This article first appeared in Accounting Today.
Excel-based corporate performance management software provider Vena Solutions made two major announcements at its user conference this year: First up, a library of resources for user, and second, integration with Microsoft Office 365.
Vena’s user conference was held in New Orleans from May 17-19. The company allows users to automate finance and accounting functions within its software on a completely Excel-based grid.
“What would be a neat way to have a social media angle to our technology? The idea of people being able to share templates and reports with each other was great.”
The resource library, dubbed Vena Exchange, is a new interface within the software that provides best-practice templates curated and vetted by a solutions architecture team at Vena and reviewed by the software’s users. Vena users can also browse business use cases within Vena Exchange. Vena CEO Don Mal explained that while version 1 of the Exchange will have more of a “human touch,” as time goes on and the library becomes more extensive, the template and resource vetting process could become increasingly automated.
“What really inspired this idea for Vena Exchange is that only Facebook has as many users as Microsoft Excel,” Mal said. “What would be a neat way to have a social media angle to our technology? The idea of people being able to share templates and reports with each other was great.”
Facebook reports it has close to 2 billion users, and while it’s more difficult to track users of Microsoft Excel, estimates run at around 1 billion.
The integration with MS Office 365 allows users to connect to Vena or Office 365 from any device and through any web browser. It is also designed to help Vena users complete tasks, view reports and access data across MS Word, PowerPoint and Excel with less steps. Users can now refresh data in an MS document from within the Vena software. Mal said that this integration has been nine months in the making.