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Vena

Vena

4.7
(25)
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Vena’s corporate performance management software combines native Microsoft® Excel® with the sophisticated workflow, audit capabilities, business rules and central database of an enterprise-class solution.

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Vena review by Logan K.
Logan K.
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"Assuming one is Excel savvy, this tool is a terrific asset."

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Vena review by George T.
George T.
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review Source

"Powerful and Flexible with a bit of a Learning Curve"

What do you like best?

Operating as an extension of Excel, Vena has both extensive flexibility for design and implementation along with the familiarity of using an existing product rather than learning an entirely new system.

Support and customer service reps are very keen and quick to assist.

By having a single template used across many users and projects, you can instantaneously roll out new features to your entire team.

What do you dislike?

Loading time on complex templates can be time consuming. Some mapping/design features could use a refresh to be faster or friendlier.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Give it time. Especially if you are a small company with a limited team it can be daunting at the start but once you get rolling there are benefits and additional uses at every corner. It will take some time to get users on your side since it requires some lockdowns of Excel that not everyone is comfortable with, but they see how powerful the system can be and how much work it saves, they'll get it.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

We consolidate 10-20 companies into a single entity for reporting purposes on a monthly basis. Originally this process took several senior employees a month and was only done annually, now one of our intermediate accountants can perform all the required tasks in under a week.

In addition, we have streamlined our cost reporting system on a number of productions and have been working towards budgeting and projections systems.

Throughout all such tasks we have improved data flows between users and trimmed out an enormous amount of previously tedious work on manually updating and copying between documents.

What Corporate Performance Management (CPM) solution do you use?

Thanks for letting us know!
Vena review by Michael R.
Michael R.
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review Source

"Director Finance"

What do you like best?

Data consolidation is seamless; scripts translate currency automatically; standardized budget templates minimize monthly maintenance.

What do you dislike?

Report writer is not available and quick access Pivot Table through OLEDB connection is slow to the point it's virtually non-functional.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Vena leverages O-LAP cube technology and takes Excel based financial modeling to the next level, by eliminating Excel's pain-points and exploiting its strengths. The implementation was well planned and executed flawlessly. Also, the roll-out to budget owners was as simple and straight forward as it gets, and the benefits are literally realized overnight after implementation.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Our problems: Massive Excel models interconnected with vlookup & sumif functions; multiple versions of models to support Business Units made monthly maintenance a full-time job; forecasting in local foreign market currencies and introducing currency translation to existing models was not possible.

Vena's Solution: Instantaneous consolidation of budget data; standardized budget templates eliminate costly hours of model maintenance; scripts perform currency translation behind the scenes so data is always available in USD or local currencies.

Vena review by Carrie S.
Carrie S.
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review Source

"Powerful, flexible solution for budgeting, reporting, and anything else with Excel and a database"

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.

Vena review by devon m.
devon m.
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review Source

"Vena for Tax Data Warehouse"

What do you like best?

This is by far the most elegant (ie, powerful yet simple) integration of excel and a dimensional database I've yet used. The relative ease (ie, speed) with which you can develop your current excel-based models into enterprise-class applications probably has to be experienced to be believed. This product brought the terms self-service business intelligence, analytics, and data warehouse down from the domain of large-scale waterfall projects (hundreds of thousands of dollars) to an agile and practical reality for tens of thousands of dollars.

What do you dislike?

Honestly, very little. Further, most minor annoyances have been addressed during the period of our ownership. The current rate of development of the cloud-based application is very impressive. Significant releases of new or improved functionality almost monthly. It is likely beyond the scope of this review, and far beyond the interest of most users/readers here, but my most technical criticism would be directed at the maturity of the user interface for server side scripting - ie, the ability to do calculations "on the database side" rather than in excel. The tools exposed to the user for evaluating errors in advanced VenaCalc scripts are not as robust as you might expect from other programming tools.

Recommendations to others considering the product

It is important to understand that Vena is predicated on the idea that Excel is the front-end tool that finance professionals prefer to use. If you want to continue to be able to leverage the full power of native excel but need enterprise-class data reliability and efficiency, I would strongly recommend this product. If you are not seeking to retain any part of your existing Excel-based workflow, then Vena is not as easy to recommend. For example, if you are looking for a "pre-built" solution that has considered all the necessary business logic of your given problem, with a stock suite of forms and reports that are more comprehensive than your existing Excel-based analyses (ie, you want to throw out everything you have and start over), then Vena may not be the right solution.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

We were looking for a solution to increase the reliability (data integrity, audit trail, etc) and efficiency (aggregation / roll-ups, roll-over, etc) of the income tax provision process for our $3 Billion multi-national with over 150 entities aggregating into several different federal consolidations and annual reports. We dedicated one tax professional, not IT professional, and self-implemented a working proof-of-concept within a couple of weeks and all core functionality in less 8 weeks. We were able to extend that functionality to all of the information that flows through our income tax cycle (including returns, estimates, etc) in the first year of ownership, and are piloting processes in other areas of finance. For the income tax provision alone, roll-over went from several weeks to a couple of days. Perhaps more importantly, we have eliminated the mystical -- no more "glitches" or otherwise unexplained changes. The audit trail allows us to identify the source of all issues and correct them.

Vena review by Jo L.
Jo L.
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review Source

"Vena is more than Excel on Steroids"

What do you like best?

Being able to leverage all Excel features and functionality without worrying about losing data/ worksheets, version control, etc. All our users are power Excel people. Once we implemented the enterprise model, our users did not have to learn any new GUI to interact with the model.We were up and running very quickly.

The Vena consultants have been very knowledgeable and exceeded our expectations in terms of delivering best practices recommendations during development/ implementation.

What do you dislike?

Report writing can be significantly improved.Building a report once the model is implemented is not easy, intuitive.or flexible.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Several business issues were solved and therefore, benefits realized:

- No more missing Excel data/ worksheets

- Ease of version control and audit trail

- Aggregation of large amounts of data in a controlled environment

- Workflow support to guide user input

Vena review by Graham C.
Graham C.
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review Source

"Corporate Finance Manager"

What do you like best?

The power that Vena brings to excel with the inherent familiarity of excel. I also love the build once and replicate with complete version control capability. The integrated workflow process is great for incorporating multiple stakeholders in the process. Excel models can be connected without worrying about breaking links.

What do you dislike?

As great as Vena is, Excel will still crash every now and again. The beauty is Vena has saved backups. I think Vena still has some work to do to make troubleshooting more self-serve. They have a nice published knowledge base but "in app" troubleshooting can be a bit tricky.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

We're running our entire FP&A process through Vena. We have been able to augment and improve our process without having to just throw human resources at the problem.

Vena review by Lori L.
Lori L.
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review Source

"Vena Solutions value"

What do you like best?

Ease of implementation; great user acceptance; uses existing chart of accounts hierarchies and others can be added. Flexibility to allow for a variety of uses, data collection, reporting (internal and Board-level); Can configure user input templates and reports exactly as desired.

What do you dislike?

Very little; Keeping user access up to date, but is helped by assigning the users to access groups.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Set up of data structure, user input templates and reports are all very flexible and a variety of needs can be met (both end-users and administrative users) with this software from budgeting to financial reporting.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Time savings and visibility into data; consistency in sharing data across all departments; reports created from user data and data loaded from ERP for easier Board reporting

Vena review by User
User
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review Source

"More than just a budgeting tool."

What do you like best?

Vena's best features are that you can forecast and plan as well as produce solid financial reports for your organization all in one place. Updates can be updated real-time via ETL uploads from core systems which process quick monthly closes and reporting quickly. The forecast and planning feature allows for workflow and approval processes easily monitored and managed efficiently. If you know excel you're 90% there with learning this tool and training was very easily received throughout the organization. Never had issues with the support team as they've always solved my problems technically and offered help.

What do you dislike?

Building reports are a little difficult as you start with a blank excel worksheet essentially, and therefore takes time. But once the tool is mastered you can pick up on things pretty easily through practice. Sometimes there are clunky things going on slow opening of reports and wait times on large ETL uploads. Being on the west cost support is ahead a few hours so issues occurring late in the day might have to wait until the next.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Vena is not the robust budgeting and planning tool however, the cost and time to implement for a midsize company is very attractive.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Solved budget vs. actual variance reporting for some departments who never had this helpful analysis from disparate excel worksheets. Able to produce real-time daily Financial Reports as well as all financial month end closing reports. Drill down capabilities by transactional data is pretty impressive.

Vena review by Toby R.
Toby R.
Validated Reviewer
Review Source

"Keep Excel, leverage Database power without help from your Computer dept"

What do you like best?

Control. I can continue to change spreadsheets and leverage the data, without having to get a programmer involved. Half of our battles before VEna were related to compiling and aggregating data from the field. How when everyone saves their spreadsheet I, and they (if I choose), can see the aggregated totals near real time.

What do you dislike?

Vena is the equivalent of steroids for pivot tables and spreadsheets tied to a database via an internet connection. The internet connection can be the weak link and a disruption to that connection can cause problems. So we have to limit working in offsite locations with spotty internet. A minor learning curve.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Vena is a value proposition that does not force you to give up Excel. Great flexibility and power in databases without your internal computer department resources or priorities holding you back.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

We use Vena for Budgeting and forecasting. Soon we will have monthly financial reporting setup for some operating divisions.

Vena review by Administrator
Administrator
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review Source

"Out Growing Excel "

What do you like best?

With Vena you’re working within an excel document but in an automated system. It provides workflow automation, eliminates the worries around version control and serves as 1 robust source system of information. Thanks to this automation, this has freed up a significant amount of time for myself to focus on strategic analysis and planning. The time we otherwise would have spent aggregating data, reconciling sources and formatting spreadsheets, now is time better spent on really drilling down into performance and actually applying our findings in the field. Vena offered a flexible environment where we can make these changes on the fly, they’re easy to implement, and are virtually seamless for the end-user.

What do you dislike?

My only dislike of the system is that you will need to be a power excel user if you want to be self sufficient when creating your own custom reports.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

This tool has also allowed us to enhance the level of information we’re able to provide to our users as part of the budget process. It used to be very difficult and time consuming to incorporate benchmarking data into each individual budget template. Now, with some simple mapping, we’re able to provide prior year budget, year-to-date actuals and projected year end information to our budget managers which has been critical for benchmarking purposes and has really helped curb expense growth year over year by grounding us in the actual data.

The system has also allowed us to adhere to our annual strategic planning efforts by allowing us to cap growth in certain areas while simultaneously giving other departments the freedom to invest in approved strategic areas. Before Vena, divisions were able to submit a budget where essentially the sky was the limit so it became a very tedious and time consuming process to bring all divisions back down to where they needed to be in order to balance the budget. So with the help of the system’s built in controls we able to have a much more efficient and focused budget cycle, in a much shorter period of time.

Vena review by Executive Sponsor
Executive Sponsor
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review Source

"Robust CPM with the flexibility of excel"

What do you like best?

The design and implementation team were very knowledgeable. They took the time to understand the business and our requirements to make sure that we had what were needed for a successful implementation and product. After the implementation , the product has been very easy to use and each month we use it more and more. The great thing is essentially whatever you can do in excel, you can do with this product. For us, it has automated several functions, saved time, and eliminated issues with the reporting

What do you dislike?

The only issue that we have had is that occasionally the beginning balance sheets are off as the script gets overridden but it is generally a very quick fix. No big issue as it has been more of a nuisance type but they are working on resolving

Recommendations to others considering the product

Great solution - realized efficencies, controls, streamliing product and they keep investing in the product

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Numerous problems solved and benefits realized - automation of the consolidation process, controlled reporting, standardization of financial statements, drill down capabilities for analysis, allowed us to assist in staff development instead of having them just be data clerks, audit efficiencies with our auditors, not having to be a programmer to create reports, import data

Vena review by Internal Consultant
Internal Consultant
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review Source

"Vena - saving time and standarizing reports"

What do you like best?

The way that reports are built in Vena allows us to build 1 report and leverage it across all 180+ entities in our company - saving us countless hours for building new reports. Vena also allows for a one-stop shop to access any and all reports that you need access to - which allowed our company to eliminate a complicated and temperamental integration to have reports kicked out to an intranet. And Vena staff is always available for consulting and brainstorming - ensuring we're building our reports in line with industry best practices.

What do you dislike?

Vena definitely requires some serious excel chops - thankfully my co-workers are well versed in excel formulas so I can rely on them, but I could see this be challenging for some end users if they don't have a lot of excel skills.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Vena is being leveraged for many solutions: budgeting process, financial reporting, data warehouse repository, and replacing our report center for both financial and non-financial reporting purposes. Vena allowed us to minimize the number of financial reports we have to build - we went from 33 monthly financial reports to 6 with the use of Vena! We're also able to standardize these reports so everyone receives the same information in the same format - regardless of when they came on board with our company.

Vena review by Dana L.
Dana L.
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review Source

"Streamlined our planning process"

What do you like best?

Vena helped reduce a great deal of manual effort at several sites which allowed increased time for analysis. Our previous cycle had grown into a monster of a process that was nearly unmanageable . Vena has made the process very smooth for everyone involved.

What do you dislike?

It is predominately a database, so plugging a number as a quick fix is harder to manage!

Recommendations to others considering the product

If there is a lot of manual effort in the company's planning cycles, it is very likely Vena can help streamline the process.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Our process has been streamlined to a massive degree. We are no longer burning the midnight oil trying to consolidate a budget.

Vena review by Alex C.
Alex C.
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review Source

"Flexible and Dependable Financial Reporting and Budgeting"

What do you like best?

Users love being able to work in excel and web interface to excel is very simple to understand. Was able to train internal users to create and maintain reports and templates

What do you dislike?

Report writing is complex but can be learned and workflows are difficult to administer.

Recommendations to others considering the product

They have strong third party support from Delbridge solutions (formerly Obero). Outside of traditional reporting and budgeting, Vena can handle updating other reports such as financial models, tax provisions, etc.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Able to quickly aggregate results for reporting, bring on new acquisitions and eliminate excel linking problems during budget time.

Vena review by Kathleen C.
Kathleen C.
Validated Reviewer
Review Source

"Staff Accountant"

What do you like best?

I think the best part of Vena is its ease of use. We had a seamless installation process and all the department heads were able to use Vena without any problems. And any issues we did run into, Vena was able to fix right away.

What do you dislike?

As of now, there is nothing I dislike about Vena.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

I think the biggest benefit of Vena for RAMSA is it has given our department heads an opportunity to be a part of the budget process. They are more aware of what is being spent in their department and making sure invoices are being coded correctly. I also believe that the forecasting function will help us better prepare for the future and make adjustments if necessary.

Vena review by Janna B.
Janna B.
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review Source

"Power of Vena!"

What do you like best?

Vena is so user friendly, and makes financial analysis with many data sets easy!

What do you dislike?

There is nothing with Vena that I do not like, Vena has exceeded expectations from Year 1 being used as a Budgeting tool and now will be used in so many more ways!

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Our business problem was getting many different companies, within ONE, in an easy to use but powerful platform to do financial analysis, budgeting (at store level), and provide outputs that can be rolled up together.

Vena review by Shari T.
Shari T.
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review Source

"Never lose your Excel functionality."

What do you like best?

I like that you can import your exsisting Excel spreadhseets into Vena and have a database with more functionality. It also helps with version control - you can update the one template that everyone uses.

What do you dislike?

You do need to be quite proficient with Excel formulas and Macros. This helps tremendously when setting up the template files.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

We use Vena for our budget software. It has eliminated version control problems and has enabled us to quickly get the best template to the users.

Vena review by Sophie U.
Sophie U.
Validated Reviewer
Review Source

"Flexible reporting tool with great customer service."

What do you like best?

The flexibility of building templates and the prompt customer service. The company is always releasing new features and listens to their clients. The team are helpful and creative when it comes to template and data builds and know their product very well.

What do you dislike?

We do not fully utilize the workflow element as we have not had the time to train ourselves.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Our team has gained immense efficiencies with vena with month end reporting, preparation of audited reports and reconciliations.

Vena review by Executive Sponsor
Executive Sponsor
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review Source

"Great budgeting tool"

What do you like best?

Central database for decentralized user group. Ability to easily approve budgets submitted by subordinates.

What do you dislike?

Took us a long time to link other databases to feed into this software.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Decentralizing the budgeting process - Easy to train users on the product. Easy to track changes. Easy approvals.

Profitability analysis - we've been able to get high level data, but still have work to do to get more detailed profitability information.

Vena review by Beth O.
Beth O.
Validated Reviewer
Review Source

"Vena is a time saving tool"

What do you like best?

The Vena software is easy for the contributors to use.

What do you dislike?

Complex mapping due to our company's account number structure.

Recommendations to others considering the product

This is an Excel based software that contributors will find easy to use.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Vena give our company real time data and no waiting a couple of days to run allocations. Our contributors see fully loaded budgets as they are budgeted. Reports to management our more timely.

Vena review by Administrator in Religious Institutions
Administrator in Religious Institutions
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review Source

"Great Budgeting Tool"

What do you like best?

The customization that is available for an organization our size.

What do you dislike?

The workflow is hard to create but once it's in place, you rarely have to change it.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Version control and multiple users not being able to work on a budget at one time. The benefits are mostly time savings as we don't have to redo things because of conflicting version of a budget.

Vena review by Andrew Y.
Andrew Y.
Validated Reviewer
Review Source

"Vena made things smooth"

What do you like best?

Easy to use / Easy to teach / Easy to transition

What do you dislike?

Hard to say. Vena is always getting updated with new features that help with overall experience.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Do it. Things will be a lot smoother with the help of Vena team.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Vena helped with consolidation of financials and budgeting procedure. Things are a lot smoother and straight forward.

Vena review by Consultant in Computer Software
Consultant in Computer Software
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review Source

"Vena"

What do you like best?

Easy to use with Excel add-in. You can customize the templates to have look and feel of existing reports.

What do you dislike?

Depending on the size of the templates, it could be a little slow. Creating templates take practice but some improvements to UX is always welcomed.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Easy reporting

Vena review by Administrator in Transportation/Trucking/Railroad
Administrator in Transportation/Trucking/Railroad
Validated Reviewer
Review Source

"Good reporting tool"

What do you like best?

Vena gave us the comfort of using Excel as an overlay to the cloud cube database. This gave us the best of both worlds.

What do you dislike?

The online dashboard is in its infancy and I look forward to future enhancements.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Vena helps leaders have real time access to accounting data with a direct connection of operational input from the field.

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