1 - You are one of Tridant’s newest members, currently working as a Senior Consultant in FPM in our Sydney office, could you tell us a little bit about your previous roles and how you came into this position?
Several years ago, I worked for Adaptive Insights in Austin, TX on the Support side of the business assisting customers and partners with their financial modelling. Adaptive was a bit smaller then, so I was able to help with a lot of other areas of the business like training and professional services. From there I went on to work for NetSuite, an Adaptive partner, in Singapore and Sydney acting as the Account Executive for Financial Planning across the APAC region. I had actually met Willem Boshoff and Alec Jeffrey of Tridant while working for Adaptive, and we linked back up after I had been with NetSuite for a couple of years. Tridant offered me the opportunity to serve as a true adviser to clients looking to improve their Financial Performance Management. It’s refreshing to be able to give clients real unbiased guidance, which can sometimes be challenging when working directly for a technology vendor.
2 - What was it about Tridant that made you want to join the team and how would you describe the teams corporate culture?
Tridant has a unique culture that was really one of selling points for me to be honest. Trust and respect are held in high regard at Tridant, and these qualities of culture can be difficult to find in large organisations. Other than culture, the other major factor that led to me joining Tridant is the fact that Tridant works with so many vendors. I now have the opportunity to explore more technology solutions and grow my skill set to be able to recommend the right fit for clients.
3 - Your main focus is on the Adaptive Insights Practise, could you tell us what makes this product stand out for you in a competitive marketplace, as well as some of your favourite features?
Adaptive Insights is the clear leader in the cloud CPM/EPM space. They were built from the ground up in the cloud and have solutions for planning and consolidation,
process management, reporting, and business intelligence. OfficeConnect is probably my most favourite feature of Adaptive, because it allows users to quickly and easily create polished board reports with the MS Office suite using fresh data that flows directly from the Adaptive model. One of the biggest differentiators for Adaptive is that the entire solution is designed to be owned by the Office of Finance – it’s designed for business users. They’ve won numerous awards for usability, which is an important factor for any successful technology solution.
4 - What do you see as the current Financial Planning trends that are shaping the way companies do business?
One of the biggest trends right now for planning is the concept of rolling forecasts. Most companies that are still doing a traditional annual budget process take 3-6 months, with the involvement of numerous resources, to finalise a budget that is typically out of date by the time it is in use. Annual budgets hinder the ability to plan for market changes, internal changes, or frankly any new information that impacts the business. With a rolling forecast, budget managers can move targets and expectations to help reduce variances. To really automate the rolling forecast process, organisations must also embrace the trends of driver based and bottom up planning. The real value organisations are seeing with these trends is efficiency, which leads to more time spent analysing the business and ultimately leads to better performance.
5 - What advice would you give to clients who are considering Adaptive Insights as part of their Data Analytics Journey?
My advice to clients would be to make sure you have a plan for success. First you need to define what success means to you – it’s not only about the technology. Think about the people who will be using your new solution and what they want to get out of it, what their daily life will be like with new processes, and how you can enable them to excel. Promote the new solution internally. Leaders need to set the attitude and vibe to get end users excited. If you are unsure of how to set up a success plan, get guidance from a trusted source.
6 - You’ve only been in Australia for a little over a year, how does it compare to the states?
Australia is a wonderful place to live and work. There are so many different things to do and see, especially around the Sydney region. Whether it’s visiting wineries or hanging out at the beach, there is always something exciting nearby. Although my love for Tex-Mex and fried foods will never go away, I think the food in Australia is excellent too (especially in Melbourne). Having access to delicious fresh oysters hasn’t been terrible.
7 - Being new to Aus, have you done much exploring during your free time and what are your favourite things to do in Sydney?
I’ve done a little exploring in Australia but plan to do much more. So far it seems I’ve mostly just been hitting the wine regions, but this year I plan to see more mountains and natural parks. The weather in Sydney is usually beautiful (outside of winter) and nice for playing tennis, which is one of my favourite things to do. I also enjoy a bit of golf, although my game is not as good as my cooking. When I’m not outside, you can find me in the kitchen – probably making tacos.
8 - Finally, if you had one wish for the year ahead, both in business and outside of work, what would it be and why?
This is a tough question. On the business side, I am hoping to grow the Adaptive side of the company. By twelve months’ time, I’d like to see around 50% growth in our number of clients who adopt Adaptive as a solution and work with Tridant to help take their FP&A process to the next level. Each new customer becomes a new example of how Adaptive can help businesses perform better and they can spread the word to help other businesses.
Outside of work, I hope a really great, authentic Tex-Mex restaurant opens in Sydney that offers ‘all you can eat’ tacos and margaritas. Sydney deserves a little piece of Tex-Mex heaven.