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Oracle business analytics update includes Hyperion

The step upgrade to Oracle Hyperion is probably the biggest piece of the business analytics announcements the company made this week. It also offered new analytics ties to SAP.

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Oracle announced a host of software updates in Tokyo on Wednesday, the biggest of which is probably an upgrade to Hyperion Enterprise Performance Management.

Hyperion is “one of the most significant releases (of Hyperion) in the last 10 years,” said Juan Porter, president of Hyperion consultancy TopDown. He said the integration with Oracle’s Exalytics In-Memory Machine, along with the expansion of customizable dimensions in Hyperion Financial Management and user interface changes make it “almost deserving of its own major release number.”

In Hyperion Financial Management (HFM), there have typically been 12 dimensions -- eight standard and four custom -- which are essentially ways to define a piece of data. For example, a company might have a revenue account and attach certain dimensions -- brand, product family, region and so forth. Now companies can attach more dimensions.

“You can expand custom dimensions and more closely align HFM with ERP systems or facilitate a greater level of granularity that they might not have been able to have before,” Porter said.

Porter said the new user interface is also a good feature. As users do planning and forecasting in Hyperion, they can see visuals such as charts and graphs at the same time. How changes affect the visuals can be seen immediately. This replaces the old method of making changes, inputting numbers, then running a report to see a graph. Porter said it could be useful for sales forecasting, as an example.

More on Oracle business analytics 
Oracle also announced two new analytic applications for SAP environments, two Oracle BI applications and the general availability of Oracle Endeca Information Discovery.

Last year Oracle introduced Financial Analytics for SAP. Now the company has two more BI modules: Oracle Spend and Procurement Analytics for SAP and Supply Chain and Order Management Analytics for SAP. The applications are for IT shops using Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition on top of SAP applications. Paul Rodwick, Oracle vice president of BI, said all three modules are now generally available.

Meanwhile, two other new Oracle BI applications will be generally available in the next month. They are Oracle Manufacturing Analytics and Enterprise Asset Management Analytics.

Finally, Oracle has announced the general availability of Endeca Information Discovery. Oracle announced in October that it would acquire Endeca and completed the acquisition in December. It is now certified to run on Exalytics, though Rodwick said that it has mainly been “repackaged and rebranded” under the Oracle umbrella.

Oracle announces Ops Center 12c
Oracle also announced Enterprise Manager Ops Center 12c, the systems management portion of its Enterprise Manager software. It includes features such as added management for Solaris 11 and the Sparc Supercluster T4-4, as well as tools to foster cloud deployments.

Tim Grieser, a vice president analyst at IDC in Framingham, Mass., said one interesting feature is that Ops Center 12c will be included for customers with Oracle Premier Support agreements. However, Ops Center is focused solely on Oracle hardware, operating systems and virtualization platforms.

“IT organizations with heterogeneous environments will most likely use a combination of Oracle and third-party tools to manage these more diverse infrastructures,” Grieser said.

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