people handle themselves in life with people they know and people they don’t. It’s all about personal development. I’ve also heard him speak. He’s funny and full of energy. Because I’ve heard him speak, I can hear his voice behind the lines when I read his books.

Would you like to benefit from Carlson Support? Our support team is here to help you gain the most value out of your Adaptive Insights investment.

To discover how Carlson support helps you utilize the full capabilities of Adaptive Insights, please contact us for a consultation.


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