The Customer Experience with FinancialForce Analytics

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[Transcript]


Joe Thomas: Hello and welcome to our Analytics Webcast: Customer Experience with FinancialForce Analytics. I'm Joe Thomas, the analytics evangelist here at FinancialForce. I'm really pleased to have with me: Mark Tossell. Mark, why don’t you introduce yourself.

Mark Tossell: Yeah. Hi, everyone. Thanks for joining the webinar today. My name's Mark Tossell, and I’m the CIO, one of the partners at Visioneer 360. We’re a Salesforce and FinancialForce partner who work with analytics. In fact, that is our core focus: Einstein analytics. I guess I’m kind of known as an analytics champion and excited about all things analytics. Joe, it’s great to be on the call today. Thank you.

Joe: Yeah, me, too. I’m excited because, Mark, you actually have been at this for probably one of the longest people touching Einstein Analytics. So, I’m really interested in hearing your stories that you’ve got about customers you’ve worked with and why you’re so excited about it.

Mark: Thanks, Joe. It’s good to be here.

Joe: So, quick agenda. We've done the introductions. We’ll talk about why analytics are important, why you should be using Einstein, what you can do with it. I'll do some demos and we'll show you some stuff Mark’s built. We'll talk about customer experiences, and that's really the meat of it that will show the “show and tell.” Then we'll tell you what's next, and we’ll be ready to take some of your questions, and we hope there's a lot of them.

But before I begin, I want to thank you. I know that these are unusual times. It is even just from a timeframe standpoint, I'm really pleased to be doing this live in and A&Z time. It's 6 PM here in San Francisco. I do have to put a caveat out: my dogs have just eaten, and this is their most exciting time. So, you might hear a dog bark or two. I live on a busy street in San Francisco, so I hope no fire engines go by.

Mark is in an office because you guys in Australia are far ahead of us on the curve around this. But, ultimately, we recognize that there are a lot of demands on your time. There's a lot of odd things happening for people, and we just want to thank you for spending a little time with us.

Mark: Yeah, absolutely.

Joe: So, let’s get into why analytics are critical. Ultimately, I think there are two reasons why you want to bring analytics into play. The first is to discover uncomfortable truths - and there are uncomfortable truths in every one of our businesses. In most cases, someone's hiding those truths from you inside of a spreadsheet. One of the rules that I like to say is, “No one looks bad in their own spreadsheet.” Data that tends to look bad, “Oh, that's an outlier, so I didn't include it,” tends to not make it onto the spreadsheet.

The second reason is that you want to improve the decisions you're making, and I have quarterly and monthly on here; I don't think any of us are making too many quarterly-based decisions anymore. I can tell you, our fiscal year - like Salesforce - started in February, and we had a very different idea of how this year was gonna go when we set our plans and marketing campaigns in December and January to implement February, March, and April.

But, ultimately, having analytics at your fingertips allowing you to improve the decisions you make on a daily or weekly basis is the real reason why you don't wanna wait for old and stale data. Ultimately, it is the user interface for both executives, and it validates the reason why you're bringing in and upgrading your ERP or PSA systems.

Fundamentally, it is that view of that data - the reason that you've gone and modernized your internal systems and try to automate processes - analytics is the way that you visualize it. Mark, anything to add here?

Mark: Yeah, Joe. I think I would also add, for us, that people that have invested in CRM, in ERP, and PSA, they’ve invested a lot of time, effort, money, paying licenses, they’re often paying for partners. My experience has been that they often struggle to see that the return on investment that they had envisioned when they went on that journey, whereas what we’ve found is if you can build some really powerful, actionable analytics on top of that - and deliver those to the various positions of leadership and people doing the day-to-day work - it really helps deliver that ROI and investment.

Joe: Great. So, you're saying don't wait until phase two, or wait until I've got it up and running before I do analytics?

Mark: You know, it's absolutely true. If I may, we're working with one of our amazing clients at the moment: UNICEF Australia. They're transitioning from Raiser’s Edge to Salesforce, and we actually have been building analytics while the CRM is being implemented as part of their MVP. That was always a part of their visual right from the start, and I know that they’re really glad that they've done it that way.

Joe: That's great, Mark. That's the reason I got you on this webcast. Unfortunately, it seems so easy when Mark and I talked about it. Right? But, most organizations struggle. Again, spreadsheets: the more you have, the worse it is. So, any time you’ve gone and extracted data out of Salesforce or FinancialForce and dumped it into a spreadsheet, you’ve just violated two cardinal rules. Right? You just fragmented that data, and you just rendered it insecure.

Ultimately, it's super hard to get the big picture at a spreadsheet level. At best, maybe you've got a department, and then how often are all departments…? Sales have one view, Service has another, Finance has the key view perhaps, and then everyone else is trying to sit there and struggle to catch up with that. Most of the time, it's not timely or actionable. As I said before, more spreadsheets make the problem worse. What do you think, Mark?

Mark: Yeah, absolutely, John. I think, for me, the keyword there, having worked with so many different businesses over the last few years, is that word “actionable.” So, once you've got those numbers in front of you or the charts in front of you you're after, what do you do? Do you email that spreadsheet, and then you have questions or insecurity, or understanding of what they're saying? Do you do what many people do, which is screenshot it and stick it in a PowerPoint slide? But when you show that PowerPoint deck to your leadership team or to your operational team, they could have questions. They're going to say, “Well, why is this and why is that?” You can't drill down into that, or you can't do the opposite and step back and get that helicopter view. It's just really difficult to take that data to go down inside action, which is what we really want to do. You need much more than a spreadsheet; you need a proper tool.

Joe: Could not agree more. So, fortunately, there is some technology out there that we can use that works beautifully in the Salesforce ecosystem. It happens to be called Einstein Analytics. I know Mark is a big fan. He's anchored his business around it from a FinancialForce standpoint. Over the last three years, we've gone and replaced the vast majority of any analytics reporting we use both internally and part of the products that we offer out to customers like you. We've gone and we OEM the technology. I know Salesforce has spent billions of dollars on Einstein Analytics technology. Poor FinancialForce; we probably couldn’t spend quite that much on building the engine, but we’re able to take advantage of it. We’re pretty proud of the work that we’ve done, and we’re pretty happy with the platform we’ve got.

Mark, though, one of the common questions I hear from customers is why do I need this if I’ve already got dashboards I’m using out of traditional Salesforce?

Mark: Yeah, that’s a question that I get asked constantly. I know for my blogs, by far the most popular post - with, I think, about 10,000 views - is a blog post around this subject. Why do you need Einstein Analytics when you’ve already got reports and dashboards? I don’t want to spend too long on this, but if, for example, you need to access external data. So, you have data that’s not in Salesforce that needs to be incorporated into those reports. Einstein Analytics is set up for that. We have all kinds of native connectors, whether you want to connect to your ERP, to your data warehouse, AWSS 3, marketing cloud, whatever the case may be, you can bring that data into Einstein without having to clutter up your FinancialForce environment.

If you want to be able to, from the dashboard, take action back in FinancialForce without having to switch platforms, without having to jump from Excel to FinancialForce and then search for the record - or whatever the case may be, or even take a thousand records and action them in bulk with one-two clicks - you can do that with Einstein. If you want to embed those analytics on a record page where you’ve got a record, for example, in FinancialForce around an account, but you want to show data around maybe cases or projects or payments or invoices or other objects in Salesforce, bring that all into one embedded dashboard. It’s very, very powerful. You need the customizability of Salesforce reports and dashboards in FinancialForce. They’re very powerful, very flexible, but if you need that extra level of customizability it’s there in Einstein.

You know, you’ve got the amazing Einstein Analytics mobile app for tablets and phones, you’ve got predicted insights powered by the intelligence of Einstein AI. If you want to have a dashboard setup with multiple pages and views, very intuitive and simple to use. You want those powerful trending and waterfall charts, other recipes to combine your data in a very intuitive, visual fashion? Then, one of the main reasons people go to Einstein is the ability to combine data in the data flow editor from multiple forces within the platform. Then, you’ve got superior performance up to hundreds of millions of rows of data.

Joe: Yup. We would agree, at FinancialForce. We take a slightly different take on it that marked us as a systems integrator and implementer of core Einstein Analytics. Mark is able to do a lot with external data.

At FinancialForce, we take on less because we sit on-platform. So, our ERP, our PSA, those products are all built, not integrated to Salesforce, but actually native. We have Salesforce as, actually, our foundation or underpinning. SO, our data isn’t external. We OEM the Einstein technology and are able to leverage its powerful on-platform capabilities.

We like it for three basic reasons. We think it’s complete. It allows us to give a complete view of the front and back-office data, and complete in terms of being able to deliver - as Mark mentioned - embedded pages to someone that’s living in the transaction system, executive-level dashboards, mobile. We don’t have to do any of that.

Mark was kind when he talked about Salesforce reporting limitations. I can tell you, at FinancialForce, we ran into them fairly quickly. The three object limit is one. Just the 2,000-row limit being another. When you’re doing, you know, financial data, you hit some of those limitations a little quicker than you would with CRM, and Einstein was very much the answer for us. The ability to hit millions of rows in milliseconds - super important for us when we’re doing things like multi-company analysis.

Again, from a platform standpoint, you’re not moving any data off-platform. It’s all sitting there. You’re leveraging your Salesforce security. Really, we can deliver enterprise-scale analytics at an SMB pricing point.

From our standpoint, we see it as the fastest time for people to get value of the data living inside FinancialForce and Salesforce. We’ve done the hard work on the backend, building out - as Mark Mentioned - the lenses and that datasets. We have data flows that hit 30-40 different objects. We’ve done that hard work, and then are able to leverage the power of Einstein. To be able to access that data, refresh it up to 60 times a day. Though, I don’t know. I’ll ask you, Mark. At FinancialForce, we update once an hour. What do you see most of your customers doing, from an update standpoint?

Mark: Yeah, that would be very common. People talk about real-time analytics. In very few cases have we seen an application for that, and there are ways to produce that using Einstein, that we recently implemented for one client who needed that. But, generally, for many of our clients, once a day is enough, but certainly once an hour.

Joe: Yeah. I ran into one customer who said they wanted real-time. I said, “When do you update your timecards and your milestones?”

“Well, people do that every Friday.”

So, okay. So, great. You can keep seeing the same data all day Monday, Tuesday, yeah. They looked at me and all of a sudden, I think a light went off in their head. But, I digress.

So, what have we done? We’ve done a bunch of things. We’re all-in on Einstein. From here, you’re getting an example of some of the financial analytics we’ve built. The dashboards are the easiest parts, right? We’ve done the hard work on the back end. We’re able to take advantage of the functionality of the Einstein platform to set up alerts and subscriptions, annotations, things that are rarely hard to do in a spreadsheet. We can give people self-service reports and give them the capability to slice and dice, without having to go to your Salesforce admin or into IT.

We’ve gone and also done this for financial statements. You know, your balance sheets, your income statements, and I think, what we see our customers tell us they’re excited for probably the first time ever in most people’s careers, their financial reporting, and their financial analytics are always in sync. 99% of the time, those are two separate products or two separate spreadsheets, and they’re never in sync. From our standpoint, your income statement, and you’re looking at revenue or your balance sheet, and you're looking at billings, they're always going to be in sync because they're coming from the exact same data set. They're coming from the exact same data flow.

One of the things we're most proud of was something that our customers were asking us for: its cash flow analytics. At this time, I can tell you, at FinancialForce, we used to look at our cash flow weekly. We are now looking at cash flow sub daily. So, multiple times a day. Our customers tell us that those that were we're looking at casual on a monthly or quarterly basis, those days are gone. You know, everyone's trying to look at cash flow as tight as possible to the actual bookings and payments and those sorts of pieces.

So this was a product that we thought we were gonna bring out late this calendar year. Our customers begged us to release it. We had been using it internally for a couple of months. We thought we were good. We had a good group of beta customers, and we are very proud to say we released this. General availability for this will have happened by the time you’re watching this webcast. It was July 8th, and I’ll demo this for you.

So, let’s get to my demo.

I’ll start with the generic CFO dashboard. Here is financial analytics in a nutshell. I'm looking at things like revenue and profit. I'm able to drill the detail. If I look here, I can be able to look at it. I could be looking at all of the pieces, Dimension One for me in this case is cities, but I don’t like donut charts when they show too much, so I’ll just go to Top 5. This is just one example of a dashboard. This dashboard represents hundreds of reports because I’ve got this just here. I’m looking at Dimension One, but I could be looking at it by country and see what I’m doing. You see the sort of faceting that’s happening. I could even be looking at this if I happened to be using both FinancialForce ERP and FinancialForce PSA. We could be looking at this from a project standpoint. So what I showed you right there was probably a minimum of three, probably a dozen reports that I'm just doing with clicks. We, now, as part of our most recent releases can support multi-company. So, that could be even their eliminations company, or I could have my US version, my Spanish version, those sorts of pieces to be able to bring those pieces in. I can subscribe to these pieces, but I don’t have time to demo that for you. I certainly can steer you to many different videos that we’ve got that show that.

But I did want to talk about and show, specifically, cash flow analytics. You see here that I can support multiple currencies. So, here I’ve got this in Australian dollars. I’m showing my different companies and what I’m seeing. What’s my cash flow? In this case, I’m looking at it as 2019 in November, and I can see where my numbers were in terms of where I was versus year-to-year. I can kind of see that trend, and that’s probably what’s making me a little nervous. I can see it from a collections and payment standpoint.

Marked talked about it: that ability to drill to detail. So, you see here where I’ve got my various pieces, I can take this down all the way to an individual transaction level. I can sit there, and this is where I’m leveraging that power of both Salesforce and FinancialForce, to look at data on-platform and really take advantage of the Salesforce ecosystem.

We’re pretty proud of this. I can even tie this all the way back to individual payments, so I can see how I am collecting. What we’re seeing now with people, that’s really the key to what’s happening with cash flow. Right? So, it’s not so much the bookings; it’s the collection piece of it.

Then, I’m going to take us back to the deck.

Mark, I know you’ve done with our PSA Analytics. Do you want to talk a little about that?

Mark: Yeah, just quickly, Joe. Thanks for the demo. Looking forward to seeing that come out in GA.

So, one challenge that we have as a professional services business is being able to quickly recognize the risks and issues with various projects, and be able to action those quickly and easily. In talking to other people in the professional services industry, it's a very common struggle that people have. Now, of course, the advantage that you have with FinancialForce is that your professional services automation is used on-platform and all that data is there to access. What you're seeing here is the home page of the risks and issues dashboard that we’ve built on top of the FinancialForce data, and what we were going to do here… If we can go to the next slide, Joe. If I want to look at my risks and identify those risks that have a high impact if they do occur and are likely to occur - so, high impact, the high likelihood - all I have to do is that top left risk. I'm sorry. Impact and Likelihood matrix. I would just select the bottom right squares on that matrix; it filters all of my data, takes me down to a record level where I can look at the actual risks, the projects they relate to, the clients they relate to, open those records in FinancialForce or from the dashboard create a task, or a case for follow-up - whatever the case may be. Really quickly and easily be able to action that data.

Joe: Great. So, this is a case where you took your Einstein expertise and extended RPS analytics to bring in… This is not an out-of-the-box dashboard, right? This is something you built yourself.

Mark: That is correct.

Joe: Yup. Great. We love that. I mean, this is the beauty of engaging within the Salesforce ecosystem, where people are able to bring their core Einstein expertise and be able to leverage that with what we’re doing. I've got another example of that at the very end of our presentation.

So we talked a little about mobile. Here's just an example of out-of-the-box. PSA Analytics. You see, it looks likely different than what Mark has done, but the dashboards, I think, are the easy part. The magic is really on that back end. From this standpoint, we love the fact that we don't have to rebuild anything, that all of the stuff that we build in Einstein is automatically mobile read.

Mark, I know you’ve got a customer that is pretty excited about mobile.

Mark: Yeah. So, one of our clients, we’ve just built a suite of dashboards and analytics, and they were particularly excited about the executive dashboard that gives them that helicopter view of the whole organization. The CEO, however, is an extremely busy individual. I think he's on several boards, very time-poor. So, what we're doing for him is we're designing an extremely simple analytics dashboard for the mobile app for his phone. So if, for example, he's at the airport post-COVID, and he's flying somewhere, and he just has two or three minutes to check up on the health of the organization, He's gonna have two or three key metrics, one or two charts, very similar to what you see here on that screen. In a minute or 30 seconds, he's able to get a quick snapshot of where things are at. If need be, he can make a note, or even from the dashboard you can follow up and take action as required. They are extremely excited about that.

Joe: Yup. I’ve seen the data from analysts that think 50% of all data is going to be consumed on mobile. I can tell you, my eyes are getting old. I don’t know if the phone is the way, but I love looking at analytics on a tablet. I think there’s just something different - the tactile experience of drilling. I keep trying on my laptop to keep poking at this, and it just doesn’t have the same feel. There’s just that tactical experience.

Mark: We have another client that we built a dashboard and marketing, and the executive in charge of marketing wasn’t terribly comfortable with the desktop experience. So, I just slightly modified the dashboard, built it out. There's an iPad layout, and he loves it. Just the ability to just click, go through that way. That's the ability and advantage of a versatile platform. It depends on the use case, the user, the persona, and it’s very adaptable.

Joe: Yeah, so one of the other pieces that came out with our summer... I keep saying Summer, it's not summer in Australia, I know. It’s North American summer. So, July 8th. Capacity and demand planning. Because again, this is where people are making the transition to delivering everything remotely. “Hey, can I do it? Do I have the capacity? Where's my demand? What skills do I need? Do I need to bring in different people?” We're targeting the resource managers within the services organization, and it gives you that view of both your demand in your pipeline, what you have in your soft bookings, the unheld resource requests you still have, being able to look at this at the region, practice, and group, and understand where your bench time’s too high. Right? Where your bench time’s too high, but also where you’re overstretched.

One of the big things we see about attrition: where do you tend to lose your best people? You lose your best people when you overwork them or underwork them. This definitely came to us from customer requests.

Another one of those pieces that we thought we would release in our fall release - I used to say our sort of “dream force” release, but we’ll see when that happens. Late this calendar year, we thought this was coming, and our customers begged us to bring this out early. So, we did.

Let me show you a quick demo of that.

So, here I have the demand planning screen up, and you kind of see where I'm just looking. I'm getting my big picture at a month, and this would be my total business. Right? It just gives me a sense of where I am. Actually, other than Week 7 there, I'm looking pretty good. Right? I’m at a good sort of peace, but that’s at the 50,000-foot level.

If I want to drill into detail and understand exactly where in those weeks I am, and what roles I have there, I can see where my hot boxes are. Right? Where am I actually over-extending? Actually, those three weeks right there, my week here. What sort of people? Who is it? This is the dataset you’ll see that we’ve got some pretty powerful people in our services organization. I’m a big fan of having Bruce Banner and Tony Stark on my projects. They’re pretty good guys, pretty smart. Though, you know, don’t sleep on getting Carol Danvers in there. She’s probably one of the most powerful consultants we have.

But being able to sit there and look at this at an individual level, they will understand where I still have excess capacity. A huge request that people had for us, hard to do in standard Salesforce reporting because there you are always sort of looking at a moment in time. This is live. This is able to show me as I'm making changes - as I'm changing opportunities, as I'm adding new business - where am I In those sorts of periods?

The other piece: I'm always gonna be able to filter here, and I'll show you that maybe it is a little better level here within my PSA overview. Being able to bring sort of these pieces on. I talked about things like annotation, certainly subscribe. I can set this up to get this kind of report at 7 a.m. I can always explore or share. I can annotate where I can tell my CFO. Here’s Charles. “Bill rate looks good,” and attach a screenshot to that to be able to share that with him.

But then the last piece, I'll show you hear from PSA, this is where we're taking advantage of that predictive capability. This is the kind of thing Mark talked about: embedded. I could either have this as a dashboard, or I could embed this right into a project page where I might sit there and make a prediction and try to predict not right at the end of the project. Where am I going to actually run out of runway? Where are we going to sit here, either from a billing side and here we think that will get through the dollars from a November timeframe. But I can also look at this if it's fixed-price or fixed bid, or I can do it from an hourly standpoint. I’m actually in better shape from an hourly rate than I am from a billings rate. Being able to open that project and be able to actually enter a change request.

When Mark talked about actionable, I think this is your example right here. You would never be able to do this from a spreadsheet: being able to bring in those various pieces and see. Here, we’re leveraging the predictive capabilities of Einstein. I can even take it at a 95% confidence rate and see the sort of range of those pieces.

But, Mark, we’ve shown some stuff. We’ve talked about some stuff. Let’s talk about some more customers because I know you’ve got a bunch. So do we. You have the right accent and you’ve got some great customers right there in the local region. Why don’t you tell us about some of them?

Mark: Thank you, Joe. So, one of our favorite customers is an amazing organization in Australia, called Redkite. Redkite is a not-for-profit group that works with families whose children have cancer. They're on FinancialForce and Salesforce and store data in FinancialForce objects, Salesforce objects, numerous custom objects, and they had what seemed to be a fairly simple requirement on the surface for their leadership team. That was to produce a quarterly report around service delivery. They needed to be able to show where services were being delivered by region, by demographic, by type of service. That doesn’t sound too hard, does it? However, in real life, these things can be very challenging.

In their case, they were measuring service delivery on five different objects in the platform. In order for them to be able to get all of that on one page, they were exporting about 20 to 25 Salesforce reports every quarter, bringing all those into Excel - along with record IDs for every individual record - and then a high-value resource, one of their data analysts, was spending three or four days in Excel v-lookups, combining the data. All, at the end of the day, to finally be able to produce a report that when it was delivered was static, fixed. You couldn’t drill down. You couldn’t dive in to find out why. You just had basically a screenshot, and it was already out of date by the time it was delivered to the leadership team.

Obviously, this was very frustrating, very time-wasting, and the end result was poor. So, they engaged us to produce a dashboard on Einstein Analytics. As you can tell from what Kailly Hill says in her quote, she said, “The finished product is fantastic. It looks great and does everything they promised, which we didn’t think was possible.”

Now, the reason she says that is that when we first engaged, although they didn’t tell us, really, they didn’t think this could be done in any system. They thought they would just have to continue to do it in Excel, but they were willing to take a chance and have a bit of an experiment with Einstein.

So, when we were able to take all of their complex requirements and data model, combine all of that data in the backend in Einstein - which, as Joe rightly said, is where the magic really happens - we were then able to build a very simple, easy to use delivery report that is now presented to the leadership team. Not in a PowerPoint slide, but live. They present their live dashboard to the team. They’ve got close to real-time data, and if someone in the team wants to drill into the data by region, by metro versus rural, by the type of delivery - whatever the case may be, the time period - it’s just a few clicks away. The Salesforce admin was so excited. He said, “Everyone at Redkite is really excited about the new dashboard and the capabilities of Einstein Analytics.” I love this next statement: “It’s taken a process that used to take days and reduced it to seconds.” That’s the power of the platform: it can take those really complex data - in some cases, millions of rows of data from 30-40-50 different objects, FinancialForce, Salesforce, custom build within the platform, whatever the case may be - bring it in one place, and give you that end result that does what you need it to do, so you can make smart decisions.

Joe: Mark, doing the impossible! That’s all we ask, right? I guess maybe I should put your name down there with the Marvel superheroes. But, in all seriousness, I mean, Redkite, they do noble work. Anything you can do to make them more efficient, anything you can do to get them to spend time on their core mission - which is helping people with cancer and families with people who have cancer. Instead of sitting there and spending time doing v-lookups, they can actually help people. So, that’s incredibly noble work.

Mark: You know, Kailly said to me. She said, “Instead of spending those three days preparing data, I can spend three days analyzing data, and there’s a huge difference.”

Joe: I know, again, you talked about UNICEF, too. Do you only work with the noblest of organizations, Mark? I’ve got to tip my hat to you.

Mark: Yeah, we have some amazing clients. We’re very privileged to work with them.

Joe: Great. Well, I can’t let you get all the kudos. I want to talk about one of our customers. Just three weeks ago, we did our FFX Summit, which was supposed to be our in-person event in Las Vegas, turned into a virtual summit. Was very pleased to have Eileen Genna, who is one of our customers at Pullman Insight. She presented in the Financial Reporting user group. She created this slide where she talked about the benefits she’s seen from her use of Einstein, what we’ve delivered to her for financial analytics. It’s a lot of things we’ve been talking about here before: the ability to give management the data they want, quickly. To be able to get answers to hard questions that they have never been able to answer.

One of those pieces - I know this is big for you too, Mark - they were able to discover data inconsistencies, and that’s something you’ll never do in a spreadsheet. In fact, you’ll use that spreadsheet to cover up or plaster over your data inconsistencies. Anything you want to say around that?

Mark: Yeah. We actually had one client that we implemented CRM for them, and they’re actually about to become a FinancialForce customer as well. As we were building out the CRM, we began to see some pretty serious inadequacies, deficiencies in the data, duplicates, fields that were really important to their data fields that were simply not filled out or inaccurate. So, we did something we’ve actually never done before: we created a data quality dashboard for that client on Einstein. What that did was it gave them a benchmark for where their data quality was at when the data remediation work began. It also guided them in their data remediation work, so they could focus their resources. At the end of the day, they were able to see how the team the improvement in their data s a result of that, and they’re still using the data quality dashboard to this day to make sure that they stay on top of that issue. Let’s face it, Joe. Every organization, every business, data quality is a constant struggle, and any tool that can help with that is welcomed.

Joe: Yup. It’s never going to be perfect, and analytics is the way for you to figure out where your challenges are. As you said, the fields that aren’t getting filled out, or, I can tell you with financial analytics, you find where that person hit a few too many zeroes really quickly. You see the outliers. If your standard ASP is 10,000 AU and you have a deal for 400 million, that stands out pretty quickly in analytics.

So, I want to finish up here quick so we’ve got some time for questions. I love the fact that you had gone out and built some very risk-specific things on top of our product. We have as well. So, we’ve gone and put into the Salesforce ecosystem is what we call the FinancialForce Risk Tracker. This is something we’ve built, not for generic project risk, but very specifically to deal with the COVID pandemic. IF you go to the well-named marketing website of www.financialforce.com/risktracker it will give you the links to our quick-start guide, and - more importantly - to the app exchange site where you can download the risk tracker. We’re putting it out there for free. It does require you to have at least an Einstein Growth Plus license or higher, or if you’re an existing FinancialForce Analytics customer, we can get you a waiver from Salesforce for you to be able to use it because this is looking at Salesforce data and FinancialForce data, which you can’t do with our traditional FinancialForce applications. You can with your Salesforce platform licenses. So, we’ll get you a waiver, or if you’re a FinancialForce customer, for this. But, ultimately, it’s tracking the data that your people are entering from across your organization. So, finance, your CSMs, your sales reps - to track the risk at both an opportunity and at an account level. We’re pretty proud of what we’ve done here, and it’s passed through Salesforce Security. It’s there on the app exchange, and it’s available for you to download for free. Again, it does require you to have either a FinancialForce Analytics license or a Salesforce Growth Analytics license or higher.

That’s all I’ve got. Mark, I know I’m very happy to have you on. I think you’ve rattled off things about four or five customers, so you were the star of the show here. Next steps, if someone wants more information from FinancialForce, we say talk to your sales rep or CSM for pricing on the starter packs. We OEM it; we’ve got a really good deal. You’ll be stunned at how cheap we can offer this to you. This is my email address - it’s there. I’ve got Mark’s there if you want a more unbiased view of what happens with Einstein.

Mark, I know you’re big on LinkedIn. I am as well. People can always track us on LinkedIn as well.

Any final words, Mark, before we go to questions?

Mark: Yeah, it's been great to co-facilitate with you, Joe, around a shared passion - around getting insight from data. I just hope this session was helpful to those of you who attend. Please, if you have any questions at all, reach out to us. We’d love to help you.

Joe: Great. With that, we’re going to throw it open to questions, and I will shift to the main screen here and get that slide up for you. I'm very pleased. We have special guests with us today: Matt Byrne. So, we’ve got the entire Einstein Analytics Dream Team working with us right now. Very pleased to have that. I threw Matt’s email address up there as well. But I was pleased that we had some good questions.

Matt, do you want to introduce yourself?

Matt Byrne: Sure, I’ll introduce myself. Matt Byrne from FinancialForce; been here 8.5 years now I'm the product manager for all of the reporting and analytics, including all the cool Einstein stuff across all the products of FinancialForce.

Joe: Great. I do want to thank Mark. It’s very early in the morning Australian time. It’s very late in the evening UK time. So, you’re getting all possible timezones covered here to answer your questions.

The first question I saw was about financial statements. Are you able to do financial statements with Einstein technology? I’ll throw that one to Matt.

Matt: Yup. We’ve started doing some statements with Einstein. We’ve got a trial balance sheet income statement. We’re also exploring some other technologies using Lightning Web components as well to make it much more flexible. The thing that works really well with the Einstein statements dashboards is that you can very easily add in your own filters. You can even add in some of your own charts in there as well, and customize the dashboards nice and easy because we do it with a single data set that you went over. It means everything’s going to interact automatically, which is pretty powerful.

Joe: Great. Then I saw another question. This is a particularly good one, I think. It was about doing some work with some custom objects for forecasting and such. Matt, do you want to grab that one as well?

Matt: Sure. So, typically, our licenses are focused upon the FinancialForce data. If you want to start building custom stuff that’s unrelated to FinancialForce data, then you might need some supplementary licenses from Salesforce, but it will involve building out things yourself. We tried to do a lot of the intelligence when we’re building out our data flows, how the data comes in and is transformed in different ways. In the PSA, we do the 12-level region practice, hierarchy group. You can do more simple stuff as well if you want to build your own stuff off of the data sets, which can feel as simple as building a Salesforce report type. I think that’s okay to say. Is that right, Mark? Would you agree with that? If you’re going to build a simple data set, it can be quite simple?

Mark: Yeah. For a fairly basic data set, it’s a simple process. It’s kind of watching through a wizard. There are pre-built templates for dashboards and data flows that can get you started as well.

Joe: But to be clear, we’re talking about two separate licenses, right? So, from a FinancialForce standpoint, we OEM the Einstein technology. We’re going to provide out-of-the-box data sets and data models oriented to the FinancialForce set of data. If I want to sit there and blend Salesforce data with FinancialForce, I can’t do that with the FinancialForce licenses. I’d have to get a platform license from Salesforce. Right, Mark?

Mark: Yeah, that is correct. That’s a discussion that you’d have to have with your FinancialForce account executive and your Salesforce account executive.

Joe: I think people are going to get mad. I don’t know if you can see the chat, if there are other questions in there?

Mark: You've put in the risk tracker, which is in there. There were some questions about backlog information. I would say a lot of the value of what we do is not just the dashboards; it’s also the data sets so that you can build your own reports yourself as well, without having to do any of the stuff that feels like you need a data scientist as well.

Matt: One use case we see with our clients is they’ll have a dashboard with the data sets behind it. It has come straight out of [inaudible] something that we have built, and then with just a little bit of training and coaching, they can take those data sets. They can create custom lenses with the filters, and the transformation, they can use compared tables to perform the period over period analysis or running totals - things of that nature. Joint data sets are now in the UI, you don’t need code for that. Then, they can build a simple dashboard all beginning with the data set that’s been provided, and they don’t have to dive into the more complex side of the platform and the back end and the data flow with it.

Joe: Yup. Hey, Matt. While I’ve got you on here, I’ve got a question for you. I’ve demoed Capacity Planner and Cashflow Analytics. So, people saw those. What are you most excited about other than those two pieces as part of our July 8th release?

Matt: I think that’s also the subscription bookings, but we’ve got some SAS KPIs, which I think is pretty exciting to go into that space a bit more. Things like tracking your renewal rate and having a look at your MRR and ARR over time. I think that’s pretty cool. The other thing is that a lot of these dashboards can be embedded within record views as well, taking those SAS KPIs and embedding them in account record, for example, and seeing the history of an account and their renewals and their upsales over time, I think, is pretty cool.

Mark: Hey, I was going to ask you, Matt. Have you given any thought to how FinancialForce could use the functionality now that we have a sense of analysis included in the Einstein Analytics?

Matt: Yup. So, I started playing around with that myself yesterday and today, because it was the Salesforce summer release over the weekend for me, anyway.

Mark: I’m quite excited about that inclusion in the analytics, myself.

Matt: Yeah. it’s part of the new data prep. It’s quite good. We’re going to start to explore it in the use of Chatter - the risk tracker we’re starting to use a bit. So, yeah. I think that’s probably the best place for it. At the moment, it does tell you whether based on the text that’s there, whether it’s a happy fit, positive, negative, or neutral. Yeah. There’s some experimenting to do there. It’s always fun to get a new toy, basically, isn’t it?

Mark: It’s a full-time job keeping up with the platform. Right?

Matt: Definitely.

Joe: As Matt knows, we’ve been using sentiment analysis internally at FinancialForce for, god, it’s almost two years now. So, it is an interesting technology.

Mark: Do you find it to be useful at a business level? I know it’s cool technology, but…

Matt: We find that anyone who [inaudible; crosstalk] is unhappy.

Mark: Is it useful? Is it providing value? Am I allowed to ask that?

Joe: Yeah. No. I mean, if it wasn’t adding value, we would have stopped using it. No, we find it very useful because… Just because someone is entering a case or hitting a bug, that actually can be a net positive. Right? It shows engagement. Looking at the language that they use around it, they’ll tell you. Is this something that’s mission-critical? Is this something that’s helpful to them? Is this something that they’re just trying to explore? So, some of it’s just looking at, “Oh, nine open cases. This customer must be unhappy.” In fact, it can be the exact opposite. Sentiment analysis definitely helps in that regard.

We’ve got to expect plenty of more announcements probably by some of the people on this webcast right now around our future use of those technologies.

Matt: I think the thing with sentiment stuff is that we have a very active community at FinancialForce to assist customers and so on. So, it will be quite interesting to see how sentiment analysis responds to all that’s happening in our community.

Joe: I’m going to take one more peek here at questions and see if we’ve gotten anything else. Because, otherwise, I think the three of us could talk about analytics all day, and it is awfully late for some of you, awfully early for the rest.

Mark: What time is it for Matt? Is it ten o’clock or something?

Matt: It’s getting close to eleven, and I think I emailed you today, actually, Mark, seeing if you wanted a meeting tomorrow morning. So, I’ll basically maybe go to sleep and wake up and have a meeting with you!

Joe: There we go. Great. Well, you can see.

Mark: Lucky you, lucky you.

Joe: You can see how excited this group is about analytics. That’s why we’ve got our emails up there for you to take a look at. If you’re as excited as we are, ping us and let us know what you’re interested in, how you see yourself using analytics. If you’re using Einstein today, we’d love to talk to you about what you’re doing.

With that, I think we’re going to wrap up. So, thanks, Mark. Thanks, Matt. Thanks for going very much on the outsides of your time zones here. I very much appreciate it.

Mark: Thanks, everyone, for joining us. Thanks, guys. Talk soon.

Matt: Thanks, Mark. Thanks, Joe.

Mark: Thank you, everyone.