2023 Product Updates

Q1 2023 Multi-Year Tactics & Costs Management

Until now, the basic logic of Hive9 was that tactics were tied to a plan year, which is not always realistic. For example, activities can be scheduled for multiple years. Expenses for an activity realization in a preceding or a subsequent year are another case. The Hive9 platform enabled users to make a copy of a tactic to extend and link to the next year in the plan, but it is not a true multi-year tactic as it appears as separate entries within each plan year. 

The January 2023 release introduces multi-year tactics in a way that you can now extend tactics and not generate separate objects. Line items that span across years will access budget pickers for each year. The integrity of the plan year will remain intact; while the view from the tactic inspection window will be comprehensive but opened to a plan year view. Additional years are easily accessible, along with the ability to view tactic performance, planned and actual costs as a “whole” across years. 

The planned cost fields are expanded to accommodate multiple plan year entries as well as a totals for the tactic, program, and campaign. Only the total for the plan year being viewed rolls up to the grid. Goals are distributed from start to end date, even across years but rolled up by year to show in each associated plan. 

One tactic may have more than one parent program: for example, Tactic T1 may have parent P1 for year 2022 and P2 for year 2023 and P3 for year 2024. The same applies for programs and campaigns, each being allowed more than one parent, but only one per year. This flexibility enables a program to live within one campaign for 2 years while moving to another for the third while one of its tactics are moved each year. 

Applicable Use Cases 

The following use cases are supported with multi-year tactics management:

Evergreen Tactics
Tactics are marked as evergreen by selecting “ongoing tactic / evergreen activity” in Inspection Window. Linking tactics will look as it does today – users select the link to option, but it will extend the tactic and maintain one tactic ID. In the grid view, users can filter to view only evergreen tactics. Users can close evergreen tactics by unchecking the “ongoing tactic” checkbox OR by selecting “close evergreen tactic” New “effective date” column so users can enter multiple goals for different monthly timeframes. 

Future year tactics 
The Hive9 platform enables tactics to be outside of the plan dates. For example, this supports the use case where future year tactics sometimes have current year costs.

Multi-year line items
You can set line items to span fiscal years by using the “+ Year” button to add future years and the “- Year” button to add previous years. Point of View drop-down added when viewing tactic attributes, with cost allocation grid highlights based on point of view. 

PR line item budget to be governed by its delivery date 
A new global configuration will now specify that line items will use budget from the fiscal year associated with the delivery date of the PR line. 

Multi-year budget picker 
Multiple budget pickers are available across plan years once plans are connected. Plans do not need to initially exist.

Goal horizons
The goal horizon can be set beyond the in-market dates to allow teams to capture delayed results. For evergreen tactics, the goal horizon will be the end date of the fiscal year furthest in the future for that tactic (start date or inserted results date). Tactic goals are spread across the in-market months, plus the goal horizon, enabled from the tactic types within the model. 

Performance horizons
You can select multiple years when adding performance actuals via the “+ Year” button.  This enhancement enables performance to be posted to any period after the start date, including after the end date. It will pick up performance if it’s in the plan year, as it does today, and enable the user to collect the performance beyond that. 

EDW Export Exchanges
As part of the multi-year feature, there will be some changes to the way that EDW data exports are formatted. Prior to this release, EDW export scripts had one file with a set of defined columns. As of the Multi-year release, the EDW exports will have two files: 

The modified original file Tactics.csv will be added by the columns IsEvergreen and EvergreenCloseDate. The new file will have the following columns:

Any data analysis which needs to use the data in the new file will need to reference that file explicitly. 

Q3 2021 Release Features

HubSpot Integration

With a new integration to HubSpot, Hive9 customers using HubSpot save time, ensure data quality and enable data-driven improvements to their plans. The connector automatically creates HubSpot campaigns from Hive9 tactics upon approval, pre-filled with all relevant planning data. In addition, the connector pulls back performance data to inform changes to your plans.

We’ll also populate the campaign hierarchy and support custom, logic-driven naming conventions. Our customers save significant time, as well as experience fewer errors, by automating this process.

Once connected, Hive9 ensures that the systems remain in sync by processing updates on a regular basis. The campaign creation is in real time.

Additionally, aggregated response data, inquiries and qualified leads can be retrieved by Hive9 for inclusion in our Performance Visualization Module, ensuring that the performance of your campaigns is viewed within the context of your plans and is in line with your goals.

We’ll work with you to connect to HubSpot and set up the integration, providing assistance so that you can get the most out of the mapping.


My Approval Dashboard – PR Transactions Approval 

We have enhanced the existing Object Approvals grid to include Approve/Decline actions, enabling the user to sort through their approvals more efficiently.

Previously, PR transaction approvals were located within the PR line item. With the new PR Transaction Approval grid from the My Approval Dashboard, users can access their approvals from one location. This grid will hold all the relevant transaction info—Transaction Number, PR Name, PR Line, PO Number, Delivery Date, Transaction Date (Invoice Date) and Amount (Invoice Amount)—and will also include the newly created Approve/Reject actions.  

Upon Decline (or Reject), the user will be prompted to provide a comment for the decision.  

We have also updated the grid for better search and filter functionality. 

Column Management for Line Item and PR Sub-Grid

We have added Line Item and PR Line Attributes, for both Standard and Custom Attributes, as a column management, sub-grid options. Previously, only Finance Budget Attributes were shown.

The Line Item Attributes section contains existing columns from the linked line item sub grid, as well as standard line item attributes. The Purchase Request Line section contains all the standard attributes of the PR Line. These attributes have also been added to the Custom Attributes section.

The user can further organize the columns via drag-and-drop functionality.

Earlier 2021 Updates

Q2 2021 Updates

Following a busy Q2 here at Hive9, we are excited to announce our new features and enhancements.

New Features

Audit Log

Hive9 users now have access to an internal audit log viewer, which shows updates and modifications within the application. The audit log will record just about every change within the system, providing a record of operations within Hive9. The financial budget audit log is still in place and will continue to be used in that context.

The audit log tracks all events in the system, such as creating, updating and deleting plan objects, and writes a record of each event in the audit log for later retrieval by the user.

The audit log can be filtered and searched by Date, User, Object (Plan, Tactic, PR, etc.), Object Name and ID. This enables users to view and filter what action (Create, Delete, Edit, etc.) was taken, what field the change occurred in, and what the value was before and after the change.

This new functionality also helps users track down specific changes. For example, if several tactics had a bulk change to their target region, users could perform a simple filter search to see the changes in values, the time they occurred and who made the changes. Or, as another example, if users notice several unfamiliar items showing up in a plan, they can see what was recently created in the audit log.

The system admin has access to the internal audit log, which can also be accessed by other users via role permissions.

This new feature is designed to be a valuable resource for users who want to gain greater insight into activity within the application or to quickly identify issues or discrepancies.


Bulk Editing via Honeycomb

We have created the ability for users to effortlessly select and edit multiple objects (Campaign, Program, Tactic, Line Item) in bulk within the Plan and Budget & Cost Grid. This includes Standard Attributes, as well as a variety of Custom Attributes, assuming the item types are similar and the destination values are identical.

There are some fields that do not lend themselves to a Bulk Edit, which are listed as “Excluded Attributes.”

Dropdowns include multi-select options:

If an error in editing occurs, a pop-up will inform the user of the issue.

Any changes made to required fields will require objects to be re-submitted for approval.

Re-Submit Approval Workflow

Any objects where required attributes have been modified by the user will be re-submitted to their approval workflow. The only exception is when the amount of a PR line is the only change, where the modified PR approval workflow will be used for the re-submission.

If the user submits an object to a workflow for approval but then edits the list of approvers on the workflow, any impacted approval levels will be re-submitted if the object is in a submitted state. Once approved, objects are not subject to re-approval due to workflow changes. They would only be re-submitted for object changes to required fields, as noted above.

If a workflow change is made and the re-submission is declined, the object will be placed in a “created” state so that it can be modified to accommodate the needs of the declining approver before re-submitting.

An approver can be deleted from a workflow and the related objects in a submitted state can still be approved if that approver was further along the workflow than all users who have already approved so far.

Custom Allocation & Hard Stop

Users can save a line item linked to a finance budget with a hard stop. If that line item has a Custom Allocation method, an amount might not be associated to a finance budget time frame (e.g., monthly or quarterly) with any unallocated amount residing in the unallocated column.

*Because the amount is not associated with a time frame, the hard stop functionality will be bypassed.

We have created a new configuration in the Organizational Setup page (under Settings), allowing admins to toggle between Allowing Unallocated Amounts in Line Item Allocation or not.

If this is toggled on, we will show the unallocated icon with the items.

This same functionality will appear under the line item grid in the inspection window. Here, a user cannot edit any planned cost or allocated values.

To update the values, the user will click the allocate icon and will be brought to a pop-up window to enable editing. Here, the user can enter the total cost and planned costs.

To save, the user cannot leave any unallocated costs.

The same functionality works for both quarterly and monthly amounts.

Note: This functionality works only for connected budget rows that have a hard stop enabled.

Finance Budget Default Row for Users

We have implemented a functionality enabling users to click an icon at the top of any budget column, while using the budget picker, to set that column (and its parents) as the default for future budget picker selections using that same budget. This means you can have different default budget columns for each budget listed within the budget picker.

Budgets for some organizations run many levels deep, and some users work within a small section of a very large budget. For that reason, being able to set a default for the budget levels that are always the same can be a significant time-saver.

New Row Entry and Permission Cascade

If a child item is added after permissions have been set at the parent level, it will now default to the permissions of that parent instead of automatically taking on the default permission level set for the finance budget as a whole.

This is an on/off permissions function.

Finance Budget Auto-Allocation Options

Using the honeycomb within the Finance Budget, users can quickly allocate annual budget amounts to specific months by spreading them, either evenly or by a specific percentage, across months or quarters.

When using this feature, 100% of the budget must be distributed, or an error message will occur.
Budget distribution will allow users to plan out finances throughout the year more seamlessly, effectively and efficiently than ever before.

Copy Plan Cost to Budget

We’ve enabled the Budget Admin, through the use of the honeycomb, the ability to take a planned cost amount for a given period and automatically copy it into the Budget Column for a particular month or group of months in that period.

This feature will allow users to take their planned costs and schedule them throughout the calendar year much faster than ever before.

Approval Dashboard – Export

Within the Approval Activities section of the Approval Dashboard, you can now export data as an Excel file.

Updated Broken Workflow Email to Provide Object Information

When an error in a workflow occurs, the Client Admin will now receive more information in their “Approval Workflow Broken” email. The email will include object details about what caused the error, as well as a link to those specific objects. When multiple errors occur, the email will list the errors, as well as a link to redirect the user to the Approval Workflow screen.

Add Blanks as a Filter in Plan Grid

In the Plan grid filter column, we have added a checkbox for “blanks” on all attributes where blank values exist.

This works exactly like any other picklist value in the filter column. For example, if a picklist has three values, the filter column would present four options, including blanks, and checking the box would work the same for all boxes.

This functionality is applicable for filters on the Plan grid, Budget grid and Calendar, as well as Standard reports.

Q1 2021 Updates

This quarter, we are very excited to be announcing a new set of features to better help you store, organize and share information within your attributes and to better help you plan, store and delete certain objects via our previously announced Recycle Bin feature.

Advanced Custom Attributes

We are excited to announce the availability of a suite of new features called Advanced Custom Attributes.

These features, available throughout Hive9’s planning and purchase support modules, enable customers to accommodate complex segmentation needs and a wider variety of use cases.

Users now have unlimited segmentation at any level of the planning hierarchy, including purchase support. The advanced capabilities include the following:

Attribute Sizing and Spacing

We’ve enabled Hive9 admins to set sizing parameters on attributes for both width and height. The width attribute is 1:4 to correlate to the current column structure, and the height attribute is 1:6 to correlate to the current row structure. The order, which can be configured, is based on the top left anchor.

Attribute Grouping

We’ve assigned attributes to groups. Groups, which can be ordered, each have their own collapsible container within the custom attributes section. If none of the attributes within a container are showing because of dependencies, the container will not show either. This allows attribute groups to include standard fields in the ordering as well.

Rich Text Attributes

We’ve added a new rich text editor to our attributes. Enter more polished documents directly into an attribute, such as a campaign brief, with support for pictures, bullets and tables.

Attachment Attributes

Hive9 now offers an upload button (appearing as a standard upload functionality), enabling users to search for and select a local file to upload or remove.

User clicks on the “Upload” button to initiate the flow.

Hive9 will display a pop-up for the user to select the storage drive/type.

Hive9 will enable the user to select the files to be uploaded. Users can also drag and drop the files on the displayed pop-up.

After a successful upload, only file names and links (provided by Microsoft Graph API) will be stored and referenced from Hive9.

All uploaded files are available for the user in a drop-down controller as a link.

When a user clicks on a file, Hive9 will redirect them to their Microsoft account in a separate browser window to view the file.

Tool Tips

We have added a field for Tool Tip to the Attribute Record, sharing an informative note to display on the screen, with an “i” icon and hover capability. If you have tips you would like to see on your custom attributes, contact your customer service team.

For more details on these new features, check out our press release here.

Recycle Bin

Previously in Hive9, any deleted entity is deleted logically and not physically. However, there is no feature to undelete any plan entity in the Hive9 application unless it is restored from the back end (database).

Now, Hive9 has created the ability for users to delete certain plan objects and store them in a recycling bin for a certain period of time, from where they can undelete/restore those plan objects if desired.

Users can also orphan certain plan objects and assign them to different parent objects as required.

This feature will give Hive9 users the flexibility to use plan objects in more effectively by deleting/undeleting them and moving them between parent entities as required.

When an object is undeleted, details such as undelete date, time and who undeleted it will be added into the comments box of that object in the UI. Further, the same thing will be done for all the child items that are being undeleted, along with the concerned object.

All recycled items will return to a “created” state and must be resubmitted for any required approvals.

These features are available to client and system administrators, as well as by specific permissions (and with respect to team rules for viewing and editing content to any role, as set by the administrator).

The features are applicable to only the plan hierarchy items: e.g., campaigns, programs, tactics, line items and PRs.

With these new features, Hive9 users will be able to plan more effectively and confidently.

We are very excited for the release of these new features to allow our users to better utilize Hive9. If you have any questions, please reach out to your Customer Success contact.

To read about Hive9 releases prior to 2021, go here.