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Customer Insights: Paving a Path of Positivity

January 19, 2021
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Insights and Learnings from 2020: A Webinar Wrap-Up

We recently hosted a webinar for our customers where members of our leadership team - myself, Nate Burnes, vice president of Customer Success, and Adam Rice, vice president of product development - discussed insights and learnings from 2020 and our objectives and product plans for 2021. This 2020 wrap-up was very well attended and provided a great chance for us to connect with our customers.

Engaged and Optimistic Customers

We have the best customers. One of the really interesting parts of the webinar was how engaged the audience was with the polling questions that we posed during the discussion. Customers shared their insights and real-time feedback on their business outlook for 2021, and I would like to summarize some of their fantastic thoughts below.

Business Outlook for 2021

First, we asked, "What is your outlook for 2021?" An encouraging 67% of respondents indicated that they anticipate higher revenue in 2021, with only 19% expecting lower revenue. This optimism suggests that customers feel positive about the future and more confident when they have a clear view of potential outcomes. With a clearer forecast comes higher confidence.

Top Financial Priorities

We also asked attendees for their top three financial priorities for the coming year. Interestingly, we had a tie for the number one priority: participants reported that both new forecasting, reporting, and analytics processes, and improved cycle time and frequency of forecasting and reporting, were their top priorities for 2021. Following these were new technology and automation projects in Finance, and closer collaboration with business teams. Coming in last, with just 5%, was adding staff to the Finance team. Without adding staff, customers will need to seek automation and software to increase cycle time, launch new forecasting and reporting initiatives, and work closer with the business team. Fortunately, the technology available today is amazing and has evolved dramatically in the last couple of years.

Desired Services for Success

Lastly, we asked our customers what types of services they would be interested in to help them be more successful in the coming year. The number one service our customers would like to see is report creation services. This indicates that customers are seeking more assistance to augment their stretched and overworked teams. Customers also expressed interest in training and consulting assistance to support forecast workflows.

Valuable Insights

While we only asked three questions, the responses were very telling, giving us valuable insight into how our customers are under pressure to transform and support the business more broadly and frequently. These sentiments are shared in many Finance departments across the globe. Companies like Centage that provide both services and software appear to be best positioned to help customers in these challenging and resource-constrained times.

Equipping Finance Teams for Success

Here at Centage, we believe that CFOs, controllers, FP&A experts, and others are critical to the success of any business. That’s why we’ve created the leading cloud FP&A platform that equips finance teams with the tools they need to confidently provide strategic recommendations to the executive team, propose action plans backed up by solid data and insights, and accurately report on progress and results. We firmly believe that with Planning Maestro, our customers are equipped with the right solution to evolve their planning and forecasting processes. This enables them to tackle the challenges still to come, meet their priorities and goals, and make a measurable contribution to the success of their business as we close a very challenging year and look ahead to 2021.

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