Monthly Archives: February 2014

Oracle Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service

February 26, 2014

Last month Oracle and Performance Architects hosted a great overview and demo webinar on Oracle Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service (PBCS). Oracle now has a video library on PBCS with great tutorials to help you get started.

For even more information and learn more about what is and isn’t offered in PBCS, how you can use PBCS in your environment as a new or existing Oracle EPM (Hyperion) customer, our recommendations for when and how to get started with PBCS, and how to organize for success, please visit our Learning Center™ to access our archived webinar recording: Oracle’s Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service (PBCS) Overview and Demonstration Webinar.

To connect one-on-one regarding PBCS please email communications@performancearchitects.com and we will be in touch to schedule some time to connect.

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.

The Case for Financial Close and Consolidation Solutions in the Higher Education Market: Why Your Institution Should Evaluate Hyperion Financial Management (HFM)

February 25, 2014

Increased scrutiny of the expensive cost of higher education has administrators asking tough questions.  Answering those questions requires quality data and the analytic tools to access answers to this information.  Hyperion Financial Management (HFM) can be a smart choice for colleges and universities for many of the same reasons commercial companies use financial close and consolidation solutions.

HFM has traditionally been associated with companies that require the specialized functionality to consolidate international operations.  Many implementations involve complicated multi-currency consolidation of dozens of legal entities.  This functionality, traditionally isolated in specialized software packages, is now an integral part of Oracle’s Enterprise Performance Measurement (EPM or Hyperion) suite of tools.

HFM enables improvements in a number of key areas. HFM’s functionality and structural independence from the general ledger (GL) allows:

  • Consolidation of multiple sets of books or funds across separate general ledger systems
  • Normalization of multiple charts of accounts (e.g., medical school combined with traditional university)
  • Currency translation for foreign campuses or institutions
  • Incorporation of data kept off-line (e.g., third-party endowment data)
  • A separate security structure geared toward reporting rather than transaction processing
  • Automated elimination of transactions at the institution or fund level
  • Improved efficiency of the financial close through systemic processes and a closing calendar that extends beyond the general ledger
  • Preparation of cash flow statement and supporting schedules like roll-forwards
  • The collection of additional information during the close through data forms to support footnote disclosure requirements
  • Allocations can be run after all data is collected within a single system

The HFM – EPM combination provides a number of benefits such as:

  • Smart View integration with Microsoft’s Office products provides world class end user capabilities
  • Shared metadata and statistical metrics create an integrated financial analysis environment
  • Extended analytics provides an out-of-the-box star schema for financial reporting
  • Reporting and analysis tools provide a platform for analytic rather than transaction-oriented reporting 

These tools can help mitigate risk by:

  • Enabling a more efficient transition from one GL package to another.  Prior to the transactional system changeover, certain activities could be migrated onto HFM such as reporting, close management, etc.  This would reduce the effort, timeline, and risk associated with the transaction system cutover.
  • Shared metadata between analytic applications (HFM, Hyperion Strategic Finance or HSF, and Hyperion Planning) is more likely to achieve a single version of the truth
  • Facilitates more robust ad-hoc analysis by enabling leadership to research emerging issues and more confidently respond in an timely way

The HFM – EPM combination is being successfully deployed in non-traditional situations to solve a variety of administrative challenges.  The Higher Education market is one of those non-traditional areas that could extend EPM environments and gain these benefits.

Author: Ron Woodlock, 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.

An Analysis of Improved Microsoft Office Integration in Oracle Hyperion Strategic Finance (HSF) Version 11.1.2.3

February 19, 2014

Beginning with the 11.1.2.2 release of Hyperion Strategic Finance (HSF), we saw a greater emphasis on integration with Microsoft’s Office products.  The migration from legacy client applications to Smart View has been bumpy for other Hyperion products, but the good news is that in the move to HSF Version 11.1.2.3, we didn’t witness this same rough road!

Additional features and functionality were migrated to the new Smart View interface in the latest version (11.1.2.3).   The list of functionality that can be accessed through the legacy client applications includes: Maps, Batches and opening Drafts or Archives.  Most end users of this product can work exclusively in Excel with the Strategic Planning and Smart View add-ins.

RON

Migrating from earlier versions will present end users with some minor challenges:

  1. Calculating takes longer, and each report or worksheet that is open will increase the overall calculation duration. I found myself working exclusively in the “Accounts” view, leveraging some of the calculated totals to validate the results of the model as it was built.  Some additional up front time is needed to build “Account Groups” but is worth the effort.  Hopefully, with future releases, this calculation duration will shorten and users will be able to open as many reports as they like.
  2. There are a number of ways to save the work that is being done through the Smart View interface but it isn’t clear what each does.  Consequently, I’ve been hitting the “Save” button and the “Recalculation” button to be sure I don’t lost valuable work!

Overall, the latest release is a very large step in the right direction.  As with most of the Hyperion products, users spend most of their time in Excel so this change will make doing their jobs easier.

Author: Ron Woodlock, 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 EPM Accessibility Guides

February 12, 2014

If you are looking for product accessibility information for the Oracle EPM product suite (specifically release 11.1.2.3) you can find more information within Oracle’s Doc Library.

If you want to connect one-on-one or have more specific questions, please feel free send us a note and we will be in touch!

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.

Oracle Hyperion Planning Packaged Applications: To Module or Not to Module…That is the Question

February 5, 2014

We know that Oracle Hyperion Planning is a powerful, scalable, web based, budgeting and planning framework. But what about those add-on modules? What are they? How do they work? Do I need them? How can they help me? For those who may be unfamiliar with these modules, they include:

Each of these modules offers specific capabilities for specific business processes and/or business verticals. Each module is an additional component to the native Hyperion Planning framework and provides prepackaged planning objects and methodologies that have been created using Oracle Hyperion Planning native functionality. What these modules really provide is prebuilt dimensionality, input forms, tasks lists, formulas, calculations, and methods.

These packaged components can yield many benefits. They can provide an organization with proven planning logic, standardized business processes, and can potentially have the ability to lessen implementation tasks, if implemented with an “out-of-the-box” strategy.

Are any of these modules a good fit for your organization? The key to understanding the answer to this question is twofold. You must understand your business requirements, and you must understand the product capabilities. These steps can get you there:

1.     Research your organization’s planning methodology and processes.

Develop a clear understanding of the detailed process and logic used for planning at your organization. This may entail getting into detail regarding how accounts may be calculated, seeded, etc.

2.     Research the module’s planning methodology and processes.

Either on your own, or with the help of a vendor, get a true picture of how the module works, and how the module executes planning-related tasks. This too may involve getting into a lot of detail to understand the planning logic.

3.     Where there is a gap, determine if the module’s methodology is something you would like to adopt.

Take the time to explore the possibility of minimizing that gap, and utilizing the module’s methodologies in place of your current process. Often times, the module may bring to your attention a more efficient or more accurate way to plan certain items.

4.     Assess the remaining gap.

Assess the remaining gap items. Learn the differences between your requirements and the product functionality. Do you require functionality that the module does not contain? Does the module have functionality that you do not need? How much of each?

If this gap is too big, then the module may not be a good fit. If this gap is small, then utilizing the module makes sense. And if you do decide to implement any of these modules, remember not to “reinvent” the product. This may take you away from the process and functionality benefits, and may also increase your implementation effort.

Author: Chuck Persky, 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.