The importance of digital transformation for the modern enterprise is an undeniable fact, but it also has a broad range of aspects and finance is one of the most essential. In this interview with Alok Ajmera, CEO and president of Prophix, we talked about the importance of CPM software in digital transformation and the future of CPM software. He also explained how their customers will benefit from their latest acquisition of Sigma Conso and he gave some tips about their growth strategy.
Could you tell our readers about yourself and Prophix?
Prophix Software is the global leader in mid-market Corporate Performance Management (CPM) software. Prophix helps companies achieve their goals more successfully with innovative, cloud-based software. With Prophix, finance leaders improve profitability and minimize risk by automating budgeting, forecasting, and reporting to put the focus back on what matters most — uncovering business opportunities. Over 1,700 global companies rely on Prophix to transform the way they work.
I’m the company’s President and CEO and my mission is to ensure each of our customers, prospective clients, partners, and employees around the world has a memorable and positive experience with Prophix. I joined the company in 2004 as a consultant and have served in multiple roles across our business before being named CEO in 2020. I’m proud to lead a very fast-growing global organization that has a passion for continued innovation with a product portfolio that reinvents the way finance departments conduct business.
I also believe deeply in the value of giving back to the community and established Prophix’s Corporate Social Responsibility program to drive change through meaningful programs, projects, and donations.
Prophix has announced the acquisition of Sigma Conso, a CPM software and services provider with recognized expertise in financial close management and financial planning and analysis. What does this acquisition reflect about Prophix’s strategy of growth?
Acquiring Sigma Conso is part of a broader strategy that began in January 2021 when Hg, a leading global software investor, took a majority ownership position in Prophix. This investment has allowed us to significantly advance our global goals, both in terms of staff and our software portfolio. We plan to continue growing both organically and through strategic acquisitions as we add new capabilities to Prophix that address the full spectrum of financial planning & analysis needs of global mid-market organizations.
How will your customers benefit from this acquisition?
Over the past 30 years, we’ve developed deep domain expertise in software for finance teams. But there’s more to finance than budgeting, planning, and forecasting. So, we knew that we wanted to broaden our portfolio to better serve finance leaders. The addition of Sigma Conso’s technology and resources strengthens Prophix’s consolidation capabilities while also extending our global reach. With Sigma Conso, we’ll be able to take bigger and bolder steps to achieve our goals in an accelerated way.
As the demand increases in the software industry, the competition also gets fiercer each passing day. As a CPM software provider, can you evaluate both the CPM industry and the features that differentiate Prophix from its competitors in the market?
Prophix puts a keen emphasis on continued product innovation as a competitive differentiator. With that in mind, we have a product portfolio that transforms the way finance departments conduct business and helps them navigate today’s business landscape to drive competitive advantage.
Some of the CPM capabilities Prophix pioneered in the market include the industry’s first Virtual Financial Assistant. The Virtual Financial Analyst, powered by Prophix AI, transforms the way finance leaders work by simplifying engagement, improving insights, and reducing risk. The product helps organizations budget, plan, and report faster and more efficiently than ever before.
The pandemic has clearly accelerated digital transformation in every industry. What is the importance of CPM software in digital transformation?
Digital transformation is a critical factor in the evolving role of finance. For instance, in Prophix’s 2021 global survey of 500 North American finance leaders, we found organizations at the forefront of digital transformation in finance have superior speed, agility, and flexibility compared to their peers. These capabilities are essential for business success and were invaluable for companies’ survival during the pandemic.
In short, digital transformation is no longer a “nice to have.” Business leaders must be able to rely on the validity, trustworthiness, and relevance of the data used to analyze and report on end-to-end planning, budgeting, and forecasting processes. The cost of continuing business as usual is duplication of the efforts, fragmented systems that take lots of people and time to reconcile, challenges to meeting regulatory compliance, an inability to determine where to prioritize resources, and lower stakeholder confidence.
What are the most important criteria for CPM software selection?
It’s important for companies to do some homework when assessing potential Corporate Performance Management solutions. This includes outlining the essential features they need from a solution, sitting in on some demos or presentations for potential CPM vendors, comparing costs and pricing models for each solution you’re considering, reading reviews or industry analysis reports about the solutions, and seeking recommendations from industry peers.
Prophix was built from the ground up to serve the specific FP&A needs of mid-market companies. This contrasts with enterprise solutions that offer a “light” version of their product that doesn’t truly address the midmarket. Prophix is proud of the honors we’ve received from influential third-party experts. For instance, in 2021 Prophix was named the overall Experience & Credibility Leader for the seventh consecutive year in the Dresner “Wisdom of Crowds” study. We were also named a 2021 Stratus Award winner based on our contributions to driving FP&A innovation in the cloud.
What are your strategic goals for 2022?
Prophix’s goal is nothing less than to dominate the mid-market CPM industry. Our journey so far has shown us there is still so much to play for in our industry. We have significant ambitions for the business, and Hg’s investment and operational experience in software will help us accelerate these goals. We plan to serve our customers better than ever before in 2022, as we invest further in our sales and marketing functions, expand our R&D capabilities, accelerate our transition to the cloud, and scale our business across several geographic regions, including in Europe.