We had the opportunity to attend Financial Force’s 2nd user conference, Community Live – the first open for influencers, held in Las Vegas, from June 19th to 21st, at Cesar’s Place. Over 700 attendees, extraordinarily well attended by the influencer community (per MSR rule). 


So, take a look at my musings on the event here: (if the video doesn’t show up, check here).


I also recorded my first impressions of the keynote with Den Howlett over at Diginomica – watch it here.

No time to watch – here is the 1-2 slide condensation (if the slide doesn’t show up, check here):

Want to read on?

Here you go: Always tough to pick the takeaways – but here are my Top 3:

FinancialForce doubles down on Services – Financial Force has always focused on service industries, in the keynote new CEO Tod Nielsen re-iterated the commitment, drawing a wider picture – that ‘everything’ is becoming a service. This was taken all the way to the (not so serious) example of “Puppy as a Service”. But a valid point the resonated well with the audience. Not so long ago we talked about outcomes are what matter for customers, and outcomes as a service (including services) would have been a bolder point. But that can still happen.

FinancialForce Community Live 2017 Holger Mueller Constellation Research Future of Work
Tod Nielsen opens FinancialForce Community Live 2017

Focus on Talent Management for Services Industries – It’s always with a grain of salt when vendors reduce their ambition – and that’s what FinancialForce has done in HCM. Instead of becoming a full-fledged HCM vendor, FinancialForce will focus on Talent Management for Services Industries (with white collar workers). It chose ADP as its part for HR Core and Payroll, certainly a good move to choose the most used payroll platform in North America. And payroll is crucial in the services industries: Professionals stop working to check their paycheck – often even at customer site – so getting this integration right is crucial. And FinancialForce and ADP plan to provide a vendor based integration, likely around the REST technology that ADP has championed with another ERP vendor recently (check my blog).

FinancialForce Community Live 2017 Holger Mueller Constellation Research Future of Work
Studer with Imbrogno - Partnership of FinancialForce and ADP

Financials Roadmap – With all these changes, the core of FinancialForce, Financials, almost took a backseat. But there was room in the keynote to point out to a key road map
items, most prominently revenue recognition, renewal risk and revenue analysis.

FinancialForce Community Live 2017 Holger Mueller Constellation Research Future of Work
FinancialForce uses Salesforce Wave


Always good to be at an early edition of a user conference, where the user community gets shaped, develops expectations and the vendor ecosystem goes through its first incarnations. The ‘tribal’ values of an ecosystem get established in these first conferences. It was especially interesting with the executives who shouldered the bulk of the first day keynote – Nielsen and Studer being with FinancialForce for respectively (only) six and three months. But both showed they are familiar with customers, their expectations and demands, a good sign.

On the concern side – it is always sensitive when vendors retrench in footprint plans and ambition. FinancialForce has done a respectable job at addressing these concerns and informing customers ahead of the changes in HCM and the partnership with ADP. At the end of the day it is better for vendors to realize what the can do with their R&D budgets, and better to stop too ambitious plans sooner than later What matters for FinancialForce customers is that the partnership with ADP will deliver – if and when it does – the potential FUD around this change - will all be history.

Overall a good Community Live conference for FinancialForce customers and partners, now it is time to deliver and what was announced. Stay tuned.
Want to learn more? Checkout the Storify collection below (if it doesn’t show up – check here).

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