Careers at Adaptive Insights
Adaptive Insights’ mission is to provide powerful, intuitive solutions that empower both finance and the business to lead with insights.
Robert Hull was the CEO of software firm ChemTracker. He had been a Chief Financial Officer in the past, having held the position at LoopNet and RMS. He decided to use his experience to set up a part-time CFO consulting practice for venture-backed firms. In this role he noticed that many companies lacked the technology to manage the finance function well, relying heavily on Excel.
Hull felt that the answer to this problem was a software-as-a-service solution, which he’d first been exposed to at LoopNet. In 2003 he joined with Richard Dellinger to found Adaptive Planning, a startup that would develop such an offering. They created a concept deck and were able to raise significant funding. They then set about forming a team and building a prototype for their idea.
The company created a SaaS solution that had enterprise budgeting, forecasting, and reporting capabilities. It initially had a forward-looking purpose, but over time it expanded its scope to include features that took a historical look at a business’s operations, forming a more comprehensive offering. To reflect this new vision, it changed its name to Adaptive Insights in 2014.
Benefits at Adaptive Insights
Business model of Adaptive Insights
Adaptive Insights has a mass market business model, with no significant differentiation between customer segments. The company targets its offering at CFOs in firms across industries and sizes.
Adaptive Insights offers four primary value propositions: convenience, cost reduction, performance, and brand/status.
The company offers convenience by simplifying customers’ operations. Specifically, it:
- Accelerates deployments, reducing average consulting time for projects from the years or months typical of traditional software to weeks
- Simplifies usage by providing an intuitive interface that combines the familiarity of Excel with the best of consumer applications – consequently reducing training time and speeding adoption
- Limits the need for IT, with no new software, hardware, or IT support required – only a browser and an Internet connection
- Provides automatic upgrades, with all users getting instant access to new features
The company reduces costs by providing significant value. Its Adaptive Planning module helps customers decrease planning times by as much as 90%, saving tens of thousands of dollars annually, generating a 300 – 600% return on investment, and obtaining payback within six months. Furthermore, the short duration of services projects, elimination of new software and hardware purchases, limited need for ongoing IT support, and reduced training costs enable the company to offer a total cost of ownership (TCO) that is 75% lower than that of on-premises solutions.
The company has demonstrated strong performance through tangible results for customers. High-profile examples of positive outcomes include the following:
- ZAGG used Adaptive Insights’ solution to save $8 million in costs from decreased freight charges and 24 days of manual report building on an annual basis
- HireVue used Adaptive Insights’ solution to reduce forecast variances from 20% to 2% and streamline financial reporting, creating access to various essential metrics
- Quidel used Adaptive Insights’ solution to achieve greater flexibility to change, create better visibility, and implement a faster reporting process that saved over $40,000 per year
- AGF used Adaptive Insights’ solution to cut at least one week out of the annual budgeting practice and several days from the forecasting/reporting process per month
- Winshuttle used Adaptive Insights’ solution to automate intercompany eliminations at four subsidiaries in four countries and reduce budgeting cycle times from weeks to days
The company has established a strong brand due to its performance. It bills itself as the leader in the cloud corporate performance management (CPM) space. It serves over 3,000 firms in 85 countries, including prominent companies such as Coca-Cola, DHL, Boston Scientific, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Mozilla. Lastly, it has won many honors, including the following:
- Ranking as a “Leader” in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Strategic CPM Solutions (2016)
- Ranking as a Core Vendor and “Leader“ in Customer Satisfaction by BPM (2016)
- Placement on the Technology Fast 500 (2015)
- An SIIA CODiE Award for Best Software-as-a-Service application (2015)
- A Silver Stevie Award at the American Business Awards (2015)
Adaptive Insights’ main channels are its direct sales team and its network of partners that includes solution providers, system integrators, and independent software vendors.
The company promotes its offering through its website, social media pages, webinars, seminars, workshops, and conferences.
Adaptive Insights’ customer relationship is primarily of a personal assistance nature. The company assists customers in the following ways:
Support Services – The company offers two plans:
- Standard Support – Offered to every customer; includes 12 hours/5 days a week phone support, a maximum first response time of one business day, and access to a dedicated customer success manager who recommends products and services
- Premium Support – Offered to customers who pay a fee; includes 24 hours/5 days a week phone support, a maximum first response time of four hours, and access to a named support specialist who makes proactive weekly calls during core region hours
Training/Education Services – The company offers instructor-led classroom and virtual training, as well as customized training that is tailored to a client’s Adaptive Insights model. It also hosts a certification program so individual employees can become Adaptive-certified.
Professional Services – The company offers the following implementation services:
- Success Packs – A guided approach based on best practices; company experts work with a customer to deliver solution design, project preparation, and implementation services
- Full-Service Implementation – Includes two options: “Time and Materials”, which provides consultant expertise at an hourly rate, and “Fixed Bid”, through which the company itself completes upfront design work, implementation, and training delivery
- Self-Implementation – An option in which the company provides clients with all necessary resources for them to complete implementation themselves, as well as ongoing support
Despite this orientation, there is a self-service component. The company provides self-paced training through online guides and videos for customers who want more flexibility. Also, its website has a “Learn” section that includes many self-help tools such as white papers, data sheets, eBooks, blog posts, brochures, infographics, demos, webcasts, and videos.
Adaptive Insights’ business model entails maintaining a robust platform for its customers.
Adaptive Insights maintains a network of over 200 partners worldwide; they influence almost 50% of new business. The partners fall into the following categories:
- Referral Partners – The company works with firms that introduce its solutions to their customers and receive a referral fee in exchange.
- Solution Provider Partners – The company works with firms that sell its solution to their customers in order to extend its reach.
- Global System Integrator (GSI) Partners – The company works with firms that develop services and solutions powered by its technology.
- Independent Software Vendor (ISV) Partners – The company works with firms that integrate its technology into their offerings in order to provide an enhanced solution for customers.
Partners receive access to training, resources, and support. Specific partners include Accenture, BDO, Capgemini, Deloitte, Fronde, Intacct, IntuitiveTek, Miagen, NetSuite, Plex, Salesforce, and Workday.
Adaptive Insights’ main resource is its proprietary software platform, which serves over 3,000 firms.
It depends on human resources in the form of technology employees to maintain and update the platform, sales/marketing staff to promote it, training/consulting staff to provide instruction and advice, and customer service staff to provide support.
Lastly, as a startup it has relied heavily on funding from outside parties, raising $176.3 million from 10 investors as of June 2015.
Adaptive Insights has a value-driven structure, aiming to provide a premium proposition through significant personal service and frequent service enhancements.
Its biggest cost driver is likely marketing and sales, a fixed expense. Other major drivers are in the areas of customer support/operations and product development, both fixed costs.
Adaptive Insights has one revenue stream: the subscription fees it charges for access to its software-as-a-service platform. Customers pay upfront for a plan lasting from one to five years.
info: Tom earned a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Stonehill College in Easton, MA. He previously served as a Venture Partner at Greylock Partners, as a Senior Finance Executive at SCA Services, and as an Executive Officer at Ernst & Young LLP.
info: Robert earned a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Stanford University. He previously served as President, CEO, and CFO of Adaptive Insights, as CEO of ChemTracker, as CFO of LoopNet, and as SVP and CFO of Risk Management Solutions.
info: Bhaskar earned a Bachelor of technology degree in Computer Science and Engineering at IIT and a Master’s degree in Computer Science at the University of Minnesota. He previously served as CTO of Change Healthcare and Ariba.
info: Jim earned a Bachelor’s degree in English and Literature/Letters from the University of Minnesota and an MBA from the University of Chicago. He previously served as CFO of TIBCO Software and held senior financial roles at Sun Microsystems.
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