Fluence vs. Prophix: The Real Scoop

Published on
February 8, 2024
Twin Realms: Reflections of the Aurora

Fluence was recently featured in Prophix’s comparative blog series aimed at helping finance leaders determine the right financial performance management solution for their organizations. And while we’re flattered to have been included, the article isn’t exactly accurate. In this blog, we’ll walk through the misconceptions.

Fluence primarily offers Financial Consolidation and Financial Close Management solutions. The company lacks FP&A capabilities, for which it partners with Vena Solutions, Workday Adaptive Planning, and Pigment.

You’re right, we don’t do FP&A (or xP&A). But we partner with the best in the market and can integrate with any leading FP&A vendor – including Anaplan. We believe CFOs get more value from a modular approach to technology – and Gartner agrees.

It has a fragmented product portfolio, which was built by acquiring XLCubed (Excel-based reporting) in 2021 and Sturnis365 (Disclosure Management) in 2022.

Acquisitions – yes...fragmented product – no! Our strategic acquisitions of XLCubed and Sturnis365 delivered immediate value to existing customers and extended the Fluence reporting capabilities beyond any product in the market today – a seamless close-to-disclose platform.

Fluence primarily targets mid-market customers that require accounting and consolidation solutions.

While we love partnering with mid-market finance teams, enterprise companies like PPHE Hotel Group love our solution too. M&A activity, complex ownership structures, multiple currencies? We love complexity. The more complex, the better.

Fluence has a sales presence in the UK, Netherlands, Spain, Italy, and Belgium. The company has customers in the UK, France, Benelux, the DACH region, and Nordics and offices in the UK and France.

This is true. We do have an expert team across Europe – including France and Switzerland, but that’s just part of the picture. Our team extends from Canada, through the US, and into Latin America. We are proud to have expanded into the APAC region - including Australia and Japan.

Fluence is one of the newest vendors in the financial consolidation space that offers a user-friendly interface with strong workflow capabilities. However, this interface was built on the back of Excel templates and relies on an integration with Power BI for complex data visualizations.

Actually, we use FluenceXL to author reports that can be published as web-based reports for consumption online.  We DO NOT rely on PowerBI for data visualization.  FluenceXL is finance friendly - meaning you can author dashboards in Excel and easily publish them to the web. And of course, we also offer true out-of-the-box reports with our consolidation solution.

Fluence also depends heavily on other Excel-based solutions, such as Vena’s Complete Planning platform for FP&A and its own Fluence XL for reporting (based on its acquisition of XLCubed). Fluence leverages Datablend (a third-party data integration tool) to move customer data between Fluence and other FP&A vendors and for loading data from different ERPs.

We do not “depend” on any other solutions. The Fluence platform is a robust consolidation and reporting solution that integrates seamlessly with FP&A solutions and ERP/GL systems. While we love partnering with Datablend, that’s just one of our various integration options including, but not limited to Azure Data Factory and our own REST API.

This means that Fluence customers will have to sign three separate contracts with Fluence, the FP&A partner, and Datablend and undergo three separate implementations. Dealing with three different vendors could also lead to three times the commercial and technology risk for Fluence customers, as they are likely to have poor post-implementation support experience.

This is simply untrue. Our implementation process is a quarter of our competitors', and our customer survey responses are off the charts! We don’t bury our customers with paperwork and contracts and the implementation process is integrated and seamless.

As a result, Fluence is best suited for companies in the lower mid-market that already use Excel for FP&A and are only looking for financial consolidation and reporting solutions that easily integrate into that familiar Excel environment. These customers are also unlikely to require extensive post-implementation support due to low levels of data complexity.

Any CFO knows, company size has little to do with data complexity. Most mid-market companies are even more complex than enterprise companies due to their aggressive inorganic growth strategies (i.e., acquisitions). This creates ownership, intercompany, and multi-GAAP challenges.

Another target for Fluence is organizations looking to migrate from SAP BPC, since its key engine designer, Herve Capo, was formerly working at OutlookSoft (which is now SAP BPC) and has developed a tool to facilitate the migration from SAP BPC to Fluence. However, this appears to be more than just a simple click of a button.

This is true – and we’re proud of our consolidation heritage and DNA. We’re also proud to work with several former SAP BPC customers. We hear time and time again how the similarity between the systems makes the transition familiar and easy. And no, it’s not a simple click of a button – no software migration is – but our SAP BPC migration tool automatically duplicates all your BPC data, metadata, and rules including:

  • Dimensions and hierarchies
  • Attributes in all your dimensions
  • Mapping tables
  • Models for all facts
  • Opening, conversion, calculation, validation and intercompany rules

And it’s not just SAP BPC. Every day we speak with finance leaders looking to replace legacy solutions including SAP BFC, Oracle HFM, IBM Controller, and more. The market trend is fast moving toward modern, cloud-first solutions, and Fluence is the only pure-play consolidation solution built from the ground up for the cloud. Modern CFOs recognize the limitations of on-premise, hybrid cloud, and hosted solutions and are embracing newer, easy-to-use alternatives.

So, whichever solution you choose, make sure it’s the right one for your business, your technology stack, and your team – and take the time to speak with the vendor and ask the right questions. Want to discover more about Fluence? Chat with our team today!

Twin Realms: Reflections of the Aurora
Marisa Ruffles
Fluence Technologies

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