SalesTechStar Interview with Tom Shea, CEO at OneStream Software

CPM software can allow corporations to track key performance indicators (KPIs) more effectively; Tom Shea, CEO at OneStream Software chats about it’s core benefits:


Welcome to this SalesTechStar chat Tom, tell us about yourself and your role at OneStream Software, how has the platform evolved over the years?

Thank you, Paroma. I appreciate you chatting with me. I’m one of the founders and CEO of OneStream Software which in a nutshell is an intelligent finance platform that reduces the complexity of financial operations. Many organizations such as Fruit of the Loom, Polaris Industries, and more see us as their “financial brain”, integrating data from multiple ERP and other systems, automating and streamlining critical corporate performance management (a.k.a. CPM) processes such as financial close, reporting, and planning and helping organizations turn that data into financially intelligent information that supports informed decision-making – across the enterprise.

The platform has evolved quite a bit over the past ten years. At the core it’s a high degree of built-in financial intelligence designed to meet the financial consolidation and planning requirements of the world’s largest global enterprises.

Then we layered in Extensible Dimensionality which allows the application to be extended to meet the more detailed reporting and planning needs of lines of business within an enterprise.

In 2019, we added what we call Analytic Blend, which enables customers to integrate large volumes of transactional data into the platform to support daily and weekly reporting, analytics of operational trends, and signals that support more agile decision-making.

More recently, we added Auto AI Services and released our Sensible ML solution, which enables our customers to perform intelligent demand planning across hundreds to thousands of products, customers, channels, and locations.

So as you can see, we’ve evolved the platform way beyond traditional CPM to support more agile and informed financial and operational decision-making across the enterprise.

How are corporate performance management (CPM) systems becoming integral to tech stacks today? Can you talk about the evolving adoption trends of this tech in today’s market?

CPM platforms play an important role in bringing information together from multiple ERPs and other systems to provide a single source of the truth for corporate as well as line of business decision-making.

More recently we’re seeing stronger demand in the market for CPM solutions that are embedded with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) capabilities to help speed planning, forecasting and analysis. By integrating ML forecasts into CPM systems and processes, organizations can accelerate time to value and improve the accuracy of forecasting and planning. But the ML models creating these forecasts are living, breathing creatures and they need consistent updating and care.

Implementing AutoML solutions can help with this. When they are built directly into existing platforms, organizations can automatically create predictive solutions that scale to enterprise needs without the need for large teams of data scientists. In fact, AutoML can build and update thousands of ML models in parallel, which, in turn, results in significant time and cost savings.

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How can these kinds of tools help align decision makers across teams in a more precise manner?

Take the example of a restaurant environment. A CPM solution backed with AutoML can enable a restaurant chain with many menu items and locations to build thousands of ML models in tandem. These models can help restaurant managers factor in external data such as weather forecasts, and their own business intuition such as local events, fluctuating consumer behavior, and more into their daily planning. This can ensure each location is prepared for situations like outdoor dining or an influx of customers, and can equip their staffing and inventory ordering accordingly, ultimately maximizing sales and optimizing expenses.

Can you talk about some of the ways in which leading brands use corporate performance management tools to drive internal processes?  

Absolutely! We have over 1100 customers globally, across all industries that are seeing the impacts of our unified CPM platform on their businesses every day.

Terex reduced their financial consolidation process from 20 hours to 30 minutes.

The Carlyle Group reduced consolidation time by 50% and revenue/expense plan updates from 1 week to 5 minutes. There was Curtis Instruments who reduced their monthly financial close process from 10 to 3 days.

BDO loads 10 million records of data per night and delivers daily operational insights on their clients and projects to 5000 managers across the organization. Ingram Micro reduced cost allocations from 8 hours to 10-20 minutes, which speeds the delivery of product and customer profitability information to their managers.

Those are just a few examples – there are many others…

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We’d love to hear some of your thoughts on the future of the B2B tech/SaaS market…

A major change we’ll see very soon, if not this year is that the fear of recession—or an actual recession—will prompt a mass adoption of enterprise AI solutions to automate processes and increase productivity and efficiency in the name of lower budgets and reduced hiring needs.

This will then catalyze a tipping point for AI. This technology offers enterprise leaders and organizations significantly better results than human baseline models and baseline statistical models with fewer staff and less budget while simultaneously freeing up time to allow teams to focus on more value-add activities.

Once competitors catch wind of their peers witnessing the value of enterprise AI, I predict a fear of missing out (FOMO) within industries. It’s only natural that once a couple of companies start realizing the value of it, competitors will also want to adopt similar technology. This will make enterprise AI become mainstream in 2023 and beyond.

OneStream Software provides a market-leading intelligent finance platform that reduces the complexity of financial operations.

Tom Shea is CEO at OneStream Software

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