I’m Impressed with the New BI360 Cloud Release

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I am impressed. With more than 20 years in the technology arena, it takes a lot to impress me. The new offering of BI360 Cloud, a comprehensive Corporate Performance Management system, supports Reporting, Budgeting, and Business Intelligence. It enhances the core capabilities of ERP and CRM offerings from Microsoft, Sage, SAP, NetSuite and others. Or it can be implemented as a stand-alone system. This article outlines what current users, and others familiar with BI360, can expect from the new release. Future blogs will examine the major changes and improved functionality in more depth.

The Cloud - BI360 is now a true Cloud system. Most systems today are either Cloud, or Hosted/On-Premise, based. BI360 gives us the choice. It’s the same product, with essentially the same functionality in each. This technology provides a solid platform for improved functionality and for future development. We have all read about the trade-offs between Cloud and Hosted/On-Premise ad nauseum. I will be sharing my thoughts, as it relates to this offering, in a future blog.

Web Browsers and Excel - Today we expect to be able to view and download reports, perform budget data entry, and analyze data with charts and KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) using a Web browser. BI360 supports HTML5. So virtually any modern Web browser can be used for these tasks. Excel™ is still used for report design, so we can take advantage of Excel’s flexibility, and advanced features, to develop reports that communicate clearly to our audience. In addition to advanced formatting and charting, we can include my favorite tool for variance analysis – conditional formatting. An example is highlighting variances over a certain amount with color, e.g., green for positive and red for negative.

Data Visualization and Analytics – For core Business Intelligence, we typically rely on tools such as PowerBI™. While these tools provide powerful capabilities for data analysis, they have a common limitation – accessing your data. Most often, IT specialists are required to get the data into the tool’s environment, where you can then provide the analysis, create the charts, etc. When you need additional types of data, it’s back to the IT specialists. BI360 Cloud, in contrast, presents your data in a straight forward manner, within PowerBI, thereby removing this major challenge to utilization.

Additional Functionality - Other advances in BI360 Cloud include an integrated capability to obtain data. Preconfigured connectors are available for major ERPs and CRMs. The connectors greatly reduce the challenges of getting the data needed for reporting from the ERP and CRM systems.

I also like Playlists, Report Packages, and the improvements in Workflow. Playlists and Report Packages group reports together, so the user has everything needed in one place. Workflow is a worthwhile capability with projects, such as budgeting, allowing you to assign and track tasks with multiple team members.

In summary, if you’re interested in a CPM solution, BI360 Cloud is worth a look. It’s also a worthwhile upgrade for existing BI360 users.

Please feel free to contact me for more information. halw@halwconsulting.com or visit www.HalWConsulting.com.

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