Magazine article CRM Magazine

Compensation Management with a Real Payoff: Open-Source Software Provider Ingres Commissions Xactly to Automate Incentives

Magazine article CRM Magazine

Compensation Management with a Real Payoff: Open-Source Software Provider Ingres Commissions Xactly to Automate Incentives

Article excerpt

Ingres, a provider of open-source information management services, sees itself--and its solutions--occupying the cutting edge. (In fact, executives there boast of having the industry's first relational database.) One Ingres department, however, was nowhere near that edge in early 2008.

"We have an adventurous [chief executive officer] who actually built his own application to handle sales compensation," says Mike Kostow, Ingres's vice president of business operations. "But our [chief financial officer] was spending 20 [percent] to 30 percent of his time dealing with sales compensation and managing the application that [the CEO] had built. From infancy, this was a huge challenge for our company--we had a global business and we didn't have an adequate solution in place." In short, the homegrown sales compensation offering lacked automation, timeliness, and transparency.

One of the largest issues for Ingres? The work-anywhere nature of its business involves employees scattered all over the globe--and involves paying them in their respective currencies. The homegrown solution, though, couldn't handle foreign currency. The old setup required too much time to operate, restricted the ability to view an entire spreadsheet at once to just the manager or auditor, and couldn't delve into any individual employee record. The system also kept employees from viewing their own sales and payment records, meaning salespeople weren't clear on what commissions to expect.

Worse, they were engaging in "shadow" accounting. "They were trying to calculate their own commissions," Kostow says. "That becomes quite a process for your sales teams--to be spending a quarter of their time worrying whether commission numbers were right or not."

In addition, says Shelley Keefe, Ingres's business operations analyst, the auditing process was a mess, with auditors unable to drill down to one particular field. She had to hand over the entire spreadsheet at once.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

When Kostow took over the operations role, he decided that Ingres needed to implement a new solution--and fast. The company, without much deliberation, chose Xactly's Incent on-demand sales compensation management application and rolled out the solution in mere weeks. The on-demand model made sense, Ingres executives say: About 95 percent of the company's information infrastructure is built on on-demand solutions. (Doug Harr, Ingres's chief information officer, discusses the company's overarching Salesforce. …

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