Modernizing Planning, Programming, Budgeting, and Execution

Jan 27, 2022 1:30 PM2:30 PM EST

Request The Full Recording

Key Discussion Takeaways

Sorting out the financial details of any company can get messy. There are a million data points to sort through with information stored in different places and formats. Wouldn't it be nice to integrate all your products and data seamlessly?

There are efficient automated systems that do just that, and they can save countless hours without the complexity. OneSteam has devised a financial platform that sits on top of the transactional system and pulls the source data from it, allowing you to manage it practically in one place. Consolidating fragmented data together, rather than sifting through outdated systems, will enable you to analyze and manage data much more effectively in real-time.

In this virtual event, Greg Irwin is joined by Blake Hudson,Regional Manager, Office of the CFO for Federal Agencies at OneStream Software, to discuss how their software can save you time, money, and headaches. Blake shares examples of how they helped companies organize their financial systems, why integration between products matters, and the benefits of streamlining your budgeting and financial data.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

 

  • Blake Hudson describes how OneStream assists companies with their financial systems
  • How OneStream helped the Department of Homeland Security modernize their financial system
  • How automating data collection can save you time and money
  • Integrating Office products and automating processes
  • What’s the difference between a business intelligence platform data warehouse and reporting versus a planning system?
  • The advantages of consolidating fragmented data into one automated system
Request The Full Recording

Event Partners

OneStream Software

OneStream Software designs and develops enterprise software. They offer solutions for corporate performance management, planning, budgeting, forecasting, reporting, analysis, and accounting reconciliation.

Guest Speaker

Greg Irwin LinkedIn

COO at BWG Strategy LLC

BWG Strategy is a research platform that provides market intelligence through Event Services, Business Development initiatives, and Market Research services. BWG hosts over 1,800 interactive executive strategy sessions (conference calls and in-person forums) annually that allow senior industry professionals across all sectors to debate fundamental business topics with peers, build brand awareness, gather market intelligence, network with customers/suppliers/partners, and pursue business development opportunities.

Blake Hudson

Regional Manager – Federal at OneStream Software

Blake Hudson is the Regional Manager, Office of the CFO for Federal Agencies at OneStream Software. OneStream helps organizations across multiple industries conquer complexity by unifying vital financial processes and turning data into actionable insights.

Blake’s current role at OneStream is working with Government Agencies on modernizing their financial organizations through improved budget formulation, budget execution, and reporting and analytics.

Previously, Blake was the Application Sales Manager for Cloud Applications at Oracle and the Senior Account Executive for Enterprise Accounts at Verizon.

Event Moderator

Greg Irwin LinkedIn

COO at BWG Strategy LLC

BWG Strategy is a research platform that provides market intelligence through Event Services, Business Development initiatives, and Market Research services. BWG hosts over 1,800 interactive executive strategy sessions (conference calls and in-person forums) annually that allow senior industry professionals across all sectors to debate fundamental business topics with peers, build brand awareness, gather market intelligence, network with customers/suppliers/partners, and pursue business development opportunities.

Blake Hudson

Regional Manager – Federal at OneStream Software

Blake Hudson is the Regional Manager, Office of the CFO for Federal Agencies at OneStream Software. OneStream helps organizations across multiple industries conquer complexity by unifying vital financial processes and turning data into actionable insights.

Blake’s current role at OneStream is working with Government Agencies on modernizing their financial organizations through improved budget formulation, budget execution, and reporting and analytics.

Previously, Blake was the Application Sales Manager for Cloud Applications at Oracle and the Senior Account Executive for Enterprise Accounts at Verizon.

Request the Full Recording

Please enter your information to request a copy of the post-event written summary or recording!

Need help with something else?

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson

Senior Digital Strategist at BWG Connect


BWG Connect provides executive strategy & networking sessions that help brands from any industry with their overall business planning and execution.

Senior Digital Strategist Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson runs the group & connects with dozens of brand executives every week, always for free.


Schedule a free consultation call

Discussion Transcription

Greg Irwin 0:18

First off, thank you all for taking some time and joining some strangers on a zoom. We do this about 15 times a day, covering lots of different topics, mostly really around tech, around modernization around different process change. And I'm thrilled to be here with Blake and Ed over at OneStream, these guys are going to be co hosting with me, we follow a pretty standard format, it's no sales pitch, what we do is we basically bring out stories about what's happening in different organizations, similar organizations, we have lots of state, local federal agencies on the line today. And we're going to be talking about different aspects of improving processes around modernization, and learn a little bit about what's working, what isn't working, what organizations have tried, what they're looking to try. And really, we create a group, you know, a group health takes a village, we believe that, and it's about building relationships, learning from each other. And in growing that way. So I'm gonna ask everybody to really make a personal goal for yourself here on the session, it's to make one new contact, contact doesn't need to be a OneStream or BWG. But I'd be more than happy to help people connect, you can obviously, you know, go go on your own through LinkedIn. But if you'd like to connect across this group, I'd be happy to help facilitate. The other thing is walk away with one new idea. I'm going to go around the group and ask for stories. You know, what the process is like, what are the things you're working on? And it's incredibly effective way to kind of learn in real terms, what others are doing. So that's that's going to be our goal for the hour. If you're able to turn on your camera, wonderful, if not, no problem. Also, we have a chat window in the chat is really effective. So as we go ask any questions you've got add any comment you've got, it's a great way to stay engaged, while one person is sharing their story. So let's get going. Let's start with quick intro. Blake. Do us a favor, please introduce yourself? And just tell us for those who don't know, who is OneStream?

Blake Hudson 2:42

Yeah, good afternoon, everyone. And again, I just want to echo the comments that Greg said, I just really want to appreciate, you know, thank everyone for taking the time out and join us today, as we look at the attendee list. You know, we're having a lot of conversations with some of the organizations today's we're glad to continue that conversation. For the new ones, we're glad to be starting the conversation. So I am a regional manager with OneStream. And OneStream is a financial platform that sits on top of the transactional system. So it's not an ERP, it's not an ECM, but it pulls the source data from that to allow you to better manage it. So it's really for the office of the CFO. And we'll talk a little bit about it today. But a lot of times, you know, when we have conversations like this, a lot of what we hear is the process, whether it's on the budget side, or whether it's on the closed consolidation, financial reporting side is, the process is very fragmented. And our founders, Bob Powers, and Tom Shea, who were the original inventors of Oracle, Hyperion, if you guys have used that, in the past, really set out to build a new platform to break through the barriers of the very fragmented finance and bring it all into solution. So as we talk through some of the stories today, we'll talk about we're doing it, like DHS headquarters treasury, of really helping them reduce the complexities that they have in the ppbe process, and really bring all that data and getting give confidence and insight into what you're doing. So I've been in the space for about 20 years now, most recently came from Oracle, where I worked in ERP and EPM practice and also worked on some of the HCM applications. So again, welcome everybody and look forward to conversation today.

Greg Irwin 4:36

What's one part of the process planning or or perhaps it's reconciliation that you for your department or organization would most like to change? Where's what's the pain point that you're trying to solve? It you can be as specific or broad as you like, but it'll help us kind of zero in on some of the solutions that our conversation And we want to have. So do us a favor, please, in the chat, add in the one pain point that you and your organization have around planning. And Blake, I'm going to put you on the spot here first, tell us a little bit one story about an organization a pain point. And really what they what they've done about it.

Blake Hudson 5:20

Oh, put me on the spot. Hmm. So I mean, I would say one of the great stories, you know, that we have is Department of Homeland Security. So at the HQ level, you know, we started working with them about five years ago. And, you know, they've been, since the inception, I think back in 2003, really, they've been trying to bring together all the different components, right. So they're putting a significant amount of time and investment into modernizing all their financial systems. And when we started working with them, they had, as I've kind of talked about, they had a very fragmented approach to the whole budget process, then, you know, an ingrown in house system that they had built, they were using a lot of Excel they were using before them. And they had a lot of data and very disparate applications across the way, they just didn't have a lot of confidence in the numbers and visibility. And so about three years ago, they started with the implementation bloodstream, we were able to consolidate down from, you know, those very fragmented processes to a very single unified place where they do all the budget formulation to execution. And we're now in the process of working with each of the components that components today are putting data in that same system to make it very easy for headquarters to consolidate all the budgets, get the CJs prepared to write and ready to go out to OMB. So now we're in the process of really driving down that automation that exists at the HQ level to each of the components B. So it becomes very streamlined as they across there many components still allow the components to operate the way they need to put the data in a format that makes it very easy to consolidate up at the HQ level and ultimately report

Greg Irwin 7:12

out on what was it was their net savings and time? I mean, when you talk about Alright, now we have new process. Well, what were where do you bear the fruit, a bit easier analysis, what kind of outcomes,

Blake Hudson 7:28

there's always say, I mean, you know, I'll point to maybe one of our smaller organizations like FirstNet. So FirstNet, has saved over 300 hours and not a large organization saved over 300 hours and just generating their monthly reporting. So as opposed to having a lot of people do some very mundane tasks, as you start to automate that, you really start to see a lot of efficiencies. Kind of the other thing that I hear too, that, you know, the thing, automation is certainly great. But people also want to work in very modernized situations. So I've talked to people that it's tough to hire people, because the systems that they're using are very difficult to use, and people don't want to be kind of grind to a halt and dealing with that all day. So there's, there's benefits to the employees that you know, their work becomes a lot easier. There's benefits the organizations that are able to do a lot more with with their time, money and employees as

Greg Irwin 8:28

well. Like not to be a pain in the butt. But when I hear 300 hours saved, you know, my devil's advocate thing pops up on my shoulder and says really 300 hours, what does that mean, giving 100? measure that? And are people really, you know, more productive? Or are you really not having to open up all of those wrecks to fill roles? What is 300 hours mean, in real terms?

Blake Hudson 8:55

Yeah, so I didn't calculate that, that it's a statement from Kim Farrington, he was the CFO over there.

Greg Irwin 9:03

But it was a real term, but in some real terms, how do you translate that into into a real experience that kind of that kind of savings?

Blake Hudson 9:10

Yeah, you know, it's an add, you know, feel free to jump in here if you want. But I mean, ultimately, it's if you think about any automation, right? Anytime you kind of remove the complexity of somebody going in there, the human touch is as soon as you take that out of the situation, you create efficiencies. Right. So that's, that's one aspect of it. The other part of it, and recording is a big piece of it, right? So, you know, part of the challenge too, if you think about it, if you have data in a lot of different Excel sheets or a lot of different applications, you're spending a lot of time collecting all that data, correlating it and trying to make sense of it. Whereas if you have all that data in a single system, and the system has the ability to report off of those, so it has than the BI and the the reporting capabilities built into it, then you can automate that you're not spending so many hours just trying to reconcile the data, and then put it into a format that you can report on, you have the ability to very simply do that.

Greg Irwin 10:16

First question is all right. People love Excel, people have been using Excel for I've been using Excel for 50 years almost. What's changed management like, in terms of saying, hey, good news, you're no longer using Excel, you're now using OneStream

Blake Hudson 10:29

It's not only accelerates that we have the ability to integrate with all the office products, PowerPoint word, if you're putting together c j, or you're putting together management reports, your ability to extract the data out of OneStream, and have it populated into the PowerPoint or Word document, set parameters so that you can have your, your your presentations pre built, and then just pull data directly out of the system. So you're not having to go back and update the PowerPoints directly. So that powerful integration between OneStream and not only excel, but all the office products to really automate a lot of those processes for you.

Greg Irwin 11:13

How do you share that kind of knowledge so that there isn't, you know, one person leaves the organization, suddenly that whole data set that whole set of processing? And all the tribal knowledge that goes with it goes out the door with it? What have you guys seen in terms of how people have helped help address some of that? I've heard that twice.

Blake Hudson 11:32

Yeah, I mean, I think that's, you know, that reiterates the importance of not, you know, Excel, again, is a great tool. The problem is, is it's it's very unstructured in the way that you operate, right, you don't necessarily have the governance and compliance set up when you bring it into tool. And all the data exists in one place. And the processes are built and documented in such a way that you know that the system has the ability to have built in training. So if you're an end user, and you're not in the system all the time, the ability to go in and have the system explained to you the process of what you need to do to do that transaction. There's a lot of governance and compliance that can be built in, you know, Brahm brings up another good point around recording transactions of, you know, information that would typically share, you know, through emails, you might email, Excel spreadsheet, or you might email on a particular transaction. If that's all happening in one system, the user has the ability to put in notes so that the next person coming along, has an idea of what's happened. And the system also has auditability built into it. So if somebody makes a change to another certain transaction, that gets documented in the system, so somebody else is coming in, they then have a view as to what changed, they have notes as to why it changed. And they can go back and get further information if they need to.

Greg Irwin 13:02

What do you see in terms of the overlap or differentiation between a Business Intelligence platform data warehouse and reporting versus a planning system?

Blake Hudson 13:12

Yeah, I think Eduardo brought up a good point, right of, you know, in a data warehouse scenario is very much involved in it to help build out those reports, right, I mean, part of the OneStream platform is guided reporting. So giving the ability for that end user to be able in a very simplified way to generate reports off of the data. Now, obviously, you got to bring in all that data from the source system. And that's where the the direct integration tool in the financial data quality management comes in. So there's a tool that's built in that allows you to ingest that data, validate it, get confidence in that data, once it's in the system, you can do the processes of budgeting, and mentioned some stuff around task management. So if you have a very complex business process, it helps bring all the people together to lead them through the process, see where the accountability is, help them, get it, and then ultimately give the power to the end user to be able to report on that data. Once you have that data in the system. We're not having to export it, do the extract trans transpose the load, you you just report directly out of the system. So I think there's a use case for both of them. But for the office of the CFO, getting away from a data warehouse, where you have to really involve the IT group is a huge benefit to the business.

Greg Irwin 14:33

Blake, um, do you have any suggestions for Christopher in terms of messages that he could carry internally, or resources that he can look at? To kind of, you know, help help break through a little bit?

Blake Hudson 14:48

Yeah, I mean, you know, exactly what Christopher was talking about is what we hear continually, right. I mean, very fragmented processes. You know, I mean, Christopher, I don't want to To be a sales pitch, but we would be, you know, certainly happy to show you and the rest of the team over at VA, in terms of, you know, how do you take all those processes planning the budget side, the execution side, fall into one system. And, you know, Thea, I think you had talked about it before, you haven't really seen a system where all that exists. And, you know, I will say like, if you ever go out and listen to Tom Shea, who's our CEO, talk about, you know, why he involved power started OneStream after, you know, building up Hyperion, it was really, I mean, if they couldn't solve for how they took all those disparate processes, and put it into one system. So instead of going to the office of the CFO with 28, different products that then all have to be connected back, if they couldn't have solve for that, they wouldn't have started OneStream. So there is the ability to take it both from the accounting side, as well as the budget side, put it all into one system and modernize it. You know, obviously, there's a lot of different pieces, the organization, you got to get a lot of people on board. Change management is certainly one of the toughest pieces of that. But you know, if done correctly, it can truly transform the way an organization, you know, operates. A lot of organizations have implemented tools in the in the past were built on different structures, right, and organizations are living and breathing. And they adapt and their processes change. And, you know, they're missing chains, and what they're trying to do. And in the old days, the way software was written, it was written in such a way that you would put it in, and then after five years, you'd go through a major upgrade process, right. And systems aren't written that way anymore. There's a constant updating of the system that's delivered through the cloud platform, right? So your ability to adapt as an organization with the new software models is a big piece of that modernization effort as well. The one thing I'll say Catherine is, you know, dynamics is an ERP system, right? So it's, it's your core financial, it's the transactional system, right? What a CPM or EPM Products going to do is going to layer on top of that, right. So if you do have, a lot of times people have multiple ERP systems, whether it's historical data versus current data, or whether they have a lot of different organizations, and they're running a lot of different ERPs, that CPN EPM platform that sits on top of that allows you to pull data from all of those, and then consolidate in the system and report off of all the numbers together. So you know, dynamics, a great ERP system, you may be looking at something that sits on top of it, that pulls that data out and allows you to consolidate across multiple systems. So,

Greg Irwin 17:56

guys, any any final thoughts for the group here and this session? And then let's set it up for follow on that we can get more specific in terms of the needs of some of the some of the groups joining?

Blake Hudson 18:09

I would echo and right, I think it's, you know, kind of what we started talking about, we kind of heard it through multiple parts of the conversation, right? It's, again, it's trying to figure out how you defragment all those processes, right? Focus too on, you know, the integration from the source systems, right, the ability to bring that data in, if you can't bring in good data, and you don't have the right tool set to do it, then whatever you're doing in that tools, not going to work that well. And then think about on the backside of it is Ed kind of talked about really your ability to report on that and integrate with Office and other tools systems that you're going to need to use.

Greg Irwin 18:50

Alright guys, well, thank you all for joining. I gotta say for my takeaway. I heard consistently. That's the one thing that came through loud and clear across all the departments is it feels like there is a big refresh that's needed in terms of how the planning is getting is getting done. So I'm actually I'm really excited about what you guys are doing, because you're solving an important it's great stuff. Thanks so much, guys.

Read More
Read Less

What is BWG Connect?

BWG Connect provides executive strategy & networking sessions that help brands from any industry with their overall business planning and execution. BWG has built an exclusive network of 125,000+ senior professionals and hosts over 2,000 virtual and in-person networking events on an annual basis.
envelopephone-handsetcrossmenu linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram