Grant Halloran, CEO of Host Analytics (as it was referred back then) stood in front of the entire company, all together in a San Diego hotel ballroom.
He took a sip of his water, taking a moment for a good look at his audience, and his clicker sent the screen to the next slide. The screen was black.
“What is our number one priority?” he asked the audience.
In one voice, every employee in the company responded.
“Our customers!” they shouted in unison.
Grant smiled. He hit the next slide, and Host became Planful.
From 2001 to 2020 to Beyond: CEO Grant Halloran’s Keynote
On January 15, 2020, over two hundred employees and partners arrived in San Diego for Company Kickoff 2020. Grant started his opening keynote at around 1 PM PST, and by the time he was finished, everyone in the audience became a part of the Planful journey and the brand was live for the world to see.
Grant started the keynote by looking back, noting that in the past 12 months, the company has seen:
- 150 new enhancements to the products, driven by customers, and our vision.
- A raft of new customers, from diverse industries such as FinTech, hospitality, sports, manufacturing, nonprofits, retail, and construction.
- Over 100 new employees, including 5 new senior executives.
“How do we take this to the next level? How do we build on this momentum and keep continually improving? How do we grow rapidly while holding ourselves to high standards when it comes to taking care of our customers?” Grant asked the audience.
“When we started in 2001, we physically hosted our FP&A automation machines on-premise at our customers’ offices. The words “Host” and “Analytics” have changed drastically in the last decade, and don’t mean as much to the customers we serve, financial planning & analysis professionals, so when I came on board, I immediately set out to find an identity that means something to our customers in today’s world.”
Rowan Tonkin, the head of the marketing organization, was tasked with bringing this new identity to life.
“The name Planful resonated with me because it was about our customers — the trait they all naturally have, the strength we can help strengthen. Instead of being about our company and our product, ‘Planful’ reflects our customers and represents the potential we can help them reach.”
Financial Consolidation’s Role In Continuous Planning: SVP of Marketing Rowan Tonkin’s Keynote
By using a cloud-based planning platform, Rowan explained, finance teams can automate and accelerate their financial consolidation and planning process, reducing their planning and decision cycles by over 80 percent. Now when the business encounters a sudden change, an unforeseen challenge, or an emerging opportunity, the FP&A team can offer strategic and confident insights and adjust the company’s plans without missing a beat.
“Our platform helps finance teams focus more of their energy on being strategic advisors to all facets of their business. That helps their respective companies understand their financial data better, elevating the entire company’s financial IQ, involving everyone in the planning and decision-making process,” said Rowan. “Planful companies make better decisions, more frequently. The entire organization starts moving more proactively, more strategically, and more collaboratively. That’s a competitive advantage. That’s how our customers are building great companies.”
Want To Learn More About Continuous Planning?
Read about our decision to become Planful, our press release announcing the change, and for more information about Continuous Planning, check out our guide here.