Royal Bafokeng Holdings moves to the cloud with Futuresense
Royal Bafokeng Holdings (RBH), an African community investment company whose mandate is to preserve and create intergenerational wealth for the Royal Bafokeng Nation, manages an investment portfolio with a net asset value of R29 billion. This portfolio includes listed and unlisted assets in a diverse range of sectors, such as infrastructure, property, financial services, telecoms, resources and industrials.
In order to manage this extensive and diverse portfolio, RBH uses Oracle’s Hyperion Financial Management (HFM) for its financial consolidation, reporting and compliance needs. RBH is a company with more than 28 entities that require consolidation and equity accounting, so the use of HFM has been critical in ensuring that it reduces the manual labour that goes with preparing a consolidation, and ensuring that data is retained for future reference.
This solution has been in place for a number of years, and RBH decided to clean up the system ahead of moving to a cloud-based solution as part of a strategy to digitise the organisation. Having an existing relationship with Futuresense, RBH chose the specialist EPM provider to help migrate from HFM to Oracle Financial Consolidation and Close Cloud Services (FCC).
Futuresense immediately began removing and clearing up any unnecessary items the team came across, and used this opportunity to eliminate any repetition and build the metadata and so on as dynamically as possible. Unfortunately, a few weeks after Futuresense had started helping RBH with its HFM system, a nationwide lockdown was announced to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Futuresense immediately adapted, working remotely to ensure RBH still received the implementation it was looking for.
Despite the lockdown, Futuresense completed the project in a year. Since implementation, RBH has seen improved consolidation times and greater efficiencies. According to RBH’s Finance Director, Tinyiko Sihlangu, moving to a new system is always challenging, but having the right experienced people in the form of the Futuresense team has made the transition process smoother.
“We have been a Futuresense client for over five years and they have provided us with great support on HFM. The team is highly professional and skilled, both from an IT technical support side and from understanding accounting. The team has been available to assist us during our reporting peak periods in order to assist in us meeting our reporting timelines, and the relationship with Futuresense has been a mutually beneficial one as we know we can reach out to the team as and when needed, and they have availed themselves to assist us,” she says.
Andreia, who is a Senior EPM consultant, adds that Futuresense always tries to ensure it is meeting client needs, and the lockdown wasn’t going to stop the company from providing the level of service customers have become used to. “The lack of face-to-face contact with RBH proved to be challenging, particularly when it came to training, but we were easily able to continue with the tasks at hand and set up regular virtual meetings and virtual training sessions to ensure that RBH was kept abreast of the changes being made. This project proved the importance of communication – without ensuring we stayed in touch, we would have had a much harder and longer implementation.”