What do you like best?
Vena is an amazing product with a great team behind it! Some of the things I like best:
- Super easy implementation - after a bit of training by our implementation team, we did a significant portion of the design work ourselves
- Excel user interface which is stable and quick
- Security features and workflow on the web which makes it accessible from anywhere
- Customer engaged development team that works to meet the needs and wants of it's user base - They're always listening and improving!
- If you can dream it up in Excel, you can implement and use it through Vena
- Can be used for any kind of process - even beyond budgeting/planning/reporting, etc.
- Powerful and quick cloud database system - it never takes more than a few seconds to run anything
- If you have an Excel MVP on your team, you can make Vena do just about anything without having to engage their services team
- The interface is easy for even the least technically savvy user
What do you dislike?
All products can be improved... Some of the things I like least about Vena:
- Support is only through email and can sometimes take several hours to get a meaningful response (more than "I've received your request and I'm looking into it")
- The constant improvement of the product is awesome, but sometimes my users question why their add-in asks to update so often.
- Set up and design takes a lot of clicking
Recommendations to others considering the product
Know your processes and wish list before you start implementation to get the most out of the tool. Consider what else you might use it for and how that might impact your design.
What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?
When we started down the research path, we were really just trying to get a good budgeting product that would make the cycle shorter - but after we implemented, we realized it could be great for reporting as well. Now our budgeting and reporting come from one source which makes life so much easier! We shortened our budgeting cycle from 4-6 weeks for a first pass to about 10 days. In addition, we're spending more time on making inputs better rather than just trying to have the various inputs tie to each other. We've also been able to more easily engage more people in the process.
We've seen several other processes that we could move to Vena (Development life-cycle, incident reporting, Asset planning, operational reporting, etc.) and while we haven't actually designed those processes yet, it's really great to know we have a product that could easily handle everything in one place rather than having to pay for multiple products.