Oracle is replacing its Financial Analyzer and Sales Analyzer applications with a rebuilt Enterprise Planning and Budgeting software package designed to tap into the Oracle database.
Much like the previous versions, the new software automates financial planning and budgeting processes and is popular among financial analysts and department managers in large companies who track multiple projects and budgets. The latest version requires companies to upgrade to at least Oracle 9i DBMS in order to tap into the online analytical processing capabilities built in the Oracle database.
"At the end of the day we believe that the proverbial single source of truth can be delivered out of a single database," said John Schoenherr, Oracle's vice president of corporate performance management development. "It reduces the complexity by having all transactional systems installed and running, and analytical applications running concurrently out of a single database."
Oracle's Financial Analyzer and Oracle Sales Analyzer 6.4 will be supported until mid-2008 with error correction support until the end of 2006. As the phaseout begins, Oracle is trying to convince 11,000 Oracle financial customers that its new software package improves performance and boosts analytical functions, said Paul Hamerman, vice president of enterprise applications at Cambridge, Mass.-based Forrester Research Inc.
"Oracle had been behind in this particular area, but they took quite a bit of time in developing it and it's quite an improvement over what they've had," Hamerman said. "Many enterprises still use Excel spreadsheets to accomplish budgeting and planning, and there's a lot of interest in moving forward with a more sophisticated product."
Ottawa-based Cognos Inc. and Hyperion Solutions Corp., Sunnyvale, Calif., have held a firm grip on the corporate planning and budgeting software market. Larger vendors like SAP AG, Oracle and PeopleSoft Inc. have lagged behind without challenging them with similar products, Hamerman said.
"Oracle can get some significant share in here by challenging with a better product," Hamerman said. "They can replace several thousand of their own customers and look to convince customers from their competitors to migrate to this rebuilt product."
The software includes a set of ad hoc reporting tools and display graphs to analyze budgeting and performance information using metrics. Associations are used to automate e-mail notification to a manager associated with an application or project.
Pricing starts at $2,995 for a run-time license, including development and customization rights.