Last week our team had the privilege of joining a winter release webinar which allowed us to see the latest and greatest 2016 happenings inside of Host. You can access the webinar here: Host Release Webinar Recordings Library, however, you must be logged in to a Host environment in order to land successfully on the link. No sense writing out the sixty minutes of recording. The explanations were great and thoroughly worth the viewing but we’d like to highlight some of the 2016 Winter Release changes that caught my eye:
Improvement to the User Experience
- Updated client platform matrix with Browsers and Operating Systems – this means that now Host users of Macs, Safari, Firefox, and Chrome as well as Windows 7,8, and 10, can see more menu options than before making the browser independence gap between IE and all others even narrower. The updates have also brought Host in alignment with the Operating System and Office products that make up so many configurations within the Host Eco-space. The diagram to the left is explained thoroughly in the video. The spring release is certain to narrow this gap even further.
- Scenario Add/Edit improvements – these improvements include allowing scenario creators to create scenarios with less clutter on the screen. The functions have been split between three tabs making the scenario creation process cleaner while enabling users to seed scenarios with more options by month for comparison (ex: previous year actuals vs. budget vs. forecast etc.)
- Column Ordering for Drill-Through Reports – this is a great new alignment of the loaded transaction data. Now, when you load sub-ledger details into Host and drill down upon the GL Summary balance you will see the transaction detail in the order in which the fields were loaded into the Host tenant database. This should make for much easier reporting of and digesting of detailed transactions.
- .xlsx support for exports and Data Load Rules – You can now both export and import .xlsx files (Office Excel 2007 and beyond). What a change from the previous archaic functionality of .xls (Office Excel 2003 files).
- Scheduler integration for Consolidation & Financial Package Publisher – Bringing you even closer to automation, now you can schedule your board books produced with the Financial Package Publisher to run without any intervention from you. You can run them monthly, weekly, or even every 45 minutes. Likewise, you can now execute your entire consolidation process as a scheduled job. Both processes now allow for email or in-application messaging to remind you of when each process has taken place and completed successfully.
- New Employee Load APIs – Now becoming more connected than ever, Host supports additional API’s for loading, getting, and deleting employee data into and out of Host. With these new APIs you can load notes for an employee position, load multiple positions for employees, or delete employee positions, specifically by scenario, budget entity, and employee position. This provides a great way to clean up the budget or forecast for one of the more labor intensive templates in anyone’s budget process.
We’ve highlighted just a few of the great enhancements above. We certainly encourage you to watch the whole video. Bryan does a great job explaining the changes and if you get stuck, you can always pause. Winter Release Good luck!
Learn more about Host, and what it can do for you by contacting Brittenford and by seeing the following Host Analytics resources:
- Are We Really at the End of Spreadsheets?
- Block Templates: Uses and Advantages
- FAQ: “Why Can’t I Add a Dimension in Host Analytics?“
- FAQ: “What Do All of these Security Roles Mean?“
- Five Ways We’ve Improved the Speed of Host Analytics Implementations
- Differences between Financial Consolidations and Consolidated Reporting
- Winter Released Just in Time for Spring: Host Analytics Winter Updates