I was presenting an introduction to Oracle Essbase Cloud the other day and I was asked the following question: "What does Oracle Essbase actually DO?" My quick response was to say, "A better question may be to ask what doesn't it do?"
This struck me as quite funny and the image that keeps creeping into my head is a cartoon Oracle Essbase cube, wearing a tie, and sitting in an interview room answering questions. A gentleman behind a desk is peering over the glasses perched on the end of his nose and is looking at a resume' and asks:
"So, Mr. Oracle Essbase… what is it that you do?"
It made me think: What is the best way to describe what Oracle Essbase does for an organization? We have literally thousands of customers around the globe who rely on Oracle Essbase day in and day out as a critical part of their daily analytics. Why don't we talk about them? Sounds easy enough. I'll discuss typical applications, use cases, the users, and of course the benefits.
Let's start with one that is near and dear to my heart—a transportation shipping company that used Oracle Essbase in different areas. First and most importantly, it was used to do profitability analysis with value scoring, where a "load" in a shipping container was scored based on if it was profitable, marginal and covered costs, or even shipped at a loss based on activity-based costing methodologies. Oracle Essbase also was used for equipment positioning, forecasting, and sales rep pay for performance.
In other words, it was used in finance, equipment operations, sales, and different global business units built different models. The forecast model added an alternate hierarchy for testing if the company switched from three Global Business Units (GBU) to five GBUs in the same model—allowing management to see current results and expectations but also what each GBU would look like if a change was made. Very useful!
The profitability model was exceptionally helpful when decisions needed to be made based on which routes were profitable, which customers were profitable, and the combination of the two. This was done because the company could make money or lose money based on route costs alone. Account reps were able to talk with specific enterprise customers and use Oracle Essbase to determine which routes were most profitable for which customers.
Think about that—a sales rep with the knowledge that shipping from the UK to New York City was profitable, but not from Italy to New York, so he could give better discounts and have more flexibility and know what business to go after. During a downturn in business, the scoring metrics in Oracle Essbase application also determined which shipping routes to quit or decrease and by how much. Profitability was the key measurement, and this was put into the "pay for performance" application where commissions were paid accordingly. The user community was approximately 500 globally in different business units and locations.
To summarize, Oracle Essbase was used by this customer to track profitability, determine which routes to sell aggressively for sales reps, test new business segment strategies, determine appropriate equipment positioning and model ideal routes, forecast business, and even strategically score profit by route to increase profit, decrease poor business, and pay for performance. THAT is what Oracle Essbase can do in the logistics, transportation and shipping industry. (No wonder Mr. Oracle Essbase "got the job")
Over the next several weeks, I'll talk about a different use case for Oracle Essbase with more real customer examples, and hopefully, that will continue to reinforce the value of Oracle Essbase be part of your analytic strategy. Thanks, and stay tuned.
This is the first in a series of examples of Oracle Essbase applications. For more information about Oracle Essbase in the Cloud, visit: https://cloud.oracle.com/en_US/essbase