Perform 2019 Wrap-Up: We Went Back to the 80s to See the Future of Finance

Finance can learn so much from the 80s. Tedious, manual report generation is totally bogus. The transformation of finance is tubular. And spreadsheets were, like rad, but are now, like, really, really old.

Also like the 80s, Perform 2019 is as over as acid washed jeans. And while the 1,500 or so finance professionals in attendance definitely rocked the casbah, we also learned a lot and met a lot of great people. Below are just a few highlights of Perform 2019.


Everyone likes a good song, especially when it connects rock and roll with finance. We came up with a catchy tune in this soon-to-be-everywhere genre. See if you can guess the song.

Doug and Seth and Dave’s Excellent Adventure

Every speaker we had was great. Full stop. But we were very lucky to have some of the leading voices on finance transformation present at Perform 2019.

Doug Henschen, (@DHenschen) principal analyst at Constellation Research, looked at how cloud-based planning is driving digital transformation and giving organizations newfound strategic capabilities. Of course, old-school spreadsheets are being bypassed as teams modernize so newer platforms are taking their place…and elevating finance to new strategic levels.

Seth Lippincott (@SethLippincott) of Nucleus Research dove into the ROI of EPM. He pulled back the covers on how his firm calculates ROI for enterprise software and gave examples from the hundreds of EPM customers he’s worked with.

Dave Kellogg (@Kellblog), our former CEO and noted blogger, consultant, and director, shared his lively perspective on how executives and board members view EPM. It was a great change of pace from the hands-on view we so typically hear, and it was illuminating to see how C-level executives are more and more looking to finance for strategic support.

Back to the Future of EPM

Our annual SkiDemo (combination of a skit and a demo) was playfully based on the film “Back to the Future II”. Marty, Jennifer, Doc and more made it to the stage for a fun “Planful to the Future”, looking at where EPM is today, where we’re taking it in 2021, and what it might look like by 2025. Right on the Tick!

Doc Hendley – Wine to Water

We had a fantastic presentation from Doc Hendley (@DocHendley), founder and president of Wine to Water. The organization is committed to support life and dignity for all through the power of clean water and his talk was both motivational and emotional.

AI Isn’t Going to Take Your Job (Not Yet, Anyway)

Our very own VP of Product Marketing, Bill Peterson (@thebillp), did an introductory session on artificial intelligence, dispelling some of the myths and looking at the realities and possibilities of AI for the EPM market. We caught it all on video, which you can now find on Twitter.

We Partied Like it Was 1999, Just Like We Did in the 80s

Prince released his 1999 album in 1982, and it’s still a party staple…at least for Gen Xers. We took Prince’s advice and partied like, well, you know the rest.

EPMies: And the Winners Are…

We held our annual customer and partner awards, the EPMies, at Perform 2019. We are so proud to highlight and celebrate the great work and results that our customers and partners have achieved using the Planful Platform. And the EPMy goes to:


Most Innovative & Creative Use of Cloud EPM –  Capitol Petroleum Group, LLC

Most Compelling Business Benefits & ROI – CBIZ, Inc.

Most Time Saved with Planful – National DPC, LLC

Best Cloud EPM Breakthrough Results – CC Industries, Inc.


Technology Partner of the Year – Workiva

RSI Partner of the Year – WG Consulting

GSI Partner of the Year – RSM

To the Future: Perform 2020

Just like Arnold in “The Terminator”, and the aforementioned acid washed jeans, we’ll be back. We’re already planning Perform 2020 in San Diego next spring and it will definitely not have an 80s theme. Expect more of the good stuff, however: leading voices on finance transformation, insightful content on EPM, and a rockin’ good time.

There’s no time to explain! Come with Tick and Tie! Hurry! The future of finance depends on it!

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