Host Analytics, which provides cloud-based enterprise performance management solutions, has debuted Project Orion, its first EPM offering designed from the ground up for business users as opposed to solely for financial professionals.

The goal is to ensure that business users are not locked out of the finance process by giving them access to data needed for creating budgets.

Users can access a single interface to collaborate on the planning, budgeting, and forecasting process. The platform has what Host Analytics calls a “task-oriented design” that guides business users through the most critical EPM tasks for their goals. Project Orion guides users through key tasks, identifies variances, and highlights the impact of modifications to plans and forecasts. Future versions of Project Orion are planned to further extend this capability, providing recommended choices to fix budget anomalies and assist with course correction.

Project Orion doesn’t exclude finance staff from its use — the program is designed to provide finance with the ability to customize the interface with business drivers and assumptions that govern the options presented to business users. For example, Project Orion can be set up to automatically include employer benefit expenses, employer taxes, and office expense allocations for new hires or terminated employees. Users build budgets and forecasts guided by central finance rules that finance staff can set up.

“For the past four decades, virtually all EPM systems have been built using a ‘by finance for finance’ approach,” said Dave Kellogg, CEO of Host Analytics, in a statement. “While this approach has resulted in great success for EPM within corporate finance departments, it has been a key limiting factor in EPM usage by business users. With Project Orion, we’ve addressed a huge problem that has been hiding in plain sight for decades simply by taking the Zen concept of shoshin (beginner’s mind) and applying it to EPM.”

Host Analytics CEO Dave Kellogg speaks at the company's annual user conference in Nashville.
Host Analytics CEO Dave Kellogg speaks at the company's annual user conference in Nashville.

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