Business/Customer Intelligence & Data Science

Phocas Software Rolls Out AI to 2050 Companies using its BI

Phocas Software

Phocas Software, a cloud SaaS company that makes business planning and analytics for manufacturing, distribution and retail businesses has rapidly rolled out AI-powered queries and visualizations making it even easier to use its Phocas Analytics offering. More than 40,000 individuals using Phocas Analytics can now simply ask questions rather than navigating the database to find answers to guide their planning and decision making at work.

Phocas AI uses a natural language processing model and can turbo charge all departments’ access to information leading to more informed decisions across the business. In recent years, Phocas has expanded beyond helping sales and inventory management into the office of finance with its Financial Statements and Budgets & Forecasts products that sit on a BI foundation. The whole platform is set to become augmented by AI in the future.

So far, the new AI feature in Analytics is proving most valuable for newcomers to business intelligence. Customers with no experience with analytics feel confident to ‘Ask Phocas AI.’ Users ask questions relating to their Company’s products, customers and sales in their natural language and what comes back are answers with the added benefit of revealing the breadcrumbs of how Phocas got to that result.

Johnstone Supply, a leading wholesale distributor for HVACR equipment, parts and supplies is one of the first Phocas customers to use Phocas AI across its sales, operations and purchasing divisions.

Tim Janes, Process Manager at Johnstone Supply says since the introduction of Phocas AI in Analytics, more people in the business want to try it out.

“What I can see AI doing for people, especially for beginner users, is the opportunity to come up with whatever question they want regarding the customer, whether it’s for a presales call or as the customer walks in the door,” says Janes.

“For example, they can ask, ‘What vendors or buy lines does this customer buy most often?’ And the Phocas AI serves the answer back to them quickly, and then our salesperson can have an informed conversation based on that information,” adds Janes.

Blair Cassidy, Chief Product and Technology Officer at Phocas Software says AI cuts the learning curve and can ultimately make work more fulfilling.

“Phocas AI is made to work across all departments, and everyone can tap into fast insights at every level of a business. It saves time and you don’t need to rely on anyone else to run reports to get visibility into what’s going on – you can just ask it yourself,” says Cassidy.

“Phocas is on a mission to make people feel good about data and being able to ask questions in the first instance rather than needing to navigate the software – or as a learning step to master data analysis is an exciting development for us and our customers,” says Cassidy.

AI is included as part of the Phocas Analytics subscription. Next steps for the Phocas development team are to imbed AI technology across the Phocas platform to super-charge the usability of its financial products including Financial Statements and Budgets & Forecasts.

Phocas maintains the highest level of data protection in the AI feature, just as it does across the entire platform and does not share any transactional data outside of the Phocas environment.

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