Product Manager’s Corner

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Although not even halfway over, 2016 is shaping up to be a year of exciting milestones for the Product Team here at Oracle Hyperion EPM. In the March issue of Product Manager’s Corner, Rich Wilkie described two new EPM services: Account Reconciliation Cloud Service (ARCS) and Financial Consolidation and Close Cloud Service (FCCS). These are major new additions to the EPM Cloud. If it is not already obvious, the Oracle EPM Cloud is taking shape with a full range of capability.

By the time this newsletter goes to press, we expect to have another significant contribution to the EPM Cloud. Specifically, we are introducing the Oracle Enterprise Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service (E-PBCS). The simplest way to describe this new service is that it is the “Planning Modules in the cloud”. However, this description does not do it the justice that it deserves. The release of E-PBCS will be the culmination of 12+ months of design, development, and innovation. In short, these are the planning modules re-imagined…

E-PBCS consists of four best practice planning processes, and is built on the PBCS platform. These include the three traditional on-premise planning processes (Workforce, Capex, & Project Financial Planning), as well as a new business process called “Financial Statement Planning”. The new module is a fully integrated, driver-based planning framework across the full trial balance. “Fully integrated” means that, as you plan items on the income statement, it is automatically updating the balance sheet and cash flow. All four of the planning processes include significant best practice planning content - including new pre-built dashboards and reports.

However, as implied above, these are not your Daddy’s planning modules. E-PBCS is best thought of as a configurable planning “framework”. Significant innovation has gone into the cloud platform to allow the planning framework to be configured for customer-specific requirements yet it remains fully upgradable by Oracle. This is a game-changer from a total cost of ownership perspective, and is a significant difference from the on-premise planning modules.

The cloud planning framework in E-PBCS adds value in other ways too. First, we have introduced the concept of ‘incremental enablement’.  This allows you to just turn on the features you need. For example, fully-integrated Financial Statement Planning may sound attractive. However, you may just need to start with ‘Expense Planning’ in the short-term. A new easy-to-use administrator console allows you to just ‘turn on’ the Expense planning. Other features, such as revenue and balance sheet can be enabled later with just a few clicks of a button. This ensures “quick wins”, and an easily managed path to long-term success. In short, start small, then mature your cloud planning solution over time.

Another valuable innovation for E-PBCS are the new business wizards. We have made a very material investment in making it easier and faster to administer your planning processes. Our vision is that you shouldn’t need to be a ‘Hyperion PhD’ just to add new drivers, calculated accounts, or KPIs. The new business wizards allow you to implement and maintain the system in the context of the “business” – as opposed to the context of the “technology”. This empowers the business to take more ownership in the planning activities.

In summary, I think it’s fair to say that the rate of innovation in the EPM Cloud has been breath taking. Furthermore, our development and R&D teams are currently burning the midnight oil to ensure that this pace continues through the remainder of the year. Empowering our customers with choice is top of mind. The Cloud is quickly altering the art of the possible for EPM, and we want to ensure our customers have a full array of EPM cloud capability to compliment our on-premise suite of solutions. Stay tuned for other exciting new capability coming to the EPM Cloud.

We are excited to share more information on these new solutions as well as to deeper insight into the product roadmap at Kscope in Chicago this year. Don’t miss our regular product sessions as well as the Sunday Symposium. We look forward to seeing you there!

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