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Hyperion EPM major release?

Hyperion EPM is technically just a patch, but one top Hyperion consultant argues that it is actually a major release.

Although the next release of Oracle Hyperion Enterprise Performance Management (EPM),, is technically just a “patch,” this is unquestionably a major release. 

This is the fourth major release since the Hyperion acquisition and it includes three new products and hundreds of new features. Further, this is probably the most significant release of Hyperion Financial Management (HFM) since it was first introduced. Finally, the new release emphasizes strategies we have been hearing from Oracle: yearly release schedules, pre-built modules, leveraging the power of Essbase, and improved integration and platform consistency.

There are major improvements across the products, including a new user interface, more pre-built data integrations, and data management enhancements. There are also more specific upgrades in two major EPM suites, Financial Close and Enterprise Planning.

Financial Close Suite
The Hyperion release of HFM is one of the most significant since the product was first released. It includes configurable dimensionality and better dimensional conformity with Hyperion Planning.

Analyzing an account by five or more dimensions is a common need in financial services. These new features extend users’ abilities to add almost unlimited dimensions, giving users more flexibility.

In addition to the above-mentioned features, improvements to the user experience include:

  • ADF-based UI – Web 2.0 style improves user experience
  • new Web form/grid authoring
  • Product Enhancements POV management
  • Journal Enhancements
  • Process Control/Ownership Mgmt
  • Administration improvements
  • Load/Extract Behavior Change

Accounting departments should like Account Reconciliation Manager (ARM). Reconciliations are a major bottleneck in the close process. Ensuring completion and enabling audits are key requirements. The main thing ARM offers is the ability to significantly improve data reconciliation, resulting in reduced risk and improved visibility. Delivered as part of Oracle Hyperion Financial Close Management, ARM is designed to manage global reconciliation processes: balance sheet, consolidation, local GAAP; and, it is streamlined, workflow-driven and auditable processes. 

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Finance executives are always asking for dashboards and on-the-go access to key information. Oracle Financial Management Analytics is an option for HFM customers to quickly enable that capability. Financial Management Analytics leverages OBIEE for pre-built dashboards and analytics. It offers direct, native access to data in HFM and FCM. The packaged analytics are configurable and extensible. It also allows mobile delivery of EPM data to finance executives and business users.

There are also upgrades to Disclosure Management. They include formula validation support, Extensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) dimensions tagged at the EPM data source level, and one-click XBRL tag creation.

Enterprise Planning Suite
The Oracle Exalytics In-Memory Machine will be a game changer for Planning. These days, information is being produced at ever-increasing speeds and intensity. Businesses – private and public – of all sizes need to analyze this vast volume of data in real time to drive meaningful insight, capitalize on the opportunity that the data represents, and make educated decisions. Companies with really big amounts of data are having performance issues with large datasets. Exalytics – which includes server hardware and some in-memory Oracle software, can run some of those Hyperion tools.

Companies will be able to run calculations that were not possible before and, just as important, be able to turn current long-running batch calculations into more agile interactive calculations.

Hyperion Planning also includes integration with Predictive Planning. The feature is included and can help companies seeking a quick way to improve forecast accuracy, allowing for confident decision-making that doesn’t rely on waiting for things to “play out.”

Also new in Planning is integration with Hyperion Strategic Finance (HSF). This integrates long range planning with annual plans and budgets and financial modeling for project investment analysis and prioritization. It also comes with familiar Smart View access to HSF.

Mark Wilson is vice president of Services for TopDown Consulting. He has over 16 years experience in the EPM space. He is also a board member of the Silicon Valley Chapter of The Data Warehouse Institute.

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