Board Review

We can use the tool to build mockups before our customers' eyes


What is our primary use case?

We use BOARD to show scorecards for each business unit. As part of the finance team, we can control the numbers showing on each dashboard and update selected business unit KPIs as our strategies change from year-to-year.

We also use it for tracking services hours as a consultancy.

We also implement the product for clients, primarily solutions for finance, around financial reporting, making it easier to close the books every period, annual reporting, also board and narrative reporting.

It's performing very well.

How has it helped my organization?

All staff can now see their relevant scorecards online. This helps them see exactly how we are trending towards our goals, from which their bonus compensation is calculated.

The solution gives us consistency and reliability of data. As users of the tool, it's very easy to input our time, it's very clear who's working on what, when. It lines up our billing and invoices. So, it's very clear who needs to get billed 

Also, for implementers, it's a very visual tool. So rather than having it on a whiteboard, during design conversations, which are very abstract, we can be mocking things up using the tool and the clients can see it built before their eyes.

What is most valuable?

It is easy to make quick updates. As the business changes, we can maintain the tool without programming help from IT.

Simplicity. The big thing for us is, when we do an implementation, we want them to own it when it's done, so they don't have to come back to us to make small changes going forward. It's a tool that really can be owned by the office of Finance, whereas with other tools you always need to go back to IT or the consultancy and ask for help.

What needs improvement?

It would be nice to have more connectors for other data sources. BOARD is a great tool to become the single source of the truth. Making it easier to connect data sources for niche software tools will make it easier to keep everything in one place.

I would like to see all features and functionality available over the Web. 

I would also like to see tight integration with the learning management initiatives that they have, with respect to the e-learning portal, the community, so that when folks are using the tool they can feel the various support and pieces they have at their disposal. That's lacking right now.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No issues. The only issues we ran into were related to communication mistakes that we made. As long as we follow our change control process, the system is rock solid.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues. The tool seems to have a lot of ways to handle scaling.

It's certainly an enterprise product. It's got a lot of clustering capability and options, depending on the environment. It's a very scalable solution.

Like any solution, it needs to be monitored for sizing over the lifetime of the solution. You can imagine it will become used by more and more departments, by more and more users, for more and more purposes. So, managing it and being proactive to understand user growth, data growth, sizing of the environment, accordingly is an important task.

How is customer service and technical support?

With the combination of 24/7 global support and their community, there was great customer service, tech support, and community support.

I filled out a form, I got an email back within a few hours. More complex things were solved by a phone call.

Which solutions did we use previously?

Previously, we used Clarity. We switched because Clarity was at the end of its life, and there was no active development to improve the tool. The feedback that we were getting from some of our clients is, they weren't impressed by what's on the market. It was just kind of lackluster. 

Before we were a partner with BOARD, we did a market review - a technical and business review - of all the products that were on the market at the time, two years ago. BOARD was the one we choose for both technical and business-model reasons. We've been very happy with the ease of use and scalability.

Important criteria when selecting a vendor would be: who is using their solution right now, how successful have they been, how large are the installations, and what is the roadmap down the road for improvements for the solution.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was a bit complex, but BOARD helps with all that.

It is also important to start with small phases. Do not try to do everything at once.

What about the implementation team?

We worked with a vendor team. Their help was a key to our success.

What was our ROI?

Instead of taking two people a week each month to perform our internal KPI reporting, the same two people can have it done in a day.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Find a partner who will take responsibility for the implementation, and be available for support. This is important. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated these tools:

We chose BOARD because of the ease of use. For us that reduces our risk as implementers. We can focus on the business requirements and then translating that to the technical side is easier.

What other advice do I have?

It is refreshing to use a tool that makes things easier, and works as expected.

Reach out to a sales person and watch a demo, because only when you see someone working with it will you appreciate the simplicity.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are a consultancy who build tools for the office of finance. We are vendor-agnostic, so we can recommend the right toolset for each client. BOARD is one of the toolsets we have recommended to some clients. We have a partnership relationship with BOARD. We also have partnership relationships with other vendors. For each client, we work with them to understand their needs and help decide the right toolset for their needs. Other products we have recommended include IBM Planning Analytics, Oracle Essbase, and Microsoft Analysis Services.
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