Phocas offers a mature self-service tool, which enables users to perform their own analysis and reporting once IT has provisioned the data. It has a good range of functionality to support ad hoc querying, standard reporting, dashboarding and data discovery.
Phocas was founded in 2001 in the UK and is now a medium-sized company with full-service offices on three continents. The company has shown annual growth of 20 percent over the last ten years. It now has around 1,600 customers and reported revenues of $20 million last year. Phocas now has over 88 percent recurring subscription revenue, spread fairly evenly between the UK, Australia and North America. The company is 14 percent profitable, and is held by the founders and employees with no debt.
Phocas is focused on the manufacturing, distribution and retail industry verticals and the sales and inventory business functions. Its consulting teams are experts in these areas and can help customers set up data integration from ERP systems and expandable pre-built data models. Partially due to their expertise and tool specialization, Phocas relies on over a dozen partners and buying groups for much of its business.
Phocas offers pre-built solutions and an easy-to-use, self-service tool that enables non-technical users to view and build dashboards, or work in a spreadsheet-style environment when more detail and analytical capability is required. The product provides flexible ad hoc reporting and analysis for business users who can administer the tool themselves.
Based on HTML5 and Java, Phocas has a simple, but modern design and can be accessed by any device with a web browser. Most customers use Phocas’ subscription-based license model, which includes software licenses, training and software maintenance. The web application is available on-premises or in the cloud on Microsoft IIS 7, provided by Phocas, or in a private cloud.
Phocas also provides a CRM, rebates and financial statements tools. The CRM application combines the analytical capabilities of Phocas BI with operational processes for sales and marketing (e.g., contact or campaign management).
Phocas stands out in the market because of its highly targeted product. It supplies solutions (not only a tool) to a core market of small and medium-sized manufacturing, wholesale distribution and retail companies. Although, in recent years, the company has taken on larger customers and other verticals. Phocas primarily sells into the sales department, expanding from there into other areas of the business.
Phocas 7 uses a Microsoft SQL Server database to manage metadata for BI applications and to integrate data from over 200 data sources and over 20 ERP systems. It comes with a specific data model that skilled business or IT users can set up in “Database Designer” mode.
User & Use Cases
Phocas is used for standard reporting and ad hoc query by all the users responding to this year’s BI Survey. Customers also use it for dashboards and scorecards (94 percent). In addition, half of customers use Phocas for basic analysis (53 percent) and budgeting and planning (50 percent) and plan to use it for advanced analysis (50 percent) and financial consolidation (59 percent). The breadth of use and planned use speaks to the maturity and flexibility of Phocas.
Phocas concentrates on mid-market businesses, so it’s no surprise that 72 percent of its customers are medium-sized. Its penetration rate is quite high: an average of 26 percent of employees use the product, comfortably above the survey average of 17 percent. This is a positive reflection on the tool’s versatility, ease of use and applicability to multiple horizontal business functions.
Current vs. planned use
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Percentage of employees using Phocas
Number of users using Phocas
Tasks carried out with Phocas by business users
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