Published on the 04/08/2017 | Written by Oracle
‘Financial management cloud suites’ an evolving market; Gartner picks leaders, offers cautions…
Gartner’s new Magic Quadrant for Cloud Core Financial Management Suites for Midsize, Large and Global Enterprises research report places Oracle ERP Cloud front and centre of the $31b ERP market, best-in-show on both ‘Ability to Execute’ and ‘Completeness of Vision’ axes.
The report evaluated vendors on the capabilities of their core financial management apps, taking into account their ability to sell and support their products, and their ability to “provide a general set of access management functionalities across multiple use cases, geographies and industries” (by which, we assume, they mean measure whether the product is actually ‘cloud ERP’).
The cloud aspect is a new measure in Gartner’s stable, the reason being that this sub-segment of the ERP market is where the growth is, exceeding 25 percent per annum over the last five years, and now with three cloud-native providers among the top 10 in ERP market share.
“The market for core financial management suites has been static for many years,” said the report. “However, over the last 12 to 18 months, cloud core financial management suites have matured to such an extent that they have disrupted this static market.”
“By 2018, at least 25 percent of new core FMS deployments in large enterprises will be public cloud,” the report predicts. “By 2020, more than half of large enterprises with systems up for replacement will switch from traditional on-premises licenses to SaaS or subscription licenses.”
“This new Magic Quadrant represents the current market reality.”
Oracle ERP Cloud
Oracle ERP Cloud was positioned highest on both axes, ‘Completeness of Vision’ and ‘Ability to Execute’.
Figure 1. Magic Quadrant for Cloud Core Financial Management Suites for Midsize, Large and Global Enterprises
Source: Gartner (June 2017)
“Oracle is a Leader in this Magic Quadrant due to its broad and deep financial management capabilities, its international capabilities, and its strategic focus on selling and marketing the solution in all geographies”, said the report.
Oracle ERP Cloud “is receiving significant investment” said the report, commenting that customers scored Oracle ERP Cloud above average for functional capabilities and customer satisfaction. Survey respondents also scored the breadth and depth of functionality highly, and several cited its embedded reporting and analytics capabilities.
“Oracle has a strong vision for financial functionality, is well-known among financial professionals and has messaging for finance that does not get lost in a broader suite story. It is increasingly effective at leveraging its PaaS offering to extend the core capabilities of Oracle ERP Cloud.”
The report also complimented Oracle’s “strong partner ecosystem” and “relationships with service providers that are well-known to CFOs and provide finance transformation services linked to deploying Oracle ERP Cloud”.
The report added that Oracle is still in the process of transitioning from an on-premises vendor to a cloud service provider, with some survey respondents reporting “issues with performance and the complexity of support processes (such as upgrades)”.
“Some clients have told Gartner that involvement from Oracle’s R&D team was required at times to address support issues, so it can be important to have the right lines of communication with Oracle R&D in place.”
Perhaps a surprise inclusion for many in the list, let alone the top quadrant, is Workday.
The cloud-native HCM solution has enjoyed significant growth, and has only recently added a core financial module into the broader HR offering.
“Workday has a proven and robust cloud platform” said the report, making “innovative use of in-memory computing to combine core financial management applications with planning and performance management capabilities in real time.”
“Workday Financial Management scored above average for functional capabilities. Survey respondents praised the flexibility of the GL architecture — especially Worktags, which allow users to easily aggregate, report and analyze financial information. Several stated that the platform had been key in enabling the transformation of their finance function.”
The report cautioned however that some survey respondents reported challenges with partners and the availability of resources.
Intacct achieved leading ‘Visionary’ status in the report due to its “cloud commitment”, focus on functionality and “marketing initiatives for finance”.
The report complemented Intacct’s “scalable and functional core financial system with good flexibility and functionality in GL and analytics” but warned that some survey respondents felt that “Intacct’s fixed-asset functionality lagged the other capabilities in the suite”.
“Dynamics 365 for Operations Financials scored above average with Microsoft reference customers in overall functional capabilities, with flexible GL coding/analysis capabilities, good multicompany features and strong project accounting,” the report said.
Microsoft received below-average customer feedback however, with issues cited by survey respondents mainly related to being early adopters of a new cloud solution that is early in its life cycle.
“FinancialForce Financial Management has strong project accounting functionality” the report said, and commented that the product’s native Salesforce architecture makes it a good option for clients already using cloud services from Salesforce.
Customer satisfaction was however below average, with some survey respondents citing “difficulty obtaining skilled resources and some issues with support”.
The report raised Acumatica for its “wide range of APIs…coupled with the flexibility of the xRP platform and range of partner apps”. “Acumatica Financial Management Suite is well-aligned to Gartner’s vision of postmodern ERP”.
Some Acumatica customers however cited “issues with the quality of the partner supporting their implementation.”
Acuamatica is represented in this region by MYOB Advanced, a localised version licensed to MYOB and being rapidly picked up by the MYOB enterprise partner network.
Epicor and SAP being listed as niche players is a little baffling. Epicor has created a web accessible version of its core solution, but it has not been optimised for use across multiple devices.
The SAP listing on the other hand refers to the Business-by-Design solution, which, while a web native solution, is somewhat lost in the investment and partner focus behind its big brother SAP S/4HANA.
Gartner’s report complemented Epicor ERP for its good financial functionality for midsize organisations, including multi-company accounting, consolidation and allocations, as well as the flexibility of Epicor ERP, with customers citing “the ease with which the solution can be configured to meet their own workflow and process needs”, but criticised a client user experience “that lags the usability of some competitor solutions”.
The report congratulated SAP for Business ByDesign’s “wide range of financial functionality, good international capabilities and strength in professional services”. It also highlighted its suitability for deployment as a two-tier solution in large organisations that use SAP ERP on-premises.
“SAP Business ByDesign risks being overshadowed by SAP S/4HANA Cloud, to which SAP is devoting significant strategic effort and investment. The vendor will need to ensure that it maintains enough separation in go-to-market strategies to allow both products to grow.”
According to the report Ramco offers good functionality in all areas of financial management for midsize organisations. Reference survey respondents scored functionality above average in most areas, however there is limited awareness of the Ramco brand outside the Asia/Pacific region “and it will face strong competition from other vendors as it expands”.
The report cited Deltek Vision’s “strong core financials and project accounting functionality for midsize, project-centric organisations” but cautioned that the usability, reporting and analytics capabilities of the product received lower survey scores from reference customers than the rest of the functionality.
“NetSuite is a proven and established provider of cloud services,” said the report, “with a broad partner ecosystem. Reference customer survey respondents cited the maturity of the cloud platform and robustness of the NetSuite cloud service.”
The report mentioned that there is currently some confusion in the Oracle sales channel “especially in the U.S. Gartner is seeing NetSuite excluded from some financials-led deals by Oracle sales in cases where NetSuite may be a better fit than Oracle ERP Cloud”.
“Oracle is putting in place policies to address this challenge”.
NOTE: This report was produced by Gartner and is licensed for distribution complements of Oracle Corporation. Click here to download the full Magic Quadrant for Cloud Core Financial Management Suites for Midsize, Large and Global Enterprises