Archive for the ‘Varicent Software’ Category

New web forum for the EIM Community – Get your Answers Now!

July 24, 2008

Today I came across a web forum called “Ask Jon!” by OpenSymmetry. It’s a great knowledge exchange platform where anyone can submit questions and answers.

Most posts are currently related to Callidus TrueComp, but there are new categories to discuss solutions by many other SPM vendors such as nGenera, Oracle, Practique & Merced, Sungard, Varicent, Xactly, etc.
Such forums are only as good as the content being posted, so I encourage everyone to visit and contribute in making this forum a one-stop shop for Sales Performance related information.
Of course my blog is still THE number one source of SPM information, but I may not [always] be able to answer all your questions, about every product on the market.

Don’t wait, go have a look and sign-up.

SPM News – Big News for Callidus, Varicent and OpenSymmetry

June 26, 2008

Varicent Software Announces Strategic Partnership with OpenSymmetry
Varicent Software, an innovator and provider of the only comprehensive application for sales performance management (SPM), recently announced a strategic partnership with OpenSymmetry, a largest independent consultancy specializing in sales performance management.

Other partners of OpenSymmetry include Actuate, Callidus Software, nGenera, Oracle, Sungard, TerrAlign and Xactly.

Callidus Software Broadens Performance Management Capabilities with Introduction of TrueTarget
The new SaaS-based software module, TrueTarget™, combines SPM and Employee Performance Management (EPM) capabilities to deliver Pervasive Performance Management (PPM) across the entire enterprise. The concept of PPM offers a single, business-wide, pay-for-performance solution for companies.

Pervasive Performance Management goes beyond standard incentive compensation management and includes objectives alignment, goal management, bonus allocation and employee evaluation.

I could be wrong, but as far as I know the only other major vendor currently offering a similar end-to-end solution is SuccessFactors. [Disclaimer: I have not seen Callidus TrueTarget or any of SuccessFactors’ solutions yet]

Varicent SPM 5.0 – Interview with Varicent

May 6, 2008

I know I said I would only present industry news once a week, but I wanted to take a moment to discuss the availability of Varicent’s SPM solution – SPM 5.0. I want to talk about this because I’ve received a few questions about it, and especially because following a good conversation with Kelley Kassa, Director of Corporate Communications and Rod Radojevic, Vice President Product Marketing I can offer a bit more information.

Varicent SPM 5.0 is its flagship solution managing incentive compensation and sales performance. As with every other SPM solutions on the market, the value proposition is clear; Varicent SPM can predict costs associated with new plans, reduce errors, save time, reduce dispute resolution and administrative time of sales professionals, etc. More importantly, it can help out addressing the gaps existing between different business areas and departments.

I had never seen Varicent SPM solution before this overview. It seems like most of the changes were done with the business user in mind.

One of the major changes in release 5.0 was the complete redesign of the user interface. The interface is very clean and has a non-technical feel. As you can see in the screen capture below, the bar graph almost looks as if it was hand-drawn. The menu also consists of well designed 3D icons which are pretty self-explanatory. The visual appearance of the interface gives it a very pleasing and non-intimidating look-and-feel.

A new module called Composer was also introduced to this release. Rod pointed out that this module makes it easy for business users to set-up, manage and show rules and data flows. This workspace can give insight over calculations, territory assignments, credits, adjustments, overlays and exceptions. Rod added that the workflow appearance of this workspace makes it non-intimidating for anyone to jump-in and review the system.

Composer is not the only module using workflows; a new workflow module can be used to represent plans, reports, web forms, and document signoff and inquiries.


I asked Rod what makes Varicent SPM different from its competitors. We talked about its open architecture, its web analytics and reporting capabilities, its flexibility, scalability, and robustness. Rod also mentioned how Varicent was the first product to be a complete SPM solution, but I’ve seen this claim made by most other companies.

In my opinion, one of the features of Varicent which I have not seen elsewhere (and maybe it does exist and I’m just not aware of it), is Varicent’s mobility feature. Business users or comp professionals can access information such as the Payee Ledger and Inquiries via a mobile device such as a BlackBerry. This seems like something that could be useful for professionals and consultants who are frequently on-the-road, in meetings, or for those who must be available 24/7 to resolve issues. I can see a particular benefit for a feature like this, for companies choosing an on-premise solution (Varicent is available on-premise as well as on-demand). It seems like it’s the start of a new trend, just last Friday I read an article about how SAP and RIM teamed up to bring native CRM to the BlackBerry.

Overall, Varicent SPM 5.0 appeared to be very user-friendly and flexible, and seems to offer everything I would expect from an SPM solution.

If you have any other questions, please send them to me and I will gladly get an answer for them.

In the News this Week…

May 2, 2008

I’m trying out a new strategy; instead of cluttering this blog with industry news, I will try to post news, press releases, and upcoming events once a week. Let me know if I miss any important news, but please note that I’m intentionally excluding specific news about new clients, deployments and stock movements – there would just be too many to keep track!

In the News this Week:
Xactly Corporation Secures $30 Million to Cement Leadership Position in Sales Performance Management

Varicent Reduces Costs of Managing and Maintaining Sales Performance Management and Incentive Compensation Management With Latest Release of Varicent SPM

Upcoming Events:
Common Pitfalls in Sales Compensation Plan Design (by Makana Solutions)

It’s Varicent’s Turn to Report Record Revenues for 2007

February 13, 2008

After finding several articles on how hot the sales performance management industry was in 2007, along with several press releases about how well some of the major SPM vendors were doing, today it is now Varicent’s turn to report triple digit growth in 2007.

2007 has been a record year for Varicent; record-breaking revenues, record growth, record number of new clients…

At the risk of repeating what I said before, 2007 has been a very good year for sales performance management and 2008 looks very promising!

SAS70 Audit for On-Demand Sales Performance Applications

February 5, 2008

There are tons of resources about SAS70 and Sarbanes-Oxley on the web.

In a nutshell, SAS 70 is a Statement on Auditing Standards (SAS) for service organizations, developed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). It demonstrates that a firm has proper controls and processes to protect the data belonging to their customers (very important!). The SAS 70 report is issued by an independent auditing firm and includes the auditor’s opinion on the service organization’s controls. A SAS 70 report is particularly important since it is the preferred method of providing assurance for service organization clients subject to Sarbanes-Oxley Section 404.

These days, service organizations enjoy talking about their Type I and Type II SAS 70 reports when it comes to marketing their applications. A type I report includes the auditor’s opinion regarding to which extent the organization represents its controls, and their description. A type II report includes all the info in the type I report, plus the auditor’s opinion on how effective the controls are during a defined period.

This being said, according to the SAS 70 website and other online resources, “SAS 70 does not specify a pre-determined set of control objectives or control activities that service organizations must achieve”. This means that customers need to review the disclosed controls and ensure they are sufficient to meet their objectives and their own auditor’s requirements. It also means that a SAS 70 report does not guarantee data security.

More detailed information about SAS70 can be found on the SAS 70 website, on Wikipedia and from Deloitte.

How do Sales Performance Management Systems Stack Up?
As I mentioned above, since SAS 70 does not prescribe which controls should be used, it is not possible to compare SPM / EIM vendors. However I tried to find as much information as possible with respect to SAS 70 certification for every vendor.

Callidus

SAS 70 Type: “Meets SAS-70 compliance”
Controls: N/A
Sources: Link 1
Comments:

Centive

SAS 70 Type: Type II
Controls: N/A
Sources: Link 1
Comments: Completed January 2008

EIM Software

SAS 70 Type: “Guaranteed SAS-70 compliance”
Controls: N/A
Sources: Link 1
Comments:

SalesForce.com

SAS 70 Type: Type II
Controls: N/A
Sources: Link 1
Comments: The article dates from 2004

Synygy

SAS 70 Type: “Completed SAS Audit”
Controls: N/A
Sources: Link 1
Comments:

Varicent

SAS 70 Type: N/A
Controls: N/A
Sources: Link 1
Comments: SAS70 Type II data center

Xactly

SAS 70 Type: Type I
Controls: Full redundancy throughout the production infrastructure, regular security patch updates, on-going evaluation of potential security threats
Sources: Link 1 Link 2
Comments: SAS70 Type II data center

News: Mitel Calls on Varicent for Comprehensive Sales Performance Management

December 21, 2007

Mitel is one of the companies headquartered in Ottawa which we are proud of. We are also proud of Varicent’s success not far away, headquartered in Toronto. I might be able to work in my hometown some day…

Mitel examined its ICM procedures and processes and realized the company needed a better way to drive the behavior of, and communicate incentive compensation plans to its sales force. After a competitive evaluation consisting of product demonstrations and customized Proofs-of-Concept, Mitel selected Varicent SPM.

Read the original news release