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A managed services partnership with Futuresense

Nicole Astfalck, Associate Director.
Nicole Astfalck, Associate Director.

With IT departments running lean and internal staff already stretched thin, supporting complex enterprise performance management (EPM) applications can become overwhelming for in-house IT teams. EPM helps businesses model and plan across finance, HR, supply chain and sales, streamline the financial close process, and drive better decisions, and many of these applications require specialised skills to ensure the business gets maximum benefit from its investment.

Many companies therefore turn to partners for help. By trusting a third party to handle the deployment, maintenance and upgrade cycles that are necessary to keep an EPM solution functioning optimally, the organisation can focus its time and resources on its core business objectives. By giving an organisation’s staff more time to focus on innovation and reducing unexpected costs at the same time, managed services offer improved operational efficiency.

“As EPM environments have become larger and more complex over the years, the challenge of managing and supporting them has become an issue for many businesses. Our managed services offering eliminates the need to build or maintain extensive technical EPM knowledge in-house. Working as a true partner with our clients, we proactively manage and support the complete EPM software layer, as well as offering end-user support and training,” explains Nicole Astfalck, the Associate Director at Futuresense, who heads up the company’s Managed Services division.

“By including the end-user element, we help ensure that users will become more self-sufficient and efficient because they’re given access to support specialists who can provide prompt answers to their application questions. The potential therefore exists to expand and improve efficiency without increasing headcount or diverting key staff from core business activities.”

Futuresense’s managed services cover both Oracle and OneStream, and include all of the technical administrative tasks needed to keep a company’s systems running smoothly and ensure a positive end-user experience. Most importantly, says Astfalck, peace of mind is guaranteed, because customers know that when they need assistance, someone they know and trust will be there ready to answer their call.

“Part of our offering is a comprehensive service desk. We know that every organisation is different, so we have structured our managed services to tailor contracts to match customer needs – regardless of the size, location or complexity of the business. The hours allocated in our SLA can also be used for upgrades or new installations, providing additional flexibility. In addition, monthly reports are included that indicate user activity throughout the month, calls logged, log file analysis and preventative maintenance done. Monthly reports of issues and trends are also included as part of the service.”

She adds that Futuresense takes a holistic approach, resulting in a higher standard than many organisations are able to achieve in-house. “Before choosing a managed services partner, the business should clearly define its requirements and the improvements it wants to see. When meeting with prospective providers, the first question the company should ask is how the partner would achieve these goals. Organisations should look for a true partner – one that works with the business to achieve its goals, rather than one that focuses only on the toolsets they use, their processes, the quality of their engineering resources, and so on. In today's highly competitive and fast-paced business environment, a partnership of this nature can ensure a company gains – and keeps – a competitive edge.”

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Brand and Marketing Assistant Cindy Sotywambe (011) 463 9335