There are dozens of analysts, influencers, customer review websites, and reports offering research and recommendations for software solutions that integrate with your financial processes. But whose insights are best for your specific needs, industry, and goals? This guide explains how the various firms view these solutions.
A lot of industry research exists covering Planful and the broader market for financial performance management solutions. Sifting through these reviews, opinions, and reports can be a bit confusing. Analysts use different terms to describe the same solutions. Firms also tailor their reports to meet the needs of specific client audiences which may make some reports irrelevant for you. This guide walks you through each of the major analyst firms and customer review websites to help you determine which perspectives best match your needs.
Customer review platforms such as G2, Gartner Peer Insights, and TrustRadius have become increasingly popular as buyers look to the real world usage and feedback from their peers. These sites provide an unvarnished glimpse into what customers really think of different vendors, from the opinion of their users.
Each review platform operates a little differently and often serves different audiences, so make sure you choose which site and respective reviews best match what you are looking for in a solution.
Software buyers at small businesses
Reviews and scores similar to Yelp for software solutions
Capterra, founded in 1999, offers free resources to help small businesses make the right technology decisions. It connects software buyers with software vendors using customer reviews to help those buyers find and evaluate solutions. Capterra is part of Gartner Digital Markets, which is a business unit within Gartner, a major analyst firm. Gartner also runs the similar Gartner Peer Insights, detailed below.
Planful earns a 4.3 out of 5.0 among the 300+ vendors in the budgeting software category, which includes everything from Quickbooks and niche $9/month offerings to mammoth SAP and Oracle solutions.
Unfiltered reviews from real customers
Reviews and scores, similar to Yelp for software solutions
Corporate Performance Management, Financial Close, Budgeting and Forecasting, Marketing Resource Management
G2, the largest software marketplace and review platform, ranks software companies and products based on authentic, timely reviews from real users. Planful is currently sitting at #4 in the Corporate Performance Management category. In 2022, Planful earned G2 badges for High Performance Enterprise and for being a Leader, an Enterprise Leader, a Momentum Leader, and a Leader for Mid-Market Customers.
Planful recently acquired Plannuh, a leading marketing performance management cloud solution. Planful now provides marketers with deep financial intelligence on all marketing activities and the ability to better support Finance’s needs for accurate spend, accruals, and results data. Plannuh earned G2 badges for High Performer, Best Support, and Easiest To Do Business With.
Reviews from, and questions answered by, real customers
Reviews with a focus on the customer experience
Cloud Financial Planning and Analysis Solutions, Financial Planning Software, Cloud Financial Close Solutions
Gartner Peer Insights solicits ratings and reviews of enterprise technology solutions from end-user professionals. Planful customers have scored our solutions an average 4.5 out of 5.0.
Comprehensive reviews from vetted and named customers.
Use cases, feature scorecards, and return on investment.
Corporate Performance Management, Budgeting and Forecast Software, Financial Close Software
TrustRadius collects verified, peer-based guidance and research. Planful scores 8.7 out of 10 based on customer reviews, and was awarded the TrustRadius “Top Rated” badge in 2021 and 2022.
There are dozens of research and advisory firms covering the technology space, historically (in the old on-premise software days) focused on helping the major buyer of software: IT Teams. As we’ve evolved to mainly purchasing Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions, technology buyers have also changed. This trend started with front office solutions for Sales and Marketing teams, and has now matured to serve every departmental buyer.
There are a number of research firms that still exist today to serve the IT buyer, but most are focused on bringing research directly to the departmental buyer. Below you will find a list of firms, in alphabetical order, that research the Financial Performance Management space (often under different category names), and you can access their related market guides.
Global organizations seeking vendors with a global footprint
The BARC Score based on analyst expertise and customer feedback
Financial Performance Management, Integrated Planning and Analytics
European analyst firm BARC uses extensive research to help companies worldwide select the right software solutions that align with business goals. Its reports offer insights into market developments and share proven best-practice advice for businesses embarking on a software evaluation project. To be included in the firm’s research, vendors must meet a minimum license and maintenance revenue threshold (€20 million for Financial Performance management, undefined for Integrated Planning & Analytics). The vendor’s geographical distribution and reach is also taken into account.
In the 2022 report, BARC named Planful a “Challenger” in their reports for both Financial Performance Management and Integrated Planning & Analytics categories. Planful is a top-rated vendor on the Portfolio Capabilities axis based on broad and deep product capabilities. The reports also highlight Planful’s fully-integrated platform for planning and financial consolidation and close functionality for companies of all sizes, with strong workflow and collaboration functionality.
Vendor Landscape Matrix based on customer interviews
Performance Management Solutions
BPM Partners is focused exclusively on business performance management (BPM) solutions, which it defines as budgeting, consolidation, financial reporting, and more. BPM publishes a Vendor Landscape Matrix based on interviews with a vendor’s existing customers. The questions drill down on 15 key product attributes and the output of these interviews forms the basis of the Vendor Landscape Matrix. The matrix provides a vendor ranking to help companies choose the best solution for their needs.
In 2022, Planful achieved an “Outstanding” BPM Pulse Rating based on overall customer satisfaction. Planful also remains a BPM Core Vendor in 2022. Core Vendors are selected annually based on their depth and breadth of functionality along with demonstrated market and customer success.
Early adopters of technology
Constellation ShortList of six recommended technology vendors
Cloud-Based Planning Platforms
Constellation Research looks at technology solutions that help companies achieve their digital transformation goals. The prestigious Constellation ShortList for Cloud-Based Planning Platforms identifies the top vendors based on technology investment, use cases, strategic vision, customer value, executive leadership, and price. The firm talks to a vendor’s customers and partners all year long, and then develops its own research methodology to identify the six leading vendors. Constellation Research’s analysis is a helpful tool for early technology adopters.
Constellation Research puts vendors on its ShortList to support buyers and in 2023, Planful has been on the Constellation ShortList™ 11 consecutive times.
Those in need of BI and analytics tools
Wisdom of Crowds® report 100% based on customer feedback
Consolidations, Sales Performance Management, Workforce Planning
Dresner Advisory Services, which focuses on data, analytics, and performance management solutions, releases a flagship report, Wisdom of Crowds®, that is 100% based on customer input across 33 criteria. This year, Planful was named an Experience Leader in the Customer Experience Model for the 2022 Wisdom of Crowds® report. It’s the seventh consecutive year Planful has achieved that distinction.
Planful was also recognized in Dresner Advisory Services’ annual Industry Excellence Awards as an Experience Leader and a Trust Leader in Enterprise Performance Management. Those awards are based on vendor ratings from the Customer Experience and Vendor Credibility models in Dresner Advisory Services’ annual series of flagship Wisdom of Crowds Market Studies.
Large global enterprises
Magic Quadrant rankings based on analyst research, customer reviews and vendor questionnaires
Cloud Financial Planning and Analysis Solutions
Gartner provides many types of advice across a wide range of topics for “enterprise leaders” primarily at large, global enterprises—the firm’s client list includes 73% of the Global 500. It publishes hundreds of reports and guides each year, with Magic Quadrants as its flagship reports. Each Magic Quadrant evaluates vendors on many factors, but they all roll up to the intersection of Completeness of Vision and Ability to Execute. Magic Quadrants are now accompanied by another document outlining how each vendor compares on a set of pre-defined Critical Capabilities.
For 2022, Gartner updated the Magic Quadrant which was last published in 2020 by the Gartner for IT Leaders research team written primarily for Enterprise CIO’s. The Gartner IT Leaders team had originally retired the Magic Quadrant. However, due to the influx in inquiries during the pandemic from Enterprise CFOs looking for FP&A solutions, the Gartner for Finance Leaders decided to bring the Magic Quadrant back. In covering what it terms “FP&A transformation”, Gartner named Planful a “Visionary” in its 2022 Magic Quadrant. Our strengths in the report include:
Gartner also publishes its Critical Capabilities research to help buyers better understand vendor offerings and determine fit with common use cases. Planful is covered by the Critical Capabilities for Financial Planning Software, with the most recent report released in December, 2022. It calls out Planful’s native collaboration features and our Planful Predict suite of AI/ML capabilities. The report also deems as “excellent” our configurable models and our delivery of “improved operational visibility and management.”
IT professionals and investors
MarketScape market overview reports
Enterprise Planning, Budgeting, and Forecasting
IDC, founded in 1964, is one of the oldest analysts covering technology, having been launched in the days of RCA, Univac, and Xerox. Today, the firm offers expertise on technology and industry trends to help organizations and investors make fact-based technology decisions. It’s also known for its market-sizing analysis, particularly the IDC MarketScape models designed to provide an overview of the suppliers in a given market.
In Planful’s market, we’re positioned in the Major Players category in the IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Enterprise Planning, Budgeting, and Forecasting Applications 2022 Vendor Assessment.
The MarketScape lists Planful’s capabilities in financial planning, workforce planning, operational planning, close and consolidation, and marketing performance management. It also states Planful “has made a name for itself in workforce planning, which is used by over 80% of its current customers.”
For our recent acquisition of Plannuh, IDC points to this purpose-built marketing solution that can be deployed alongside our broader platform and connected to other data sources across the organization. And, IDC calls out our AI/ML capabilities for scenario analysis, anomaly detection, and predictive forecasting.
IDC connected with Planful customers, which highlighted our platform being completely financed-owned and requiring little, if any, IT resources. Customers also mentioned our “favorable cost and strong reporting capabilities” as areas of notable differentiation.
Financial justifications and return-on-investment (ROI) calculations
Value Matrix rankings based on customer feedback for usability and functionality
Corporate Performance Management Technology
Nucleus Research uncovers how technology drives ROI. Its Value Matrix specifically assesses software vendors using customer feedback to rate solutions on usability and functionality. The usability angle helps you understand how quickly solutions will be adopted by your teams and the ROI angle puts a heavy weighting on tangible benefits.
Planful has been ranked a “leader” on the Nucleus Value Matrix for nine consecutive years. Nucleus also released a “Hot Companies to Watch List,” which included Planful as one of just 11 leading companies expected to thrive in 2022.
Large enterprises seeking monolithic, single-vendor solutions
Value Index reports based on the firm’s evaluation of software vendors
For the Office of Finance, Ventana publishes benchmarks, market perspectives, insights, and its Value Index reports. Planful falls under its Business Planning category, which looks at “technology such as in-memory computing, advanced analytic technologies, and interactive planning,” and has a particular focus on budgeting. It’s a wide ranging market perspective that leans towards large, all-in-one enterprise platforms that combine ERP, CRM, HR, Sourcing, Supply Chain, and other comprehensive modules. SAP, IBM, Oracle, and other large, centralized, enterprise-focused vendors stand out in this report.
Ventana’s most recent coverage of Planful provided the firm’s perspective on our acquisition of Plannuh, now Planful Marketing Performance Management. This solution is designed to help marketing teams better define their business value, and the firm recognizes the benefit of that approach. Ventana says that “enabling the relatively easy fusion of marketing and financial data to manage marketing performance can be especially useful” and goes on to “recommend that midsize organizations that are thinking about adopting a planning platform consider Planful for that role, especially if they wish to make their marketing budgets more effective.”
For you, decide what matters most and drill down on research tailored to your needs, industry, size, and goals. Ultimately, these reports are the result of a highly valuable, continuous process between vendors, analysts, and customers. The combination of perspectives provides an incredibly insightful view into our market.
Our goal at Planful is to give you the agility to work faster, work better together, and work more efficiently to achieve your business objectives. We’re already helping tons of mid-market customers cut monthly close cycles by 80% and find millions of dollars in opportunities. Organizations just like yours, including Boston Red Sox, Bose, 23andMe, Zappos, and Five Guys and over 1,300 more. You can read their stories, watch their sessions from Planful Perform 2022, or head right to G2, Gartner Peer Insights, and TrustRadius to read their unfiltered insights.
Or, better yet, check out these other resources: