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  • 1.  How far have you gone with Vena? (FP&A Manager looking for peer stories)

    Posted 05-15-2023 16:18

    Hi everyone,

    One year into Vena, we now focus on efficiency and would value tremendously the community's feedback. Would you be able to share about your story and your tips to make the best use of the platform? I will go ahead and share first in the next post.

    • How do you leverage Vena?
      • Size of your organization / Industry / Number of users / Number of currencies
      • How many budgeting scenarios or planning cycles do you manage at once?
      • What has drastically improved after adopting Vena? And what are unexpected challenges you faced?

     

    • How is your team structured around Vena?
      • How many persons are dedicated to managing Vena internally? Does Vena account more than 50% of their time?
      • Who manages for you: 1) ERP connection to Vena; 2) Data transformations using Scripts and ETL; 3) New Data Model creation and management?
      • Have you leveraged any consulting services post-implementation? If so, for which purposes?

     

    • How is your platform structured?
      • How many external systems have you connected to Vena?
      • Have you implemented advanced scripts and ETL, besides the Foundation package? Were they developed internally or with external support?
      • How many data models? How many dimensions in your main finance data model?



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    Jaoven Tournier
    Grupo Biotoscana Senior Financial Analyst
    Knight Therapeutics Inc.
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  • 2.  RE: How far have you gone with Vena? (FP&A Manager looking for peer stories)

    Posted 05-15-2023 16:40
    • How do you leverage Vena?
      • Size of your organization / Industry / Number of users / Number of currencies >> Pharma / 10 country+, 500-1000 employees / 100+ users / 10 currencies
      • How many budgeting scenarios or planning cycles do you manage at once? >> Rolling forecasts 4 times a year, annual long term budget, Actual vs Budget analysis
      • What has drastically improved after adopting Vena? And what are unexpected challenges you faced? >> Consolidating forecasts from 10+ entities and got much faster and allowed easier access to data / Adoption by finance and non-finance users was a challenge due to learning curve
    • How is your team structured around Vena?
      • How many persons are dedicated to managing Vena internally? Does Vena account more than 50% of their time? >> Two person, one of which is fully dedicated
      • Who manages for you: 1) ERP connection to Vena; 2) Data transformations using Scripts and ETL; 3) New Data Model creation and management? >> 1) Vena dedicated persons, plus IT if connection breaks; 2) and 3) are managed by the Vena dedicated persons 
      • Have you leveraged any consulting services post-implementation? If so, for which purposes? >> Only once for an advanced dynamic model, including input templates, template scheduling and scripts

     

    • How is your platform structured?
      • How many external systems have you connected to Vena? >> Our ERP is "connected" via ETL load. A second data model is fed by manual loads of flat files
      • Have you implemented advanced scripts and ETL, besides the Foundation package? Were they developed internally or with external support?
        >> Developed one cost allocation script, one custom costing script and one additional FX conversion script internally. Only scripts developed by consultants were the ones in the above-mentioned project.
      • How many data models? How many dimensions in your main finance data model? >> Two data models (modules), and our finance module includes 15 dimensions (of which 5 are specific to Vena)


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    Jaoven Tournier
    Manager, FP&A
    Knight Therapeutics Inc.
    ------------------------------



  • 3.  RE: How far have you gone with Vena? (FP&A Manager looking for peer stories)

    Venanite
    Posted 05-16-2023 11:06
    • How do you leverage Vena?
      • Size of your organization / Industry / Number of users / Number of currencies
        700+ employees / fintech and professional services / approx 400 users (we use this for any variable pay statements) / three currencies
      • How many budgeting scenarios or planning cycles do you manage at once?
        Actual, Current Year Budget, Rolling forecast at standard Fx, Rolling forecast at actual Fx
      • What has drastically improved after adopting Vena? And what are unexpected challenges you faced?
        Getting the right data to the right people in a timely manner. Permissions and workflows have helped enormously with this. / Our unexpected challenge is managing expectations for what we can undertake and when. We've recently started using Vena for more operational activities rather than strictly financial and managing expectations has been very important. I think people can forget the time that goes into building a process and expect more of a plug and play

     

    • How is your team structured around Vena?
      • How many persons are dedicated to managing Vena internally? Does Vena account more than 50% of their time?
        We have one person fully dedicated to our solution and new project implementations would take up all of her time. We are on a crusade to get everything into Vena, have it as automated as possible, and migrate anything using SQL into VenaQL so there is no shortage of projects to undertake.
        For day-to-day maintenance, it's a pretty light touch. The key for us has been strong documentation and segregation of duties (for example, one person on the team is in charge of process variables, another keeps our data model up to date, etc)
      • Who manages for you: 1) ERP connection to Vena; 2) Data transformations using Scripts and ETL; 3) New Data Model creation and management?
        ERP - Financial Systems and Ops team (our Vena expert and solution architect)
        Data Transformations - Vena Superusers
        New Data Model Creation - Financial Systems and Ops team
      • Have you leveraged any consulting services post-implementation? If so, for which purposes?
        Occasionally we'll reach out for help with some of our data transformation if we're hitting a wall but the majority of the time we rely on the Knowledge Base and trial and error. We also like to keep up to date with the recent packages that were developed to see if there's anything we should incorporate into our current design. 

     

    • How is your platform structured?
      • How many external systems have you connected to Vena?
        Native integrations with Salesforce and Netsuite. ETL Load for Mavenlink and ADP
      • Have you implemented advanced scripts and ETL, besides the Foundation package? Were they developed internally or with external support?
        We might be a bad example but we have quite a few advanced scripts and ETLs. These are a combo of using expert services (if SQL access was required) or building them ourselves when using VenaQL or calcs. The ones we build ourselves were a combo of trial and error (always saving back to a testing scenario for safety!) and using the Knowledge base. VenaQL is probably my favourite to work with and would be very straightforward for anyone with a background in SQL (which I didn't have at the beginning so that was my largest learning curve)
      • How many data models? How many dimensions in your main finance data model?
        Again, we might be a bad example. We like to push the boundaries so have a lot of "test" data models. However, for live data models we have five: WFP, Finance, ARR, Commissions, and Professional Service bonuses. Our Finance data model has 8 dimensions, although we're currently talking about adding 2 more so we can slice our data differently.


    ------------------------------
    Olivia MacDonald
    Manager, Financial Systems and Operations
    PwC
    ------------------------------



  • 4.  RE: How far have you gone with Vena? (FP&A Manager looking for peer stories)

    Posted 10 days ago
    • How do you leverage Vena?
      • Size of your organization / Industry / Number of users / Number of currencies  30 multi site orthodontic practices, around 20 users, only USD
      • How many budgeting scenarios or planning cycles do you manage at once?  ideally rolling forecasts and annual budget, layering in long-range planning soon.  currently quarterly forecasts with annual plan
      • What has drastically improved after adopting Vena? And what are unexpected challenges you faced?  first time combining multiple sources of data to do analysis on kpis, financials, and headcount.  unexpected learning curve requiring highly technical state of mind

     

    • How is your team structured around Vena?
      • How many persons are dedicated to managing Vena internally? Does Vena account more than 50% of their time?  1, working up to 4!
      • Who manages for you: 1) ERP connection to Vena  out of the box NetSuite feed and manual ETL jobs made by consultant....moving away from this as no one else can troubleshoot them.  will be moving to data warehouse and sending via SQL.; 2) Data transformations using Scripts and ETL  removed scripts as consultant said these are very buggy and performance is questionable, we do a lot of manual ETL loads to have control and do the transformations in Excel so others can support; 3) New Data Model creation and management?  myself, looking to hire a shared Power BI/Vena data analyst to further support the model as the average finance person would have a difficult time understanding data models
      • Have you leveraged any consulting services post-implementation? we use an independent vena certified consultant that was assigned to us during implementation and we kept in contact with after If so, for which purposes? mainly complex ETL jobs, but we are moving away from this as there was a lack of overall support

     

    • How is your platform structured?
      • How many external systems have you connected to Vena?  we are moving away from this and bringing in data through data warehouse so that the skills are more transferable than relying on Vena transformations
      • Have you implemented advanced scripts and ETL, besides the Foundation package? yes, not ideal Were they developed internally or with external support? built externally very difficult to support internally
      • How many data models? How many dimensions in your main finance data model?  finance and workforce, we use account, entity, year, period, measure, scenario, and currency (not needed)


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    Jessica Parker
    FP&A
    Orthodontic Partners
    ------------------------------



  • 5.  RE: How far have you gone with Vena? (FP&A Manager looking for peer stories)

    Venanite
    Posted 8 days ago

    Thank you so much for sharing @Jessica Parker and @Olivia MacDonald . It's really cool seeing all the different ways we each use Vena!

    @Jaoven Tournier big props to you for starting this innovative thread!



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    Truman

    VP Community
    Vena
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