Tesla, OneStream, and Modern Finance
This article is part of a multi-part series on Modern Finance by Spaulding Ridge. Spaulding Ridge helps organizations adopt best practices of Modern Finance in part by replacing disconnected spreadsheets with integrated systems that automate business processes such as financial close & consolidation, account reconciliation, budgeting & forecasting, and financial/operational reporting. Modern Finance techniques enable corporate leaders to turn financial data into a competitive advantage through improved analytics, accuracy, and visibility.
For decades, the auto industry followed a very consistent paradigm of product development. New car models were developed with the latest technology, designs were tested and finalized, and new cars sold to the public. Once a car was delivered to the customer, the expectation was that the vehicle would operate for the rest of its service life without any major changes in features or functionality.
Then came Tesla. One of the many disruptions that Tesla brought about in the auto industry was that their cars would continue to add functionality even after the customer had taken delivery of the vehicle. Using over-the-air (OTA) updates, Tesla owners have come to enjoy new features months and even years after their original purchase. Instead of being a static appliance, Tesla vehicles continue to improve and add value to their owners over time. Tesla leveraged existing technology to improve the customer experience and disrupt the auto industry.
The enterprise software world shares a similar heritage. For years, software companies sold perpetual licenses to companies who deployed these products to run their businesses, large and small. Often, legacy software vendors would charge customers a ‘maintenance fee’ which would ostensibly pay for technical support and a few perfunctory updates. Minor updates notwithstanding, if a customer wanted a major new piece of functionality, they always had to purchase new products and repeat the cycle all over again. The advent of Cloud software vendors did little to change this paradigm. Perpetual licenses became subscriptions, yet new functionality was always dependent on a new purchase.
One exception to this model can be found in OneStream Software, a leading provider of modern Corporate Performance Management (CPM) solutions. Unlike other software vendors, OneStream has taken a ‘platform’ approach, selling its product as an all-inclusive solution. OneStream regularly adds new features and functionality to the platform, and its customers receive those benefits free of charge. This applies not just to upgrades and new versions, but to entirely new areas of functionality. That’s the difference, and that’s one of the reasons OneStream has become an industry disruptor.
Since its inception, OneStream has added hundreds of new features and dozens of unique functional solutions for finance and accounting. Like Tesla owners, OneStream customers have received these new features without having to make a new purchase. Not only has this allowed customers to ‘future-proof’ their CPM systems, they have also been able to consolidate redundant software products along the way. For example, customers who originally implemented OneStream for Consolidations now have the option of using OneStream’s Account Reconciliation app, which might enable them to retire their legacy account reconciliation solution and thus reduce costs.
As organizations move to adopt best practices of modern finance, they would be well-advised to consider the OneStream/Tesla model. Customers should look for software industry innovators who offer new features and functionality after the sale and avoid legacy vendors who sell a static product. OneStream Software offers an extensible CPM platform that enables companies to modernize Financial Close & Consolidation, simplify Planning, Budgeting, & Forecasting, and extend the platform to other finance and accounting functions. No word yet on when OneStream will offer a fully self-driving car… stay tuned!
Emil Fernandez is a Partner and OneStream Practice Leader at Spaulding Ridge, a modern systems integrator and advisory firm offering practical advice and Best-in-Cloud solutions for the office of the CFO. Mr. Fernandez works with clients adopt modern CPM platforms, such as OneStream. OneStream Software provides a modern Corporate Performance Management solution that unifies and simplifies financial consolidation, planning, reporting, analytics and financial data quality for sophisticated organizations. For more information, visit www.spauldingridge.com or contact Mr. Fernandez at firstname.lastname@example.org.