Friday, May 30, 2008

Xactly Incent 4.0 - Effective Dating and Other New Features

Xactly will be releasing the new version of its On-Demand Sales Compensation Management application in the next week or two.

The main changes in Incent 4.0 will include an improved user interface and reports, "effective dating", improved organizational management and advanced searches.

User Interface and Reports:
The interface looks good and most of the changes were made around the new functionalities for effective dating. The reports look prettier and also have new security/privacy features. More reports are available and they work "out-of-the-box". As far as I know these reports are still not very customizable, so it will be important to make sure they satisfy the reporting needs.

Effective dating:
This is a feature I described earlier when discussing versioning. Effective dating allows to give a certain value to an object between certain dates, and a different value between other dates. This can be used to track changes to teams and reporting releationships, job or role changes, promotions, name changes, targets, etc.

For example, if a person's salary goes up from $50,000 to $60,000 on March 31st, the original version will show a salary of $50,000 and a new version will be created with an effective date of March 31st and a salary of $60,000.

Effective dating is extremely useful because rather than scrambling to make changes before a payroll date, changes can be done at anytime. Since these changes can be tracked, effective dating also improves auditability (it is easy to see how historical commissions were calculated).

Note: Effective dating in Xactly is currently limited to people, positions, hierarchy and relationships. Hopefully a future version of Incent will allow effective dating of other objects such as plans, rules, quotas, etc.

Organizational Management:
Without effective dating, organizational management was a bit tricky in previous versions. Changes in hierarchy and relationships are now much simpler and much cleaner.

Advanced Search:
Advanced searching makes the process of finding the right object or result much quicker. It was also a needed add-on to be able to search for effective dated objects.



I have seen a few minor upgrades of Xactly (3.x) and with the scope of these changes, this new release (version 4) clearly deserves it's own number. Lets just hope that effective dating will be applicable to all objects in the near future.

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Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Julien Dionne is a well-rounded consultant with global business management experience and outstanding technical, business and leadership skills. He earned a Bachelor of Applied Science in Software Engineering from the University of Ottawa, Canada, and he is a member of the Canadian Professional Sales Association. The views posted within this blog do not reflect the views of Julien’s current or previous employers and clients. Julien can be reached at julien.dionne@gmail.com