This March, Millennium extended their annual Unit4 Financials Conference to two days, and two countries– starting in London in balmy temperatures of 12C on Friday 17th, and then moving to a chilly Boston on 20th March, boasting 0C temperatures. The Conference had a new name too: U4FCC, Unit4 Financials and Cognos Conference. Millennium recently formed a Business Partnership with Assimil8 the IBM Cognos Experts and IBM Gold Partner; they were also represented at the conference too.
The Georgian splendour of RSA House and the convenient location just off The Strand in London, was a natural choice of venue for a second year running. Presentations took place in The Durham Street Auditorium Theatre. The theatre is built on the last remaining stretch of 18th Century cobbled roadway, part of a tunnel beneath the RSA leading down to the River Thames. We had free rein of the Vaults which gave sponsors the opportunity to spread out, also being a great interconnecting functional space for networking during breaks between presentations. Originally river-front warehouses, the Vaults, with their exposed 18th century brickwork, offered a striking contrast to the rooms above.
During registration, attendees were given a conference bag which, amongst other things included a pen with a handy USB attached containing brochures from the Sponsors; the programme offered delegates a line-up of the day and feedback form with the chance to win a ride on the ArcelorMittal Orbit Ride in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, London!
After registration Millennium Consulting’s Consulting Director Ben Keep of welcomed the attendees and introduced the days agenda.
Millennium Principal Consultant Phil Leaf gave an interesting presentation outlining the new functionality Introduced in V11.3, V12 & V13.
Following Phil's talk, Unit4 Financials Product Manager, Craig Bass then presented: ‘What’s New in Unit4 Financials V14 & Unit4 Roadmap’ which created some interesting discussions during Q&A.
Millennium’s Technical Consultants, Hamid Khendek and Jawaid Maqbool both provided a presentation on: ‘Unit4 Financials Integration, Development and Automation.’ Having both previously worked for Unit4 for over 15 years they were well placed to discuss ways in which users can leverage their Unit4 Software Investment.
Having arrived in the Uk just in time, despite the wintery Boston conditions, we welcomed CEO of Spend Right, Joseph Albright. Joseph has over 20 years extensive experience including the management of global IT, finance and procurement project teams; designing overall system and process deployment methodology, leading to deployments of ERP, finance and procurement systems and processes. ‘How to Prepare for a Finance Transformation Project’ was the title of Joseph’s presentation and left no doubt as to his extensive experience.
To find out more about Spend Right, please click here.
Edward Stuart, lead Cognos Consultant at Assimil8 presented: ‘Cognos; Latest Versions, Tools and Benefits’ which outlined how IBM Cognos can provide business analytics, financial reporting, planning and forecasting, and data warehousing.
Edd also provided an introduction to Theia, a new tool to view a complete BI estate in one place. Edd, who has been helping clients design, deploy and develop beneficial IBM Cognos Solutions all over the globe, focused his talk on what their solution means for clients using Unit4 Financials and IBM Cognos.
After a stimulating morning of presentations and discussions in the auditorium, lunch took place in the vaults where delegates were able to network in the relaxed environment. There was also the opportunity to visit sponsor stands, speak to sponsors and enjoy dessert before reconvening for the afternoon presentations.
Millennium’s Principal Consultant Phil Leaf and Millennium Client Director Phil Jacobs showcased Millenniums new bank reconciliation, automation and cash posting solution for Unit4 Financials AutoCash. AutoCash is a complete re-write of B2C and is now fully web enabled and far superior to B2C providing additional automation functionality.
Click for more details on AutoCash.
Millennium Principal Consultant Phil Leaf then presented: ‘Unit4 Financials Procurement and Invoice Matching’. The essence of Unit4 POP/PIM (Purchase Order Processing & Purchase Invoice Matching) is to enable users to understand, control and manage costs thereby providing improved invoice matching, budgetary control and cash flow forecasting.
Phil Jacobs of Millennium Consulting provided the final presentation of the day. Phil had previously spent over 16 years at Unit4 as FPM (Financials Performance Management) product owner; his presentation demonstrated how FPM combines powerful, easy-to-use solutions for group consolidation and cash planning with highly effective tools for financial performance reporting and analysis.
Afterwards there was time for further refreshments, networking and visiting sponsor stands. It being St Patricks Day, there was an air of celebration on the streets of London which permeated the venue as the conference ended. With no time to waste, we packed up ready for flights to Boston!
Reconvening In Boston we were greeted with 6 foot high piles of snow and it’s clear why Bostonians refer to the amount of snow in foot rather than inches.
Boston’s District Hall provided an innovative and modern setting for the conference. District Hall is not your average event space; it was planned by the City of Boston and the Boston Redevelopment Authority as an anchor to the Innovation District, a home for Greater Boston’s innovation and entrepreneurship communities, and a symbol of their global leadership. District Hall is a dedicated civic space where the innovation community can gather and exchange ideas.
Inside there are open workspaces, classrooms, assembly spaces, flexible use ‘pods’, and writable surfaces everywhere, with the invigorating smell of coffee pervading the rooms.
There was a good attendee turn out for Millennium’s first US event and some had travelled as far as the west coast and Texas.
In the open plan Assembly Space, Millennium’s Consulting Director Ben Keep hosted the event and introduced Mike Robinson, Millennium’s US Principal Consultant
Mike joined Millennium recently and is Consulting and Operations Manager for USA and Canada.
Before joining Millennium, Mike was Principal Consultant at Unit4 North America. Mike opened the event by outlining the new features and benefits introduced in version 12 and 13 of Unit4 Financials. He answered the questions raised and promoted some interesting discussions on the subject.
Following Mike's presentation, Ben Keep provided an insight into the new features and benefits of the next release of Unit4 Financials Version 14 and the future Unit4 Financials Roadmap. The Billing Module and the Enhancements to workflow and flexi-fields are just some of the attractive new features that users of V14 will benefit from.
Millennium Development Manager Jawaid Maqbool then replicated his and Hamid Khendek’s London presentation for the Boston audience: ‘Unit4 Financials Integration, Development and Automation.’ Back on home turf, Spend Right’s Joseph Albright presented: ‘How to Prepare for a Finance Transformation Project’.
Assimil8’s Edward Stuart then delivered his presentation: ‘Cognos: Latest Versions, Tools and Benefits’. Colleague and Principal Consultant Karl Mullins was available at the Assimil8 sponsor stand to answer any queries prompted by Edd’s presentation.
After lunch Millennium’s Phil Leaf provided presentations on: ‘AutoCash’ and ‘Unit4 Procurement and Invoice Matching’. Following on from Phil, Dave Callanan, Millennium’s Support Manager demonstrated the new feature of Unit4 (Coda) Financials version 13: ‘Analyser’.
Analyser was introduced into Unit4 Financials V13 and Dave highlighted benefits such as the ability to use Analyzer’s in-memory analysis to search all Unit4 Financials data in minutes – including spreadsheets, departmental databases, and even external information sources.
Visit here fore more information.
We were pleased to welcome Bob Jenkins and Ed Tidmarsh from FDC Solutions in Peoria, Illinois. FDC Solutions and Millennium Consulting partnered last year. FDC are an established consulting services organization whose mission is to provide solutions for Caterpillar dealership.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank our guests for travelling to the conferences, despite the weather(!) and helping to make our first US conference a great success- we also appreciated the feedback given and we hope to collaborate with many of you in the future.
Congratulations to Adrian Hodgson who has won a pair of tickets for the ArcelorMittal Orbit slide! Runners up, who received a GPS tile are: Tom Brennan, Simon Hodgkinson, Todd Hedgman, Ian Payne and Carl Richardson. Thank you everyone for taking the time to fill in the feedback sheets!
Deborah Chantler, Sales Director from ADRA demonstrated automated transaction matching FOR Unit4 Financials. The session from ADRA was of great value, especially for users who spend too much time manually matching transactions from Unit4 Financials with transactions from other data sources.
Ed’s presentation focussed on Inventory Capital Solutions (ICS). ICS is an inventory management and analysis instrument that identifies and quantifies supply and demand risks inherent in inventories.
Further information on ICS can be found here