Analyst Report

Nucleus Research CPM Technology Value Matrix 2018

In the past few years, cloud CPM solutions were seen as either replacements for Excel or for legacy on-premise products. But as the first generation of cloud products approaches its 20th birthday, customers are finding that the marketplace is more crowded, and the competitiveness of cloud vendors is greater as functionality expands to cover more diverse use cases.

Customers now have a range of planning and accounting processes spread through the enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, a modularized on-premise product, multiple cloud products, or, rarely, in a single diverse cloud application.

Many vendors have roots on one side of the finance department and build out greater functionality from there. But there is still confusion around how to build a best-of-breed stack. In speaking with customers, Nucleus found that there is little interaction during the buying process between accounting and financial planning, and that both teams usually evaluate products separately and do separate deployments.

Nucleus sees this gap as a challenge that vendors are tackling in recent innovations and roadmaps, and they expect that customer adoption will eventually increase once stronger business cases have been established in vendors’ customer bases.


Nucleus Research has evaluated vendors on key drivers of value such as:

  • Usability (analysis of end user ease of use – both for developers and casual users – and ease of deployment)

  • Functionality (Functionality spans a broad range of criteria from both the financial planning and analysis (FP&A) side and accounting side. We evaluated planning, budgeting, and forecasting (PBF); modeling and what-if scenario generation; reporting; financial close and consolidation (FCC); account reconciliation; risk and audit management; disclosure management; and data integration with ERP, HCM, or other systems.)


Based on these drivers, Nucleus placed vendors into four categories: Leaders, Experts, Facilitators, and Core Providers.  


Nucleus has broadened the range of criteria used to evaluate CPM vendors for this Value Matrix in accordance with what the most pressing customer use cases are and how customers are using their CPM products. In particular, the addition of accounting-focused functionality is a major trend based on the recent vendor innovations and roadmaps.


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