Cloud Alphabet Soup

Time for a pop quiz: Quickly, what do PBCS, EPRCS, FCCS, ARCS, EssCS, and EPBCS mean? Stumped? In order, they are Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service, Enterprise Performance Reporting Cloud Service, Financial Consolidation and Cloud Service, Account Reconciliation Cloud Service, Essbase Cloud Service, and Enterprise Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service. Do you see the common thread in all of these products? It’s actually two.

The first, and the easy one, is cloud. Cloud, cloud, cloud, cloud. Oracle is betting big, really big, on the cloud and are all in on that technology trend. Does that mean that they’re merely doing a lift-and-shift of their on-premises tools? In some respects that’s a fair view – how different, really, is PBCS from Planning? How different could EssCS be from the Essbase that has been around since 1993? At the same time Oracle have extended the products with new functionality that isn’t available on the traditional product, e.g. Valid Intersections in PBCS. But that sort of thing is just an extension to the tool. Are there any truly new products?

The answer is yes. Oracle are creating new applications that share a concept, be it budgeting or reporting or financial close, but then go beyond incremental functionality increases but instead are new and different applications; EPBCS is one of those and it’s very intriguing in its functionality and purpose.

EPBCS combines the power and functionality of PBCS and the prebuilt modules of on-premises Planning Capex, Workforce, Project, and of course Planning’s core functionality of financial statement budgeting. What’s different about EPBCS is that these applications are wizard-driven pre-built modules following budgeting good practices. The promise is that you simply tick the boxes for the type of application module you want and it’s all there.

As an example, the financial statement planning module has: revenue, expense, balance sheet, and cashflow planning already built. Within those modules are leading practices and functionality such as driver-based budgeting, pre-built Financial Reports and dashboards and integration with workforce and capital expense planning.

The wizard orientation means that functionality can be incrementally allowed. Want to start off with revenue and expense planning? Only enable those functions. Need to incorporate Capex? Again, tick the box.

How is this different from today’s on-premises Planning modules? The difference is threefold: these modules are part and parcel of EPBCS so the disruptive recreation of on-premises Planning applications when a new module is added to a standard Planning application is gone, the good practice wizards, and of course the get-thee-behind-me on-premises EPM infrastructure is gone, gone, gone.

And those differences are what makes EPBCS so intriguing. By making Planning implementations simpler and more flexible Oracle have made Planning cheaper. Cheaper plus Better Equals Good or, to use the Oracle naming pattern, CBEGCS.

When will all of this Planning goodness be available? As always, Oracle won’t say but the product is in beta today. Will Kscope16 be the place to get the straight dope on EPBCS? Absolutely.

See you in Chicago.

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