Customer Success Story: AEG Presents
AEG Presents Reduces Reporting Times by 99% with VenaPlay Video
Customer Snapshot: AEG Presents
Second largest live entertainment company in the world
13 regional offices with corporate HQ in Los Angeles
Integrations: JD Edwards for ERP
AEG Before Vena
“Painful. Very painful.”
That’s how Bernadett Papp, Director of Budget & Analysis at AEG Presents—one of the largest live music companies in the world—described her budgeting and forecasting processes before implementing Vena four years ago. Every month, Papp would dig through a series of 60-tab Excel spreadsheets and manually pull data from 13 regional offices just to create an accurate forecast. In some cases, a single report would take three full days to produce.
“I was always chasing people down, telling them ‘send me your files, send me your spreadsheets,’” says Papp. “It got to the point where doing everything in Excel alone just wasn’t manageable anymore.”
This really isn’t surprising, considering all the data Papp was working with at AEG. The company operates more than 10,000 live shows every year, including Coachella—one of the most famous music festivals in the world.
AEG was growing fast and Papp knew she needed help solving the data integrity and version control problems she was experiencing with offline spreadsheets. She couldn’t really perform any meaningful analysis because all of her time was spent manually inputting numbers into Excel.
“It was frustrating,” she says. “So I started thinking ‘OK, we need a solution to aggregate all this data.’”
“With Vena, it’s not just the solution. It’s also the people who make this all work and that’s what I think differentiates Vena from all the competitors.”
Director of Budget & Analysis
The Vena Solution
When Papp started her search, she knew she was looking for a cloud-based platform that could streamline budgeting and forecasting and eliminate her manual processes. She also knew she needed a tool that could link with AEG’s source systems, provide a user-friendly experience and bring all of the company’s financial data into one secure location with minimal involvement from IT.
Papp and her teammates found all that and more with Vena. She loved the platform’s native integration with Excel and was impressed by the enterprise-class features, such as workflows, audit trails and user-level security permissions. The software was implemented during the summer of 2016 and AEG has been a valued Vena customer ever since.
Today, Papp’s struggles with 60-tab spreadsheets are nothing more than a memory.
“One of the biggest factors that drove us towards Vena was the Excel interface,” she says. “We were able to take our existing reports, put them into the system and then have the database pull that information into the same Excel format that our users already knew. I was not seeing that happen with any other solutions on the market.”
AEG with Vena
99% reduction in reporting times,
from three days to three minutes
Front-end Excel interface allows for self-sufficiency,
high user adoption and minimal IT involvement
Seamless connectivity with all existing
source systems for real-time data transfers and easier ad hoc reporting
AEG’s results with Vena so far? Faster ad hoc reporting, greater trust in their numbers, advanced financial modeling capabilities and freedom from manual, offline Excel work. Instead of spending three days on a single forecast report, Papp can now deliver multiple reports to her CFO in just a few minutes.
“I can finally do my job. I can actually do analysis,” she says. “I enjoy building reports and slicing-and-dicing data. Now I have more time to do that!”
The flexibility of Vena’s Excel interface has also enabled Papp to scale the solution beyond the office of finance. AEG is now using Vena for account reconciliations as well as operational planning, with plans to add dashboarding functionality later this year.
More use-cases also means more users and AEG now has 60 employees across the organization actively using Vena in their roles. The platform was originally implemented just for Papp’s corporate team, which is a powerful testament to AEG’s ongoing belief in Vena as a strategic business partner and driver of long-term success.
But at the end of the day, Papp knows better than anyone that AEG’s journey with Vena is only just beginning. Like all FP&A trailblazers, her desire to continue learning is insatiable and she’s excited to discover what Vena can do for her next.
“We can do more. We can build more. I want to use Vena to its fullest potential,” she says. “With Vena, it’s not just the solution. It’s also the people who make this all work and that’s what I think differentiates Vena from all the competitors.”