deFacto Planning was built from the ground up as a unified Corporate Performance Management (CPM) solution, using standard Microsoft technology with the ability to connect to any ERP or other data source, regardless of database platform. It is supremely flexible in how it can be deployed as well, so it will complement just about any IT strategy. On the back-end there are 3 components to deFacto Planning – SQL Server Relational, SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS) and the deFacto Web service. These can be on a single combined server or separated as you wish. They can be on on-premise or hosted, on physical or virtual machines. If you have a SQL and/or SSAS farm, we can plug into it. So all in all, the choice of deployment is yours.
By using the cube technology, deFacto Planning achieves “speed-of-thought” reporting and analysis regardless of the size of the model. This cannot be said for our competition and where they “hit a wall” in similar situations.
deFacto Planning’s ETL connectors are built using standard SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) packages and can pull and/or push data back if needed. This is the same technology used within GP so the learning curve is minimal. Along those same lines, backing up and restoring a deFacto Planning model is as simple as backing up the SQL database.
Although deFacto Planning also has both web and mobile interfaces, Excel is the core end-user interface. When we initially designed deFacto Planning we found that is where customers are spending the majority of their time, and if they had data outside of Excel they did anything they could to get it into Excel. One great thing about deFacto Planning’s Excel interface is that it is one interface for the end user, regardless if they are reporting, budgeting, drilling down, analyzing, etc. One single interface to learn makes training much, much easier and adoption that much faster and more successful.
To collect Budget or Forecast data, simply enter data into highlighted Excel cells and click the Submit button. deFacto Security allows the Administrator to open and close slices of the database independent of the input schedules, and yet deFacto provides an Excel client smart enough to respond to the defined security and dynamically show users what is available for input in any schedule created. This provides an environment where all end users can be permitted to create their own input schedules that are tailored to meet their exact needs. There is both Functional security as well as Data Level security on both a read-only or read-write basis. This security can be set by group or individual and is controlled by the Administrator in the Business Modeler.
Advanced Logic Processes like Intercompany Eliminations and Allocations are calculated within deFacto Planning as well, so again everything is centralized in one place. The models, dimensions, logic, etc. are all maintained using the deFacto Business Modeler in an easy-to-use, drag and drop environment. Therefore, business users are almost always the deFacto Administrators as knowledge of SQL or SSAS is deemed unnecessary with the Business Modeler.
deFacto Planning also has built-in Workflow capability, with up to 9 levels of approval. Workflow statuses can be reported on in real-time and are tied to the deFacto security model, so that once a user submits their data for approval it is locked down so no changes can be made to it unless the Approver would like to reject it. Notifications are built into the process and users can also see their workflow responsibilities at any time right in Excel based on their login.
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