Centida Grows Revenue 80% & Adds Customer Value through Partnership for Power BI Write-back
Centida - Partner Profile
Centida, a business intelligence and analytics consultancy, provides services focused on planning, budgeting and reporting to improve operational efficiency in companies’ finance and controlling groups. Centida’s expertise with innovative tools also supports long-term sustainable changes across multiple industries, including IT and communications, manufacturing, transportation, logistics, food and beverage, pharma and professional services.
3 Main Value / Improvement Points:
- REVENUE GROWTH: 50 – 80% growth with Power ON
- SERVICES REVENUE: 50% increase in consulting/other partnership revenue
- ENHANCED VALUE: Customers capitalize on Power BI investment for planning
- Power BI has no out-of-the-box planning capability
- Spreadsheet planning is unwieldy, error-prone, time-consuming
- Increase revenue with existing & new customers
- Expand with additional solutions and services
After launching Centida in 2014, co-founders Christian Barte (CEO and Managing Director) and Ilya Fedorkov (CTO, BI and Data Analytics Expert) applied their deep financial and analytics expertise to reporting, budgeting and planning.
They had always relied on Power BI’s powerful business intelligence and data visualization to meet clients’ reporting and analytics needs. But when large clients also required large-scale planning capabilities, Power BI couldn’t meet those comprehensive requirements. Centida launched a search for a planning tool that could work within Power BI and function much like spreadsheets, the go-to tool for so many planning and analysis teams everywhere.
“You can’t use Power BI to plan and planning is a mess with spreadsheets,” says Christian. “FP&A teams are lost and looking for help 2 to 3 months into their planning cycles, because plans based on spreadsheets aren’t easy to manage.”
Centida knew that to help its customers and build consultancy, it needed a tool that would integrate and function within Power BI. Ideally, the new planning software would also look and feel like Power BI and the most commonly used spreadsheets because that familiarity tends to accelerate user acceptance and flatten the learning curve.
Centida knows FP&A teams plan in spreadsheets. But those spreadsheets weren’t designed for large-scale planning or to accommodate data files over 500 MB/1,000,000 rows. On top of that, spreadsheets typically lack critical collaboration and workflow features, version control, management and consolidation capabilities.
As a result, FP&A teams often devote up to 90% of their time to playing around with spreadsheets, managing version control or data collection. And when FP&A teams use spreadsheets to plan, they don’t have the time or information required to ask management insightful, fact-based questions about the business.
As the team at Centida looked for options, they briefly considered building their own solution, but quickly decided they’d focus on what they knew best – their niche as a professional services provider.
“We know what it takes to build a software app, and it requires significant resources,” says Christian.
Back in 2018, when Centida sourced Power ON, it was the only software built to provide write-back and operate within Power BI.
“Power ON was, and still is, a unique solution – there’s nothing quite like it in the marketplace,” says Christian. “Since 2018, we’ve worked with Power ON and Power BI to make the most of this partnership as we evolve and grow together.”
Solution: Power ON Partnership
With Power ON and Power BI, the team at Centida has an incredibly functional, user-friendly planning and write-back solution that makes sense to financial controllers and analysts.
“Power ON was revolutionary – it was the only option and we’d never seen anything like it, but at the same time, it was familiar because it was created and designed for Power BI and the Excel/Microsoft environment,” says Christian.
Because Power On feels so familiar, the FPA teams, from the planners to the analysts and senior executives, get comfortable with Power ON in a couple of hours. In conjunction with the functionality, that ease-of-use further boosts acceptance.
“Maybe it’s a bit harsh, but as we see it, it’s a few hours of training to figure out how Power ON works versus a lifetime with legacy, behemoth solutions like SAP, Oracle and IBM,” says Christian.
Power ON’s Visual Planner lets users write-back (add, change, delete) and plan in Power BI directly to a centralized database. Everyone has immediate, easy access to the current, accurate data they need to create reports and model and modify plans and forecasts. They can also add comments or justifications for values and run what-if scenarios.
In short, they have the data and tools they need to see the operational and business impact before making a final decision. Users also like the fact Power ON’s mathematical functions are identical to those embedded in the most widely used spreadsheets, such as Excel.
Users particularly appreciate the sleek dashboards which are easily reformatted and moved around. With just a few clicks, they can instantly see the impact specific actions will have on the organization by running simulations. The interfaces and screens reflect the Power BI and Excel environments unlike those associated with SAP, Oracle and IBM, which loyal Power BI users see as uncomfortably different.
Centida and Power ON share a results-driven, customer-focused approach to entrepreneurship. Power ON typically listens to its partners’ and customers’ needs and requests then responds with enhancements to Power ON. If the legacy and behemoth solution providers even respond to feedback from their partners and customers, delivery is typically years out.
“In our experience, Power ON will solve it and they’ll do it tomorrow,” says Christian.
The Centida team know Power ON intimately because of their extensive work with the Beta software. They appreciate that Power ON actions and partner recommendations for enhancing a capability or replacing an underperforming feature.
“Power ON is so much better today than it was 5 years ago because Power ON really listens and integrates feedback from partners and customers,” says Christian.
- Partner with Power ON
- 80% revenue increase with Power ON (2018 – 2020)
- 50% revenue increase with Power On (2020 – present)
- 50% increase in consulting/other partnership revenue (2020 – present)
- Power ON inspires new partnerships
Between 2018 and 2020, Centida grew its business 80% with Power ON and Power BI. More recently, Power ON has accounted for 50% of sales with consulting services and other partnerships comprising the remainder.
“Existing clients are doing even more with us based on the results they achieve with Centida, Power BI and Power ON, and some have outsourced their entire planning function to us,” says Christian.
When prospects see Centida’s use cases and client results, they’re open to what Power BI, Power ON and Centida can do for their organizations. For example, most customers can slash planning timelines by 50% or more. One of Centida’s biggest clients accelerated its planning and analysis cycles with Power BI and Power ON and empowered with advanced information, they negotiated with suppliers to significantly reduce material costs.
“Within 6 months, our customers experience the power that Power ON and Power BI have under the hood,” says Christian.
FP&A departments leverage Power ON and Power BI to transform their work and deliver additional value. With Power BI plus Power ON, they have the information, actionable insights and the time required to challenge management, and help senior leaders make the informed decisions that optimize profits.
“Power BI and Power ON’s accessible, relevant, accurate information delivered in easy-to-understand visualizations empower FP&A teams to do their jobs faster and better than ever before,” says Christian.
By adding Power ON to Power BI, users can simulate real-life scenarios to identify the best business decisions based on the outcomes. For example, when management asks FP&A how a 20% market share increase in one region and a 5% drop in another area will affect the bottom line, Power ON and Power BI have the answer – in seconds.
“With Power BI plus Power ON, we help them through the transformation from focusing on the processes to asking the tough questions that can guide their management teams/senior leaders,” says Christian.
As a technical expert, Centida is industry agnostic. However, as a financial consultant, Centida must demonstrate its understanding of clients’ industries and business realities.
“They know we need to understand the subtle differences in their respective business processes to build effective, cost, revenue and other models,” says Christian. “We need to have both the industry touch and financial expertise to gain their trust.” Power ON and Power BI have also inspired Centida’s new partnerships. Customers appreciate Power ON’s flexibility, but some wanted additional options. As a result, Centida has partnered with providers of off-the shelf, more standardized solutions such as deFacto.
“We’re discerning with new partnerships because Power ON showed us the benefits of a truly collaborative partnership that encourages interaction between the decision-makers as well as the developers and users,” says Christian.
If you are interested in harnessing the true planning potential of Power BI, click here to schedule a demo and see the power of Power ON for yourself.
Power ON was, and still is, a unique solution – there’s nothing quite like it in the marketplace. Since 2018, we’ve worked with Power ON and Power BI to make the most of this partnership as we evolve and grow together.