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        Stephen Hurrell's Analyst Perspectives

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        Akeron Vulki: A Sales Performance Application with a Difference

        Revenue and sales performance used to be the preserve of a few software providers as many enterprises made do with in-house solutions, often built on the ubiquitous spreadsheet. But increasingly managing revenue and sales performance is becoming too complex as business models are changing in response to customer behavior.  

        Akeron, with their Vulki Sales Performance application, is a more recent entrant to the market. Akeron, in its current incarnation is led by Marco Pierallini and Manuel Vellutini who were also responsible for Tagetik, an enterprise performance management application. Based in Lucca, Italy, Akeron has taken familiar concepts and functions such as aggregation, allocation, forecasting and version control from the enterprise performance arena and utilized them to develop a sales performance application. 

        The new Vulki application is focused on several main areas within sales and revenue performance management including incentive compensation, territory, quota and resource planning, as well as reporting, analytics and forecasting. Rather than a general focus, Akeron has extended the functionality to support the specific needs of several verticals, such as CPG, retail and financial services. This includes the ability to accommodate multiple sales channels and trade promotion considerations. 

        Compensation is not restricted to incentives based purely on sales and can also incorporate MBO and annual variable plans. This is important to fully support the modern revenueVentana_Research_2024_Assertion_RPM_Incentive_Comp_Plans_44_S organization, where the rise of digital commerce and the introduction of subscription business models has broadened the number of staff in an enterprise who are involved in revenue beyond the more traditional sales and account executives. We believe that through 2026, fewer than 2 in 5 enterprises will develop incentive compensation plans for everyone on revenue-supporting teams, thus impacting the enterprise's ability to hit new, expansion and retention revenue targets.  

        Likewise, the modern enterprise needs to be agile in its ability to be responsive to events on the ground. Historically, sales plans including quotas and compensation were set once and remained unchanged during the year. However, as remarked earlier, multiple selling channels and the need for agility means that promotions, incentives and quotas may need to be adjusted during the year. A good performance management system should not just be about reporting and execution but should also have the ability to link back to planning functions to adjust as needed. Vulki, with its strong planning functionality, has this capability. 

        Akeron is primarily focused on larger enterprises and have what they refer to as “composability” to ensure that workflows and processes are aligned with the customers’ needs. In addition, Vulki customers will almost certainly need to integrate data with various third-party systems such as financial objectives and targets, product and pricing information, bookings and order data and workforce pay systems. Akeron has a data hub capability to enable custom integrations with required third-party systems.  

        As a European based software provider and with functionality well suited to verticals such as CPG, retail and financial services, Vulki from Akeron should be under consideration for enterprises wishing to modernize systems and processes for a more complex selling environment. 

        Regards,

        Stephen Hurrell

        Authors:

        Stephen Hurrell
        Director of Research, Office of Revenue

        Stephen Hurrell leads the Office of Revenue software research and advisory expertise at Ventana Research, now part of ISG and guides leaders in the applications and technology for buying and selling products and services to maximize revenue. His topics of coverage include digital commerce, partner management, revenue management, sales engagement, revenue performance management and subscription management.

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