I like the ability that I can replace Excel as the tool to calculate commissions. We had many worksheets that were replaced when we switched to Xactly Express. I had been beta testing this product for 3+ years off and on and waited until I believed the product was mature and robust enough to handle commission calculations accurately based on our many variations and specific parameters.
1) It is time-consuming to make changes to individual comp plans due to the many screens you have to click-thru.
2) The Xpress applicatio is built on the Force.com platform and the screen refresh delays are much longer than I have with other SaaS applications. This is a known issue and it sounds like Xactly is somewhat beholden to Salesforce.com.
3) The Xactly Express architecture is built with multiple screens rather than all settings on one-screen. For example, if you want to change the commission % or $ for each different team member, you have a 4-5 step update process per employee. On the other hand, if you need to update the quota for each person,it's quite easy since it's all on one screen. These types of processes need further refinement.
4) The Payment Rule screen is the most complex area of the product since it is the mechanism where you determine which deals count towards commission / attainment and what % or $ you will pay for deals. There are many if/then else filters that you configure to determine correct calculations. It is very complex and is easy to setup incorrectly. After several months of frustration in trying to troubleshoot discrepancies between various Comp Plans, I re-built the entire Payment Rule logic in Excel so that I can visually see for each plan and team member what the settings should be. It was time-consuming, but well worth the effort. If Xactly designed their screen better, I'd be able to make the comparisons faster. However, this would take some significant re-designing.
5) The data import from Salesforce.com does work well,but you need to be aware that certain data records may not be imported even though you have no data filters to restrict th data. For example, if your Salesforce Opportunity Owner is not an Xactly user then the data record will not come over. Also, if you terminate an employee in Salesforce, their information is not accessble in Xactly.
Yes, despite my list of items that I dislike, you should definitely consider Xactly to replace Excel. Part of our issues is that we've revised our comp plans on a continual basis to have better matching of effort vs. reward. The support that Xactly provides is excellent although I wish they'd make phone support more accessible since you have to wait 4-8 hours sometimes for the email to be replied to. Sometimes a phone call can resolve an issue more quickly than 4-5 emails going back & forth to resolve an issue. Also, if you need to provide a screenshot to explain an issue, their ZenDesk configuration doesn't allow you to add an attachment. You have wait until case is setup and then send attachment