Many organizations are using Oracle Essbase for management reporting and analysis, but as they shift their sights to the cloud they have several options to consider. How does Oracle Analytics Cloud compare to Essbase? Can Oracle’s Cloud EPM solutions address their management reporting needs? What other alternatives are available in the market?
These and other questions were addressed on a recent webinar hosted by OneStream, featuring long-time Essbase implementation specialist, Dave Collins – now a Practice Leader at eCapital Advisors. Here are some of the highlights from the webinar.
An Industry Expert’s Perspective
Mr. Collins has a long history in the corporate performance management (CPM a.k.a. EPM market. Prior to joining eCapital, he was the Global Domain Leader for Essbase and Analytics at Hyperion and Oracle. He has written several books on Oracle Essbase & Oracle OLAP and helped the Product Management and Development teams drive the future roadmap, enabled global sales teams and worked with strategic customers. After Oracle, he became a solution architect and trusted advisor in the EPM / Analytics space for several “Big 4” advisory firms.
After providing a brief introduction to eCapital advisors, Mr. Collins highlighted the importance of analytics in CPM/EPM, answering the “why” and “what if” questions vs. reporting and dashboards which mostly focus on the “what happened” questions about financial and operational performance. He also spoke about the role of relational databases vs. multidimensional cubes in CPM/EPM and the effort it has taken in the past to link multiple analytical cubes together, with a tool such as Essbase, to create an enterprise-wide view of performance.
He then provided a look back at the vendor consolidation that occurred in the CPM/EPM market back in 2007 when Oracle, SAP and IBM each acquired the leading vendors, the challenges of product integration and the and the negative impact this has had on innovation in the leading CPM/EPM solutions, especially the Oracle/Hyperion products. Even as the Oracle/Hyperion products have moved to the cloud, Mr. Collins cited several issues:
- On-premises to Cloud migration is challenging
- Oracle EPM Cloud applications are not easily integrated as yet
- Some Oracle EPM Cloud Applications are limited vs. their on-premise counterparts
- Stand-alone Essbase is missing for management reporting in planning and budgeting
- There is separate subscription pricing for each EPM function
- Master data management is not integrated as yet in the Oracle EPM Cloud
A Whole New World
Describing it as a “whole new world”, Mr. Collins provided an overview of OneStream Software from a third-party perspective. His main message for the audience was that OneStream is not a collection of CPM/EPM products – but is a true platform that can be leveraged to address a broad range of requirements. He highlighted OneStream’s out of the box support for:
- Financial Consolidation & Reporting
- Planning, Budgeting and Forecasting
- Financial Data Quality
- Reporting and Analytics
He also highlighted the ability for customers to extend the value of the OneStream platform through the XF MarketPlace, which includes over 40 solutions customers can download, configure and deploy to address additional requirements such as people planning, capex planning, account reconciliations and lease accounting.
Mr. Collins then went on to highlight some of the key advantages of OneStream, like Extensible Dimensionality® which gives customers the ability to support corporate standards and operational granularity within a single application.
He also highlighted the Relational Blending capabilities of OneStream, combines analytic, stage, relational and source transactional data in one model. Letting the data live in the format in which it belongs, this provides a simple end-user experience, best performance, full auditability and the ability to drill down and through to transaction details. Mr. Collins cited several use cases where this capability excels including detailed operational planning for people, capital, projects, cash, travel, sales and other requirements.
In his closing remarks, Mr. Collins commented that consolidation in the CPM/CPM market has stunted innovation by the legacy vendors and opened the door for new players like OneStream. He also emphasized that analytics is a must for effective performance management and recommended that buyers seek out unified platforms that can address a broad range of requirements while eliminating data integration challenges. To learn more, watch the replay of the webinar.
John O’Rourke is Vice President of Product Marketing at OneStream Software. With a background in accounting and finance, John has over 30 years of experience in the software industry, including 20 years of experience in product marketing at Hyperion Solutions, Oracle and Host Analytics. He has worked with many customers and partners on financial reporting and planning initiatives and has spoken and written on many topics in corporate performance management. John has also held positions in strategic marketing and product marketing at Dun & Bradstreet Software, Kenan Systems and Decisyon.
This article originally appeared on the OneStream blog. Used with permission.