Trade body looks to move beyond Excel

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise is in the market for a budgeting and forecasting tool to replace its current excel-based solution.

A Crown Entity, NZTE is the Government’s international business development agency and as such half of its 600 staff are based overseas. It has issued a Request for Information (RFI) for the supply and implementation of a budgeting and forecasting solution that will “streamline what is now a manual process, with less reliance and risks due to using only excel.”

NZTE has 170 business units in 29 currencies, and its distributed workforce is located in 50 offices globally and 10 offices in New Zealand. It wants to move to a cloud-based solution with a single sign-on, which is available 24/7. Ease and speed are primary considerations with the solution required to perform internationally at a speed of five seconds per page load time.

“The services are to supply a core budgeting and forecasting solution which is flexible enough to be expanded, and evolve to future proof us. The product needs to be at its core ‘off the shelf’ but be configurable/flexible in terms of field names, views, role capabilities etc.”

While the NZTE is keen to move away from excel, it still wants to retain some of its appeal, noting that potential solutions must “deliver a simple user experience that is simple and excel like.”

Simplicity of use is a key business requirement as NZTE has “a diverse set of users with varying financial experience. As such a core principle of any solutions and its associated training, needs to promote ease of use, while maintaining a robust structure. Error prevention and flags are preferred.”

The solution should also require minimal user training, with built in tool tips. From a technical standpoint it must be able to integrate with Microsoft D365 – Finance Operations and its Tabular Model Analysis Cube (hosted on Azure Analysis Services), using their dimensions and validation rules.

NZTE notes in its 2016/17 Annual Report that it is “progressing with an IT roadmap that is based on having fantastic end user experience and thinking globally, so that IT solutions and services are designed to meet global needs first and foremost.”


Copyright © 2018 IDG Communications, Inc.

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