Based in Danvers, MA,  Abiomed is a global leader in healthcare technology and innovation. Primarily, they are a provider of medical devices that offer circulatory support to acute heart failure patients. Their products are designed to enable the heart to rest, heal, and recover by improving blood flow and/or performing the pumping of the heart.  Abiomed has over 200 patents or patents pending from over $200m in R&D in addition to over 12,000 patients supported in over 40 countries worldwide. From the world’s first total replacement heart to the World’s Smallest Heart Pump, which is 1/100th the size of the heart and allows for rapid and simple insertion, Abiomed is dedicated to finding ways to bring the most advanced and beneficial technology to patients and physicians.

Due Diligence

Abiomed began researching different options for financial reporting in 2009.  Their first major decision was which software to use, and they chose SAP BusinessObjects Planning and Consolidation, and then set off to decide on a company to implement it for them.

The goal of the project was to drive operational excellence in the financial processes.  This would be accomplished by providing a robust financial reporting system to help support growth of business, and a system that could be maintained and administered by the finance team.  It would have to allow the finance department to operate on more value-added financial functions for the business instead of manual intensive financial reporting schedules as well as improve controls and efficiencies. Lastly the project should enhance and add additional financial reporting capabilities (cost center reporting, revenue, and inventory).

The new project would replace Excel as mechanism for financial consolidation reporting and eliminate reentry of SAP data into Excel to consolidate financial results which would in turn reduce or eliminate risk of error.

Breakaway’s Implementation

During the implementation, Breakaway consultants were on-site talking to employees and ensuring everyone was on the same page. Keith Cambra from Abiomed said “The consultants always allowed me to sit side by side and soak us as much information as I could, usually consultants just ask the questions and then go away and fix it, but with Breakaway they work with you, so now I can do a lot of things on my own.” The project streamlined the financial process and provides reports quickly; monthly close used to take 14 days and now only takes only 3. Breakaway provided a robust reporting system that will continue to grow as Abiomed does.

Breakaway is also available to Abiomed in a support capacity, and although they haven’t had many issues, Breakaway’s support team is easy to get a hold of and always respond quickly to concerns. As new projects were implemented, Abiomed users needed to learn the new system quickly, so Breakaway sent their trainer up to Abiomed’s headquarters to provide the necessary insight. Keith Cambra from Abiomed, voiced his support in a recent interview- “I recommend them to everybody, they’re the  only ones I recommend, I’m a huge proponent of Breakaway, the experience, the great tools that you give your customers, they  know how to get projects done.”

Future Plans

Abiomed has decided to continue the business partnership with Breakaway because of the great success they realized in the first implementation. Originally Abiomed was only going to use BPC for basic financial statements, but they are now using it for budgeting and forecasting, to get to one version of the truth. Breakaway has helped with all their different project plans, including budgeting and forecasting within BPC, separate internal order projects, and feed into eventual forecasting system.  Abiomed is adding Compensation Planning in the near future and Breakaway will be beginning the final piece by Q2 of next year. Breakaway is also in the process of upgrading Abiomed’s BPC to version 10. As Abiomed continues to grow, Breakaway will be quintessential in providing support and applications they need to compete.

Download PDF