Monthly Archives: November 2013

Automating Cash Flow with Hyperion Financial Management

November 27, 2013

Has your team recently implemented Hyperion Financial Management (HFM), but you feel it is lacking bells and whistles you would expect with an enterprise application? Sure, the application is a great consolidation tool and it handles some incredibly complex ownership and allocation calculations with ease; but are you looking for the next big splash? Automating your statement of cash flows might be a great enhancement to consider. First, the bad news: HFM cannot automate a cash flow statement in its entirety. However, the good news is that a well-built solution can get you most of the way, which will be music in the ears of your corporate accounting team.

JF

Including cash flow within an HFM application will be a project well worth the effort. Modifications and edits to existing metadata, rules files and member lists along with the creation of new data forms are necessary steps in developing an effective solution. Once complete, HFM will automate the process of computing the change in balances for the period. It will pull needed values from the income statement and roll-forwards as well. The solution will also accurately calculate the effect of the exchange rate on the change in cash.

What’s more, assuming you are manually creating your cash flow statement using a spreadsheet, HFM will reduce error rates as so much of the heavy lifting will be automated. To go a step further, spreadsheet-based solutions are difficult to maintain. You are most likely using dozens of worksheets that source one another and one broken link can be disastrous. In addition, employee turnover can be a troublesome when that “we can’t afford to lose you because you are the only one who knows how this works” person actually leaves the company.

This solution will also improve productivity. The cash flow process can take upwards of two weeks when done manually depending on the size of the entity and complexity of transactions. Spreadsheet-based solutions simply do not have the capacity to meet the demanding reporting requirements of today. HFM will provide for a much faster close. By accelerating reporting cycles, HFM will deliver more timely results to internal and external stakeholders. After migrating to an automated cash flow solution using HFM, a recent client reported a time savings of 55% with the anticipation of having that number climb to 75% as familiarity with the new process grows. A faster close like this for your company will – without a doubt – free up employees to spend less time on processing and more time on value-added analysis!

Author: Joseph Francis, Performance Architects

 


© Performance Architects, Inc. and Performance Architects Blog, 2006 - present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog's author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Performance Architects, Inc. and Performance Architects Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Advisor Webcast: OBIEE 11g Diagnostics Tools

November 20, 2013

There is a great webcast that Oracle is hosting on December 10th: OBIEE 11g Diagnostics Tools and How to Use Them. This is a one hour web session recommended for both technical and functional users to learn more about the different diagnostic tools available within OBIEE and how to use them to resolve problems and errors in OBIEE.

Featured topics:

  • Know all the diagnostic tools available
  • Where to find their output
  • How to use them to troubleshoot problems

Click here to register: https://blogs.oracle.com/proactivesupportEPM/entry/aw_obiee11g_diagnostictools

Author: Melanie Mathews, Performance Architects


© Performance Architects, Inc. and Performance Architects Blog, 2006 - present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog's author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Performance Architects, Inc. and Performance Architects Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Still Hesitating to Move to Oracle Exalytics X2/X3-4? Upfront Costs and Training Needs Shouldn’t Stop You

November 13, 2013

As we work with our clients in helping them set up, or migrate to, an Oracle Exalytics X2/X3-4-based Oracle BI (OBIEE) or Enterprise Performance Management (EPM or Hyperion) environment we have noticed a recurring theme…in-house Information Technology (IT) support personnel express apprehensions with adopting the technology. So much so that in a case or two, they have asked us to perform the complete implementation of the solution – including the support efforts tailored to their practices – before they will take it over. While this is not something that we are adverse to, we think this is leading to some hesitation at some clients regarding their consideration of this hardware. This blog post is intended to address some of these concerns.

Let’s address the most basic concern, that this is not a hardware solution the IT team is accustomed to working with and it will cost more to purchase and maintain. In a world where major corporations are used to taking off-the-shelf hardware – usually from vendors that they have been working with for years, and are familiar with – and customizing it to their needs, the perceived constraint that the Exalytics hardware cannot be tailored to specific requirements is often a deal breaker. When we look at such cases, we have often found that with commodity hardware, clients often start off with a bare-minimum budget. They buy exactly what they think they need for the next two or three years, and not any more. Often, the unspoken assumption is that they are expecting to upgrade in a few years. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as there might be completely new hardware out there in a year or so. But if you take a moment to add up the numbers, it will not be long before an Exalytics box will make more economic sense. Rather than focusing on the lowest upfront cost, and then adding to it as time goes by, you are paying a little more for hardware that will last you much longer. There is also the fact that the work that an Exalytics machine can do usually takes clients multiple machines to get done. So if you factor in the additional overhead and cost of managing multiple machines, then the gap starts narrowing down really quickly.

In addition, the initial specifications for commodity hardware are based on perceived requirements. For the majority of our Exalytics projects, we find that once our client understands what the engineered solution can do, their expectations grow. In such cases, commodity hardware reaches its limits really quickly, and the upgrade cycle speeds up. The Exalytics machine, on the other hand, offers capabilities that will not only exceed the requirements of most of the clients we talk to, but give them room to grow for years to come.

The second concern is that this is new, untested technology. Hardware-wise, Exalytics is based on Intel and Sun hardware, and is an evolution of a pretty good Sun machine – the ‘Sun Fire’. Most IT folks breathe a little easier once they learn this. The Operating System (OS) is Oracle Enterprise Linux (OEL) and isn’t a bad thing, just something many IT folks aren’t exposed to. OEL is based on Red Hat’s version of Enterprise Linux, with some built-in packages that help Oracle software work better. It also comes with the Oracle Unbreakable Linux kernel, but that is not what Exalytics boots into by default, so that’s a conversation for another day. In every case we have seen, hooking up the “operations” processes – backup, start / stop, monitoring, all work the same way, as if it were Red Hat Linux. Once we prove that, then all is won. Backed by Oracle Premier Support, IT personnel can administer this machine just like any other, with the added bonus that this replaces a bunch of servers that they had to service before…which means less space in the data center and fewer machines to patch and monitor.

Still have concerns on whether your IT team can handle Exalytics? If you are committed to an Oracle stack, it is actually a question of whether you can do without it. Your Oracle sales representative might help you see how the economics makes sense. Or else check out our Exalytics Discovery Center and feel free to drop us a line, and we will be glad to help you figure out how Exalytics fits into your environment.

Heard about the new Oracle Exalytics T5-8 and not sure which to choose? We will be back soon with our analysis of the new hardware and how it compares with the X2/X3-4 machines.

Author: Andy Tauro, Performance Architects


© Performance Architects, Inc. and Performance Architects Blog, 2006 - present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog's author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Performance Architects, Inc. and Performance Architects Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Oracle Enterprise Performance Management System (EPM System) / Business Intelligence White Papers

November 6, 2013

Oracle has a great resource within their Technology Network. They have a page dedicated to helping increase your knowledge and technical understanding of Oracle’s EPM / BI products. There are whitepapers, tips and tricks, and system release documents.

Bookmark our blog page or follow our RSS and we will keep you up to date on the newest releases and hot topics as it’s published.

Thanks,
Melanie Mathews, Performance Architects

 


© Performance Architects, Inc. and Performance Architects Blog, 2006 - present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog's author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Performance Architects, Inc. and Performance Architects Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.