It’s Like Deja Vu All Over Again
Posted by Alan on January 20, 2011
My last post was many months ago and for the most part it was due to the fact that I was lazy and was facing a creativity brain freeze and really couldn’t come up with any content that excited me enough to want to sit down and write about. However, I think all of that is about to change.
After Microsoft pulled the plug on PerformancePoint Planning TGO Consulting took a few months and researched our various options and ultimately we decided to partner with Clarity Systems and offer their CPM solution to our clients and prospects. We chose them for a few reasons. They had a good product and a good reputation, but what really sold us was the fact that they were local to us here in Toronto and we liked their corporate culture and the attitude displayed by the ownership and the team.
Fast forward about 18 months. At the end of October of 2010, Clarity Systems was acquired by IBM. This actually came as quite a surprise to us. Not that Clarity was purchased, but that it was Big Blue who did the buying. Afterall, Clarity’s solutions were heavily Microsoft based(e.g., Excel, IE, Word, Visual Studio) and the two databases they supported were SQL Server and Oracle. In addition, IBM already had the Cognos and TM1 products.
Well now that the dust has settled and the merger of the two it is getting closer to completion, we have more insights. For all intents and purposes it really looks like IBM purchased Clarity for their FSR product and Clarity CPM just came along for the ride. I guess it is like when you buy a new house and you get the washer and dryer thrown in as part of the deal. So when they bought FSR, IBM also bought a product that directly competes with their core CPM product. And in the words of Juan Sanchez Villa-Lobos Ramirez – in the end there can be only one. And how I think (personal guess only) this will all end up is with TM1 being Connon MacLeod and Clarity CPM being The Kurgen. If you have no idea what I am talking about, go find a copy of the 1986 classic movie Highlander and all will be clear.
Now what? As much as I love rebuilding a budgeting/forecasting/planning practice every 18 months, I am hesitant to do it again. The last two experiences have left me with enough grey hairs in my goatee and any more and I will have to think about using Grecian Formula — and that is just too damn metrosexual for me.
Therefore, in order to take charge of our destiny, TGO has decided to build our own planning solution. We thought long and hard about taking this next step and in the process consulted our existing client base, prospects and Microsoft. So far, everyone is in agreement that what we are planning is definitely “do-able” and makes a whole lot of sense. As a company, TGO has tons of experience dealing with CFOs, CEOs, financial executives and accountants; we have been heavily involved in the planning space and have worked heavily with Enterprise Reporting and Forecaster (Dynamics products), then with PerformancePoint and Clarity; and we also have a top-notch development team that is experienced in .NET development. It is a big leap, but ultimately we all belive it is the right thing for us as company.
So coming up you are going to see a huge number of posts detailing the development of our new solution. As a preview, I will let you know that the three main components we plan to utilize are Excel 2010, SharePoint 2010 and SQL 2008 R2. Wish us luck!