HPCM: A Hidden Gem in the Oracle EPM (Hyperion) Product Suite

January 20, 2014

Each New Year, we all do some soul searching and goal setting. That process is ingrained in our culture and supported through all of the social media and advertising that hits us each day. For many of us, that process goes beyond the personal and extends into our professional lives. We set goals for our professional environment that will advise and affect our strategy for the New Year. One improvement area that sits on many strategy lists for this year is “better insights” supported by “better analytics.”  It’s not enough to simply provide data or analytics, as many organizations are striving to do this better and faster than ever before.

Hidden within the Oracle EPM product suite is a wonderful product called Hyperion Profitability and Cost Management (HPCM) that actually helps provide improved insight and analytics.  “What is it?” you ask?  That is a very good question. This is a mature product that has been available for a while and simply hasn’t gotten the attention it deserves.  But like the “little engine that could,” this one has chugged along until we were ready to notice it. And it looks to me like its time may have come!

Raise your hand (at least figuratively) if your organization has developed allocation models to better understand your customer or product P&L’s. Do you run allocation logic to predict customer response to a sales or marketing initiative?  Perhaps you are in healthcare or higher education and would like to better understand the cost per patient or student.  For many organizations, those models are a “black box” to everyone except the person who created the model.  Changing or tweaking the allocations logic to run various ‘what-if’ scenarios can be a painful process involving iteration between IT and the business analyst desiring the change. Furthermore, the process of testing the model and establishing trust in the model’s logic can be frustrating for everyone involved.

Can you imagine a world where that black box is ‘open’ and the end user can actually change variables and ‘see’ the impact to the data? Can you imagine running not just a ‘best and worst’ case model but being able to work through variations in between because the product is controlled by an end user? HPCM, combined with the power of the Oracle EPM (Hyperion) product suite, provides just that experience.  Suddenly the business users (not just analysts and the IT group) can view a traceability matrix to understand how costs are allocated, what variables are inputted, and how the business users themselves can affect change to the expense lines on the P&L.  HPCM provides both multi-stage costing to support multi-step allocations, as well as detailed profitability analysis through single-step allocation logic.

Organizations can also leverage their existing Oracle Hyperion Planning and Oracle Business Intelligence (OBIEE) products in conjunction with HPCM. OBIEE (or the BI Foundation Suite) provides report distribution, interactive dashboards and mobile capabilities against HPCM for those seeking a graphically rich interface.  For the number crunchers in the organization, Smart View is also enabled against HPCM.  Enterprise performance management (EPM) can serve as a source and/or a target for the results of the HPCM data as can any reporting and analysis solution.  The focus for this product really is that all too critical niche of better insight and analytics into corporate resource mapping.  And who doesn’t want a little better insight in the New Year?

Author: Kelli Pircio, Performance Architects


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