Vena Solutions Automating Mission-Critical Financial Processes without Ever Leaving Excel

CIO VendorDon Mal, CEO
Corporations worldwide produce huge chunks of performance data through multiple application channels, all of which is usually stored and manipulated in flexible, user-friendly Excel spreadsheets. Despite the robustness of the world’s most popular productivity tool, working exclusively within the Excel environment has its drawbacks. Spreadsheets are deeply inadequate when it comes to distributing and collecting data from multiple business units and consolidating that data for reporting in a disciplined and organized manner. However, removing Excel from a company’s existing processes is nearly impossible, due to its overwhelming popularity.

Vena Solutions, headquartered in Toronto, ON, allows organizations to leverage their existing Excel spreadsheets, models, and process methodologies while reaping the benefits of database-centric software. Vena, completely owned by the finance and accounting teams, requires virtually no user training, and has a very low implementation risk. Vena’s quick-to-deploy, high-value solution enables users to collaboratively distribute, collect, report on and analyze a range of corporate finance and accounting processes.

Spreadsheets are especially prevalent in the CPM space of financial budgeting, planning, forecasting, reporting and consolidations. In fact, 81 percent of organizations continue to use Excel even after they have invested in packaged corporate performance management applications. Vena has deployed its solution at Fortune 100 companies in these areas and other nontraditional CPM areas, including footnote data collection, demand planning, tax provisioning and sales order management.

“Spreadsheets have lot of risks. They become inefficient as they grow larger, but are used in critical ways for data collection and reporting. However, over time, we learned that in almost all cases, business users prefer to stay with their existing Excel spreadsheets due to their familiarity, flexibility and functionality,” explains Don Mal, CEO of Vena Solutions.

“The challenge for corporate performance management vendors is providing as much Excel-like functionality in their solution as
possible, but keeping users in controlled environment where they can track changes, experience tighter security, and manage projects through workflow,” he continues.

“What sets Vena apart from other competitors is that we preserve Excel’s features and functions – but store all the data in a very controlled environment. We serve Microsoft Excel over the web, which nobody else can do. Vena’s sophisticated workflow brings a nice process flow to the chaotic world of manual finance and accounting processes,” claims Mal.

We bring a nice process flow to the chaotic world of manual finance and accounting processes

With Vena’s business footprint expanding through South Africa, UK, Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong, the company has a reputation of signing industry-leading organizations, including BNP Paribas, Deloitte, Tupperware, AES and First Wind.

Canpar Couriers, one of Vena’s clients, used to grapple with a cumbersome annual budgeting process. Their process had grown complex over time and became susceptible to errors due to shortcomings in Excel, inefficient work methods and spreadsheet version control issues.

Vena automated Canpar’s process, making it more strategic, while leveraging their existing budgeting and reporting spreadsheets. “Vena certainly allowed for better review from all the participants, in particular, me. I end up being a reviewer more than a doer,” says Kent McDonald, VP Finance, Canpar Courier.

Going forward, Vena sees traction in the CPM market with more SaaS based applications coming to play. “Our goal is to always remain a step ahead in terms of innovation. Enabling high user adoption and the least amount of change management as possible is our basic strategy,” concludes Mal.

Vena Solutions

Toronto, ON

Don Mal, CEO

A flexible, web-based application that seamlessly transforms Excel into a full-scale corporate performance management solution by wrapping manual spreadsheet processes in a controlled, database-centric environment with workflow processes, audit trails, and business rules.