Executive Summary

  • This is the Brightwork Research & Analysis software rating series.
  • We rate both the software and estimate the risk of implementing each application.

MUFI Rating & Risk for Forecast Pro TRAK

MUFI: Maintainability, Usability, Functionality, Implement ability

Vendor: Business Forecast Systems (Select For Vendor Profile)

Introduction

Forecast Pro TRAK is the top of the line application offered by Business Forecast Systems. BFS offers several lower versions of this product that have various features disabled, but Forecast  Pro TRAK is the appropriate application for serious forecasting.

Application Detail

Forecast Pro TRAK is one of the value leaders in the forecasting space. Forecast Pro TRAK has a similar feel to Demand Works Smoothie (although many of the comparisons stop at the user interface). Forecast Pro TRAK has a strong focus on attribute-based forecasting. Attributes all for the creation of flexible forecast hierarchies and the capability that any forecasting system has concerning managing attributes is one of the essential ways of grading any forecasting system. Forecast Pro TRAK’s characteristics are easy to use but are not the best in the category.

Forecast Pro Attributes

Notice the attribute hierarchy in the left pane. The hierarchy is not fixed but can be “shuffled” by moving any attribute over any other attribute. This is very valuable for both performing actions such as top-down forecasting as well as for navigation. New attributes can be added that are used for either purpose can be easily added.

In the lower-left pane favourites – which are specific locations within the virtual hierarchy can be saved – and reopened at any time. This area only has a few favourites saved, so searching is not applicable. However, if one had many favourites, they could be easily searched and found. This is a constant request that we have for almost any application – an easy search/filter box that can allow the user to zero in precisely on what they are looking. It is a significant factor in improving the productivity of the application.

Forecast Pro Promote

Moving one attribute above another can be performed by right mouse clicking on the attribute and selecting Promote or Demote. This moves the attribute above or below where it is currently in the virtual hierarchy.

Forecast Pro Details

One of the differentiators for Forecast Pro TRAK is the easy accessibility of forecast statistics and other details that are available in the application, one example being within the Forecast Report that is shown here.

Forecast Pro UOM

Forecast Pro TRAK has mastered essential details, such as being able to change the unit of measure easily. One can quickly move between the item to dollars, dollars being significant for S&OP forecasting. This, of course, only provides one side of the S&OP equation, the capacity side must be brought in as well – however, Forecast Pro TRAK delivers this critical functionality without any extra cost.

Forecast Pro Comment

Forecast Pro TRAK has a nice comment field, which can be seen at the bottom of this screenshot. This is a new trend in many enterprise software applications. Salesforce’s platform has a functionality called chatter, which is a more sophisticated version of this comment field and allows for multiple comments and comment tracking as in a blog comment area. This type of functionality can partially replace email and reduce the need for emails. It is a significant productivity issue to have this commenting in any shared application.

Forecast Pro TRAK is a relatively straightforward application to implement, is very attractively priced, has modern functionality as well as some interesting productivity features that become more apparent with extended use. All of these product-specific features combine with positive vendor features like very experienced and st consulting as well as strong documentation from Business Forecast Systems. However, the application lags in several areas, including security and scalability. Furthermore, prospective customers should understand that Forecast Pro TRAK is a desktop application and BFS does not offer multi-user server version of the application, and therefore scalability will become an issue.

Forecast Pro TRAK has all the forecasting methods that one would expect including best-fit functionality. Forecast Pro TRAK offers collaboration functionality as well at around $1400 per collaborator for more than 11 licenses. This broadens out the use of Forecast Pro TRAK within a buyer and for instance would allow sales to enter their forecasts directly into the Forecast Pro TRAK application, without requiring that they have the full application license. This is a significant productivity enhancer for buyers, allowing collaborators to get out of using spreadsheets and make their adjustments directly in the application. These collaboration licenses can be used to obtain input from supply chain partners as well.

MUFI Scores

All scores out of a possible 10.

MUFI Scores

Search for the vendor in this table using the search bar in the upper right of the table. Shortening Key: 
  • Ma. = Maintainability
  • Us. = Usability
  • Fu. = Functionality
  • Im. = Implementability
AppMa.Us.Ft.Im.Cat.
Average Score for Big ERP5.14.85.25.4Big ERP
Average Score for CRM6.26.25.15.9CRM
Average Score for Small and Medium ERP8.386.78.5Small and Medium ERP
Average Score for Finance8.88.888.8Finance
Average Score for Demand Planning7.67.277.1Demand Planning
Average Score for Supply Planning6.76.976.8Supply Planning
Average Score for Production Planning6.86.976.9Production Planning
Average Score for BI Heavy5.55.36.95.3BI Heavy
Average Score for PLM77.26.87.3PLM
Average Score for BI Light7.78.798.3BI Light
Arena Solutions Arena PLM10101010PLM
AspenTech AspenOne48107Production Planning
Birst88.5108BI Light
ERPNext10107.510Small and Medium ERP
Delfoi Planner866.57Production Planning
Demand Works Smoothie SP910710Supply Planning
Hamilton Grant RM1098.59PLM
IBM Cognos2.731.53BI Heavy
Infor Epiphany7865CRM
Infor Lawson8767Big ERP
Intuit QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions9959Finance
JDA DM97.588Demand Planning
Microsoft Dynamics CRM2322CRM
NetSuite CRM6433CRM
Netsuite OneWorld7788Big ERP
OpenERP788.587
Oracle BI4436BI Heavy
Oracle CRM On Demand4535CRM
Oracle Demantra533.54.5Demand Planning
Oracle JD Edwards World4136Big ERP
Oracle RightNow6745CRM
PlanetTogether Galaxy APS10101010Production Planning
Preactor8737Production Planning
QlikTech QlikView99109BI Light
Rootstock9899Small and Medium ERP
Sage X38878Big ERP
Salesforce Enterprise88.597.5CRM
SAP APO DP3432Demand Planning
SAP APO PP/DS2243Production Planning
SAP APO SNP3484Supply Planning
SAP BI/BW1.5242BI Heavy
SAP Business Objects32.573BI Heavy
SAP CRM4364CRM
SAP ECC336.53Big ERP
SAP PLM12.523PLM
SAP SmartOps4475.5Supply Planning
SAS BI6.5796BI Heavy
SAS Demand Driven Forecasting7897Demand Planning
Tableau (BI)9101010BI Light
Tableau (Forecasting)10859Demand Planning
Teradata86.39.76BI Heavy
ToolsGroup SO99 (Forecasting)7897Demand Planning
ToolsGroup SO99 (Supply)56107Supply Planning

Vendor and Application Risk

Forecast Pro has a similar risk profile as well as a similar implementation approach and consulting approach to Demand Works. Many of the same comments apply, except that Forecast Pro has been around longer than Demand Works and therefore finding independent consultants will tend to be easier.

Likelihood of Implementation Success

This accounts for both the application and the vendor-specific risk. In our formula, the total implementation risk is application + vendor + buyer risk. The buyer specific risk could increase or decrease this overall likelihood and adjust the values that you see below.

Likelihood of Application Implementation Success and Failure

Estimates are for a typical project. A specific implementation requires details from the project to make a project-specific estimate.

Search for the application in this table using the search bar in the upper right of the table.
ApplicationProb of Implementation SuccessProb of Implementation Failure
Actuate0.770.23
SAP Smartops0.390.61
NetSuite CRM0.460.54
Sugar CRM0.620.48
Base CRM0.910.09
SAP CRM0.350.65
Salesforce Enterprise0.720.28
QlikTech QlikView0.820.18
Tableau (BI)0.980.02
SAP Crystal Reports0.460.54
Brist0.830.17
MicroStrategy0.70.3
SAS BI0.760.24
Oracle BI0.350.65
IBM Cognos0.230.77
Infor Epiphany0.580.42
Microsoft Dynamics CRM0.260.74
Oracle RightNow CRM0.410.59
Oracle CRM On Demand0.360.64
Teradata0.760.24
SAP Business Objects0.320.68
SAP BI/BW0.250.75
SAP PLM0.290.71
Hamilton Grant RM0.890.11
Arena Solutions0.960.04
Delfoi Planner0.70.3
Preactor0.640.36
PlanetTogether Galaxy APS0.960.04
AspenTech AspenOne0.550.45
SAP APO PP/DS0.270.73
Demand Works Smoothie SP0.930.07
ToolsGroup SO99 (Supply)0.820.18
Demand Works Smoothie0.960.04
Tableau (Forecasting)0.90.1
SAS Demand Driven Forecasting0.820.18
ToolsGroup SO99 (Forecasting)0.860.14
JDA DM0.570.43
Oracle Demantra0.330.67
SAP APO DP0.280.72
FinancialForce0.920.08
Intacct0.980.02
Intuit QB Enterprise0.80.2
ERPNext0.90.1
OpenERP0.780.22
Rootstock0.910.09
ProcessPro0.930.07
Microsoft Dynamics AX0.40.6
SAP Business One0.490.51
Sage X30.620.38
Infor Lawson0.580.42
Epicor ERP0.40.6
Oracle JD Edwards World0.310.69
Oracle JD Edwards EnterpriseOne0.360.64
SAP ERP ECC/R/30.320.68
NetSuite OneWorld0.650.35

Risk Definition

See this link for more on our categorizations of risk. We also offer a Buyer Specific Risk Estimation as a service for those that want a comprehensive analysis.

Finished With Your Analysis?

To go back to the Software Selection Package page for the Demand Planning software category. Or go to this link to see other analytical products for Business Forecast Systems.

References