Tuesday Jun 21, 2016

Oracle Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) Wins 2016 CFO Readers’ Choice Award


Directly on the heels of being named a leader in two of Gartner’s magic quadrants for the ability to execute - the first for Strategic Corporate Performance Management (Strategic CPM or EPM in our terms) and the second Financial Corporate Performance Management - Oracle Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) has now also received a prestigious 2016 CFO Readers’ Choice Award.


CFO Magazine Logo

CFO Magazine conducted their inaugural survey of readers to determine their preferred financial software products and service providers. Readers of the magazine were given the opportunity to vote for their favorite accounting firm, bank, consulting firm, 401(k) recordkeeper, insurer, EPM provider, and more.

Whether the reader has worked directly with the products or providers in a category or not, they were encouraged to vote for nominees based on their perception of how well they satisfy customers’ needs. The survey started in March 2016, and Chief Financial Officers and other finance executives were invited to cast their votes via email. The returned ballots listed more than 250 nominees in 20 categories.

“This is the first year of our awards program, and we are pleased by the response from our readers,” said CFO editor-in-chief Edward Teach. “The winners are all outstanding companies, but the vote was close in several categories, which speaks to the overall quality of the nominees.”

Oracle Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) is a constantly evolving group of solutions for budgeting, planning, and forecasting; financial close and consolidation; financial and management reporting and disclosure; profitability modeling; and strategic planning and forecasting, and now, with the advantage of also being available in the cloud, are even more convenient, secure and cost effective.

According to Gartner, Oracle’s EPM suite provides all this and more, in on-premises, software-as-a-service, and hybrid cloud versions, and according to CFO Magazine, “it won our readers’ nod, too”.

For more information on Oracle Enterprise Performance Management (EPM), click here.

If you're interested in learning about the latest in EPM trends, we invite you to read our paper, Enterprise Performance Management Top Trends for 2016.

Friday Jun 10, 2016

Part B: New Revenue Recognition – Disclosure, the Forgotten Implication


I continue my conversation with Mike Malwitz, Principal Solutions Consultant at Oracle.

Nigel Youell: “Can you provide examples of different types of disclosures that an organization might choose to make?”

Mike Malwitz: “There is some guidance provided, but there are some options for what an organization might choose to present. Let me illustrate by building on an example from the FASB documentation.

A company, Clean-Around, offers cleaning and grounds maintenance services. On June 30, 20X7, they enter into a non-cancellable, two-year contract with a client to provide both services on an “as and when needed” basis, but to a maximum of four visits per month. The client agrees to a fixed price of $400 per month for these services.

For this contract, they would show revenue for 20X7 as $2,400 (6 months @ $400). But Clean-Around would also show, on the balance sheet, offsetting amounts of contract assets and contract liabilities for the future revenue expected to be recognized on this contract.
Clean-Around chooses to disclose its progress toward complete satisfaction of the performance obligation using a time-based measure. It discloses the amount of the contract’s transaction price that has not yet been recognized as revenue in a table:


Suppose, however, that Clean-Around has many (e.g., hundreds, thousands) similar contracts that offer various mixtures of cleaning and lawn maintenance services. Obviously, supplementary disclosure of each contract in this fashion isn’t practical. In fact, the new revenue recognition guidance provides some flexibility in how Clean-Around might choose to disclose information on these contracts. To provide meaningful information to the reader of the annual report, Clean-Around has chosen to disclose summarized future revenue by service segment and by geographic segment:



Clean-Around determined the categories used in the investor presentations to meet the objectives of the disclosure requirement to disaggregate revenue from contracts with customers into categories that depict how the nature, amount, timing, and uncertainty of revenue and cash flows are affected by economic factors.”


To read Part A and part C, click on the respective title.

Part A: New Revenue Recognition – Disclosure, the Forgotten Implication
Part C: New Revenue Recognition – Disclosure, the Forgotten Implication

To learn more about Enterprise Performance Management, click
here.





Tuesday Jun 07, 2016

Gartner Positions Oracle as a Leader in Both Gartner Magic Quadrants for Financial and Strategic EPM


Gartner does not
endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications,
and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the
highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of
the opinions of Gartner's research organization and should not be construed as
statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied,
with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or
fitness for a particular purpose
.

[Read More]

Monday May 16, 2016

New Revenue Recognition Guidelines: For Some, it’s New; for Oracle, it’s Déjà Vu

Part six of a 6-part series on new revenue recognition guidelines.

So now you’re faced with the challenge of introducing new revenue recognition guidelines to your organization. You realize that changes to your ERP systems are required, but you may not be quite sure what the final rules and procedures will look like. And, in any case, it’s going to take some time to make the required system changes. Are you at a standstill?

Good news! There is a way to get ahead of your ERP implementation of Oracle Revenue Management Cloud Service, while evaluating the impact of the new revenue guidelines. First, it’s important to validate the new accounting rules to prepare external stakeholders with new revenue comparisons as soon as possible. The trick, then, is to use a multidimensional consolidation tool during stage 2 of the implementation to prepare reports that illustrate and differentiate revenue under new and existing revenue reconciliation methods. 

Am I sure this will help? Yes. In fact, we’ve already helped many organizations successfully address a similar situation. In 2007, new revenue recognition rules set out by IFRS presented this exact challenge to many organizations (especially in Europe). Here’s what the head of Financial Reporting for a large book publisher said at the time about this transition, “…the group was able to quickly establish a unified chart of accounts in Oracle Hyperion Financial Management (HFM) covering UK GAAP, U.S. GAAP, and IFRS. It was then a simple matter to post the adjustments against these accounts as required.” 

The use of a multidimensional consolidation tool, like HFM, significantly simplified the ability to report the difference in revenue results between existing methods and the new IFRS rules. And it prepared external stakeholders to understand the impact of the new IFRS framework. But it also eased the transition required for ERP updates, since the many of accounting rules were defined early in the implementation of the new IFRS revenue recognition rules. 

Similarly, the task of updating your ERP systems to reflect the new FASB/IASB revenue recognition guidelines may appear daunting, but using multidimensional consolidation tools has been proven to be instrumental during the transitional stages. Once again, the impact studies created with HFM act as a control for the implementation of Oracle Revenue Management Cloud Service (RMCS) on your EBS, Fusion or other ERP.   RMCS uses rules engines to:


Identify accounting contracts, 

Identify distinct performance obligations, and classify them as over-time or point-in-time, 

Allocate the transaction price to the performance obligations in your Oracle or non-Oracle ordering, fulfillment, receivable, and other relevant systems. 


Also, RMCS serves as a customer liability and asset subledger to EBS and Cloud Service General Ledgers. 

Of course, as you deploy it, your detail rule setting will be subject to revision as you work on interpreting the standard.  You will be able to use its iterative modeling capabilities in conjunction with HFM to analyze the impact of the guidelines on your fiscal and management reporting.

Other articles in the New Revenue Recognition Guideline series can be reviewed by clicking the respective title: 


FAQs:


To learn more about Enterprise Performance Management, click here.

Monday May 09, 2016

New Revenue Recognition Guidelines: What Should I be Doing?

Part 5 of a 6-part series on new revenue recognition guidelines.

When considering the introduction of the revenue recognition guidelines, begin as soon as possible. Don’t wait until the “mandatory” date to address the new guidelines; it will be too late. Here are the typical stages that we see organizations going through as they prepare for the new revenue recognition guidelines:



Stage 1: Study the impact and determine strategy
     •    Define the procedures for assigning value to a contract’s performance objectives
     •    Realistically analyze your accounting subsystems
          o    Can they easily be tweaked to accommodate the new revenue recognition guidelines?
          o    Will major systems need heavy modification or replacement? If so, what are the options?
          o    Do you have the resources to retrofit  on-premises systems? Will it require outsourcing?
          o    Would a cloud implementation provide a quicker and more financially prudent solution? 

Stage 2: Identify the reporting information required by external and internal stakeholders
     •    Determine the impact that the new guidance will have on existing contracts
     •    Consolidate the historic impact under new guidance
     •    Prepare reports to illustrate and differentiate revenue under new and prior revenue reconciliation methods

Stage 3: Implement the required accounting subsystems changes
     •    Configure accounting rules and set up ledgers
     •    Modify or install the accounting subsystems
     •    Process and report using dual accounting

Stage 4: Transform the business
     •    Communicate the impact of the changes to the business
     •    Train the organization to apply the new revenue recognition guidelines
     •    Report using new revenue recognition guidelines

But how are you going to manage these stages? How do you begin? Part 6 of this series, “How will Oracle’s experience help?” provides some advice. Other articles in the New Revenue Recognition Guideline series can be reviewed by clicking the respective title:

Part one: Like it or not, they’re on the way

FAQs:
Part two: What are the new guidelines? Can you provide a simple example?
Part three: Who is affected?
Part four: What are the challenges for affected organizations?
Part six: How will Oracle’s experience help?

To learn more about Enterprise Performance Management, click here.

Monday May 02, 2016

New Revenue Recognition Guidelines: What Challenges Do the New Rules Present?

Part four of a 6-part series on new revenue recognition guidelines.

The new revenue recognition guidelines, proposed jointly by FASB and IASB, will impact multiple areas of affected organizations. They are likely to affect IT systems, internal processes and controls. For many organizations, changes in the way revenue is recognized and reported will generate questions from external stakeholders and concerns from the organization’s staff. 


With the new revenue recognition guidelines, expect IT systems to be impacted: 

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems may need to be upgraded or modified to capture additional data to support the necessary accounting and disclosures. How and when does your ERP system allocate prices for products and services? Does it have the capabilities to accrue for liabilities of goods and services to customers by performance obligation? Is it capable of recognizing transfers to customers of the performance obligations over time using the seven new tests of GAAP, rather than the old four? 

There will likely be a need to report revenue under new and existing guidelines. It will take some time for external stakeholders to get adjusted to the new results being reported and understand how the new reports map to the old way of doing things. In an effort to ease this transition, many organizations will want to report using both guidelines for a pre-determined period of time.  

Since the new guidelines often require judgment and use of estimates (both estimated selling prices and variable considerations) to value the performance obligations, internal controls and accounting procedures will need to be reviewed and, in many cases, revised. Do you have a pre-accrual estimation process in place?  Do you have post-accrual revision of estimation process in place?

Anticipate external questions. Key financial measures and ratios may change, which could affect analyst expectations. 

Expect internal concerns. The new rules may impact sales commissions, bonuses, budgeting, and compliance with contractual covenants. For example, the revenue recognition guidelines are likely to trigger reviews and changes to organizational sales and contracting processes. Additional thought will need to be given to contract language and sales compensation plans.

How do I go about introducing the new revenue recognition guidelines to my organization? See part 5 of this series, “What should I be doing?” for some guidance. Other articles in the New Revenue Recognition Guideline series can be reviewed by clicking the respective title: 


FAQs:

Monday Apr 25, 2016

New Revenue Recognition Guidelines: Who is Affected?

Part three of a 6-part series on new revenue recognition guidelines.

The new revenue recognition guidelines redefines “revenue” for every US GAAP and IFRS company.  But, its impact is more severe for companies who offer discounted goods and services alongside fully-priced goods or services, and for those who deliver to customers over extended time periods, or both simultaneously. 

There are exceptions; the guidelines do not apply to organizations covered by other standards (e.g., insurance or leasing contracts).


All companies need to review their revenue for hidden bundling and implicit performance obligations. These guidelines are likely to impact pharmaceutical companies, telecoms, construction contractors, real estate developers, auto companies, and other firms with multiple sources of revenue.

Organizations - Examples

1. A software company ships a new game, but some missions or episodes are missing: 


Under today’s GAAP, they would defer all the revenue until the missing episodes were published. 

Under the new guidelines, they recognize revenue that relates to the delivery they performed, and postpone recognizing the remainder of the revenue until the delayed missions are delivered. A key question is how to identify and value a performance obligation of this nature, especially since this company doesn’t sell missions separately.


2.

a. A cellular telephone sold under contract that includes automatic software upgrades for one year is considered a single performance obligation.
b. A phone with a list price of $600 is sold to a customer under a service contract for $200. The cell bandwidth revenue for that client must be recognized to include a “claw back” of the difference of the list and selling price of the device.

3. An auto dealer that includes maintenance services with the sale of a car can only recognize the service revenue once the owner of the car brings it in for maintenance.

4. Similarly, high-tech companies that include software licenses, consulting, and support services on sales contracts determined to be related will recognize service revenue once the services are delivered.

How will the new revenue recognition guidelines affect my organization? Look at part 4 of this series, “What are the challenges for affected organizations?” to answer this question. Other articles in the New Revenue Recognition Guideline series can be reviewed by clicking the respective title: 


FAQs:


To learn more about Enterprise Performance Management, click here

Tuesday Apr 19, 2016

New Revenue Recognition Guidelines: What Are the Guidelines and Examples?

Part two of a 6-part series on new revenue recognition guidelines.

The core principle of the new guidelines is to recognize revenue to depict the transfer of promised goods or service to customers in an amount that reflects the consideration to which the entity expects to be entitled for those goods or services2. That is, the aim is to recognize revenue consistently as the customer assumes ownership of the various components of a contract, and values the revenue at that obligation’s appropriate share of the expected revenue.

Steps to achieve this core principle:

Establish the contract with the customer
Identify the performance obligations (promises / deliverables) in the contract
Determine the (overall) transaction price
Assign the transaction price to the contract’s performance obligations
Recognize revenue as the reporting organization satisfies a performance obligation



A Simple Example
Your organization sells a computer system and printer to a customer for $1,000. The computer and software are delivered to the customer in June but, due to manufacturing delays, the printer is delivered in July. Under the new Performance Obligation guidelines, when is the revenue for the various components of the contract to be recognized?

1. A contract is established for a computer system

2. Consisting of three performance obligations:


a. Laptop computer
b. Software
c. Printer
3. The overall transaction price is $1,000
4. The company’s standalone selling prices are:


a. Laptop: $800
b. Printer: $200
c. Software: $200
(Total: $1,200) 


Under the contract, then, the performance obligations are assigned transaction prices of: 

a. Laptop: $1,000 / 1200 * 800 = $666.67
b. Printer: $1,000 / 1200 * 200 = $166.67
c. Software: $1,000 / 1200 * 200 = $166.67
(Total: $1,000)

Once either party has acted on the contract (i.e., at the earlier of the customer accepting an invoice or the vendor commencing shipping), the vendor accrues the liability to the customer for each performance obligation at the assigned revenue valuations.

5. Upon delivery of the laptop and software, the vendor recognizes $833.33 in June. At the end of June, the balance sheet shows an accrued liability to the customer of $166.67 for the printer. In July, when the client takes ownership of the printer, the vendor recognizes $166.67.

Do the new revenue recognition guidelines affect you? Part 3 of this series, “Who is Affected?” may help you answer that question. 

Other articles in the New Revenue Recognition Guideline series can be reviewed by clicking the respective title:

Part one: Like it or not, they’re on the way 

FAQs:
Part three: Who is affected?
Part four: What are the challenges for affected organizations?
Part five: What should I be doing?
Part six: How will Oracle’s experience help?

To learn more about Enterprise Performance Management, click here.


2
Retrieved on March 9, 2016 from FASB web page: http://www.fasb.org/jsp/FASB/Page/BridgePage%26cid=1351027207987

Monday Apr 11, 2016

New Revenue Recognition Guidelines: Like it or Not, They’re on the Way

Part one of a 6-part series on new revenue recognition guidelines.

In May, 2014, the Financial Accounting Standards Board and the International Accounting Standards Board issued a joint revenue recognition standard related to customer contracts. The new guidelines impact most organizations that deliver goods and/or services on a contract basis, especially when delivered over extended periods of time.

Using the new guidelines for revenue recognition, companies align revenue to the delivery of “performance obligations.” They must account for these obligations - items that are owed to the customer under the terms of the contract - as accrued contract liabilities, and extinguish them by transferring those items to customers and recognizing revenue on the successful transfer. No longer will companies apply the variety of current practices for recognizing revenue (for example, deferring revenue on early invoicing) or apply current, by-industry US revenue guidance. Application of the guidelines will require some companies to recognize that a contract exists where they previously may not have thought they had one.




The aim of the joint guidelines is to establish a common set of global standards for all companies to recognize and report revenue. But, it’s not really about accounting as much as it’s about capital markets. By uniformly applying these guidelines, it becomes easier for external stakeholders (such as shareholders or financial analysts) to compare revenue performance between organizations. It’s also interesting to note that in a September 2013 speech, SEC Enforcement Director, Andrew Ceresney stated that “Revenue recognition issues will remain a staple of our financial fraud caseload.[1]”

There isn’t a great deal of time remaining to implement these new guidelines. Public organizations should apply the new revenue standard to annual reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2017. Nonpublic organizations should apply the new revenue standard to annual reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2018.

These guidelines represent a major shift in revenue recognition for affected companies. For some, it represents the first time that they’ve had to rethink how they “count” revenue, and they may not be sure of what’s involved in this switch from a procedural or systems perspective. Others, especially for those who went through the adoption of IFRS standards in 2007, have experienced this type of transformation before. And many organizations, with Oracle’s help, made that IFRS transition smoothly.

With the tight timeline, and some very serious decisions to be made, many will have questions. Other articles in the New Revenue Recognition Guideline series can be reviewed by clicking the respective title (as they become available):

Part two: What are the new guidelines? Can you provide a simple example?
Part three: Who is affected?
Part four: What are the challenges for affected organizations?
Part five: What should I be doing?
Part six: How will Oracle’s experience help?

To learn more about Enterprise Performance Management, click here.
__________________



[1]
Retrieved on April 5, 2016 from SEC web page: https://www.sec.gov/News/Speech/Detail/Speech/1370539845772


Tuesday Mar 08, 2016

Reasons to be Cheerful – a Whole 1000 Cloud Reasons!

In the song “Reasons to be Cheerful (Part 3)” released by Ian Dury and Blockheads in 1979, the lyrics list – believe it or not – many reasons to be cheerful! You will be pleased to know I will not be listing 1000 reasons here, as my 1000 reasons relates to the milestone reached last month of 1000 customers of Oracle EPM Cloud Services. A milestone reached in just two years from the release of the first Oracle EPM Cloud Service – Oracle Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service (PBCS) - on 14 February 2014. Certainly for Oracle and our customers, a 1000 reasons to be cheerful – you can listen to some of our customers by clicking on these names Racepoint Global, Western Alliance Bancorp, Moda Holding, Bukhatir Group, and Baxters.

To put the numbers in perspective, it took 5 years to reach the 1000 customer milestone when we released Oracle Hyperion Planning back in 2000. If you do the math for Oracle Planning and Budgeting Cloud, you will see customers have been signing up at the rate of 1.37 per day every day since the launch!

So, to what do we attribute this success? Here is my list:


  1. Oracle PBCS is built from the ground up for pure cloud deployment and can support simple requirements as well as enterprise planning complexities that the on-premises Hyperion Planning product handles.

  2. Oracle PBCS is based on the experience of over 5000 planning and forecasting customers globally, 1000s of years of staff experience, but is also highly innovative benefiting from Oracle’s large investment in R&D.

  3. Oracle PBCS integration is built to support the smallest or largest customer needs. You can start with simple ASCII imports and then add more sophisticated integration capabilities such as GL/Hierarchy mapping, data quality management and drill through to source.

  4. Oracle PBCS is priced and designed to provide competitive TCO whether you are a small or large enterprise (just a single subscription fee per user and no additional hidden charges).

  5. Oracle PBCS is proven for any size/complexity of EPM requirements and for scalability. Over 50% of the 1000 customers are small or midsize, but we also have user counts of more than 1000 in some customers who are using it for complex zero-based budgeting and other planning activities.

  6. Oracle PBCS provides simplified ‘business user’ driven cloud deployment, configuration, and administration, designed to be implemented and managed by the finance and the lines of business with minimal reliance on IT or additional consultants. Virtually zero training is needed, due to built-in starter kits and online help/tutorials.

  7. If you should need help globally, there are 1000s of trained experts available through Oracle’s vast network of partners, many of whom offer low cost, fixed price packages for their PBCS services.

  8. Oracle PBCS deployments span the entire enterprise across finance, marketing, sales, operations, HR, etc. using a wide span of planning techniques including predictive planning, driver-based planning, rolling forecasts and zero-based budgeting.

  9. Deployed in the Oracle-owned and operated data centers, PBCS leverages in-memory processing and is designed to scale without impact to performance or complexity of administration.

  10. The Oracle Cloud single tenancy approach, along with two environments (test and production), provides world class security and the flexibility for customers to chose when they upgrade to suit their specific business needs.

I think this is a good top 10 list for now. There are many more reasons to be cheerful, and more to come as additional enterprise Oracle EPM capabilities are coming to Oracle SaaS very soon.

By the way, in case you were wondering, there never was a part 1 or 2 from Ian Dury and the Blockheads, but do go out on the internet and listen to part 3; it is a classic. While you are there, you can find out much more about Oracle EPM Cloud solutions here.

Thursday Dec 17, 2015

Maintaining Enterprise Hierarchies? Surely, that’s not my Responsibility!

By Guest Blogger, Gilles Demarquet 

Does this complaint sound familiar? “We attend meetings where people arrive with “different figures” and end up spending too much time trying to resolve the causes of the discrepancies.”

Often these discrepancies are caused by different hierarchy definitions or different ways to roll up information. And, frequently, it’s a challenge to identify who should be in charge of the definition. In many case, it requires management involvement to define the rules and to get consensus.

In a previous post discussing hybrid environments consisting of both on-premises and cloud deployments, I emphasized that a dedicated approach for managing hierarchy changes is preferable to trying to maintain reference definitions in each application. I concluded that discussion by pointing out that successful deployments require committed people, strong processes, and technology to maintain consistent definitions for the reference data used in on-premises and cloud applications.

In this post, let’s consider who is and who should be involved in the maintenance of reference data in a hybrid implementation. There are two major areas of an organization that lay claim to “ownership” of reference data definitions – the IT department and business users. 




Historically, the IT department took care of maintaining the reference data definitions since only they had access to the tools to maintain them. This approach led to dissatisfaction in the business community as IT often became a bottleneck to timely (and correct) maintenance of hierarchy definitions.

In reality, requests to update hierarchies can be proposed by any number of business users and from a variety of functional areas. For example, finance end users might submit change requests for creating a new account, while operations might request an update in the product references. Each end user might be considered an owner of his or her respective information.

A well-designed solution to hierarchy maintenance in a hybrid environment requires dedication from both of these organizational groups. So the answer to who should be involved is “everybody with a stake in having consistent hierarchy definitions.” That includes IT and business users – if you are a member of either group, then you have a stake in ensuring correct and consistent enterprise hierarchies.

Is it possible to get these groups to work together? How do you resolve potential conflicting requests? This is where the inclusion of strong processes contributes to the successful deployment. I will elaborate on this topic in the next post. Stay tuned and forward any comments that you have.

To learn more about software solutions for maintaining enterprise hierarchies, click here.

Wednesday Dec 02, 2015

Coexistence of Cloud and On-premises Applications: Reference Data – Is there really a Choice?

By Guest Blogger, Gilles Demarquet 

In a previous post, I suggested three important aspects to consider when looking at the coexistence of on-premises and cloud applications. And I promised to expand on the need for consistency when managing and sharing common reference data, like cost center hierarchies or chart of accounts, when using this hybrid approach.

What does that mean?
Many applications use the “same” master/reference data but often with subtle variations or differences. For example, one application may need to roll up cost centers by function, while another may need to summarize cost centers by geographic location.

How do you define the hierarchies used in these applications? How do you ensure that the applications use definitions that consistently describe the common components of the hierarchy, while being flexible enough to include hierarchy components for their unique purposes? How do you coordinate hierarchy changes among these applications to reflect business changes?

Historically, I have seen a couple of approaches:

1. Define the hierarchies directly in each of the applications. 
Of course, this approach means that any hierarchy definition must be replicated (often manually) in every single application. Along with duplication of effort, this introduces the risk associated in ensuring that changes are done completely and consistently. And, if you have both on-premises and cloud environments, this effort may be more challenging because you may have to perform such changes in different kind of environments.

All-in-all, this is NOT the recommended approach.

2. Maintain hierarchy definitions in isolation from the applications. 
The idea is to make the changes once, in a single place, and then propagate them to the various applications that require the use of this reference information.

Experience has shown me that this is the preferred way to proceed. It creates a common vocabulary throughout the organization and contributes to the organization’s ability to maintain a single version of the facts.

What do you need to be able to effectively manage your organization’s hierarchy definitions?
It boils down to three considerations – committed people, strong processes, and technology to maintain consistent definitions for the reference data used in your on-premises and cloud applications. I will expand on each of these considerations in subsequent posts.




To learn more about software solutions for defining and maintaining enterprise hierarchies, click here.


Monday Nov 23, 2015

EPM Innovation Award Winners from Oracle OpenWorld 2015

By Guest Blogger Chris Grouchy 

Each year at Oracle’s annual OpenWorld conference, we unite thousands of customers from around the world who leverage Oracle products and solutions to help them continuously improve their business processes. At Oracle OpenWorld, we showcase the innovation that happens inside these companies and, indeed, this year was no exception.

Last month, we honored some of our most pioneering customers for their outstanding performance improvements and internal innovations in Enterprise Performance Management (EPM). The winners went above and beyond to transform and innovate their EPM business processes using Oracle solutions. This blog post highlights the winners of the 2015 Fusion Middleware EPM Innovation Awards, how they use Oracle solutions to impact their businesses, and why they were recognized.


Amazon
Amazon received one of three 2015 Fusion Middleware EPM Innovation Awards. Before implementing Oracle Hyperion Financial Close Management (FCM), Amazon's financial close process took between 15 and 20 days to complete. With the help of The Hackett Group as their implementation partner, Amazon now reconciles and reports on 16,000 accounts every day of the close process (rather than only once or twice a month) providing much needed visibility and accuracy, and enabling them to close in one hour. In addition, 80% of these accounts are now reconciled automatically without intervention. Amazon was also able to incorporate all key statutory reporting requirements into Oracle Hyperion FCM which enables them to centrally manage the creation of their statutory reporting.

Tampa International Airport 
Oracle also recognized Tampa International Airport with a 2015 Fusion Middleware EPM Innovation Award. This organization successfully implemented a number of analytics solutions designed to revamp their Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) and Business Intelligence (BI) processes. Using these solutions, Tampa International Airport was able to add new flight routes which have generated entirely new sources of revenue for them. In fact, Tampa International Airport has increased its sales win rate by 30% since implementing the solution. They can also properly manage key assets more effectively now-- such as its parking space utilization-- through smarter analytics. In addition, Tampa International Airport is now able to efficiently manage its people and resources, and accurately forecast passenger growth. 

Serta Simmons
Oracle’s third recipient of a 2015 Fusion Middleware EPM Innovation Award is Serta Simmons. This company uses multiple Oracle Enterprise Performance Management products to help manage the financial close process. Serta Simmons has implemented Oracle Hyperion Financial Management, Data Relationship Management, and Essbase with the BI Foundation Suite which, together, have resulted in the company being able to reduce the time it takes to consolidate by 5 days. Managing reporting that used to take days and hours is now reduced to taking only minutes and seconds. Serta Simmons will be implementing Oracle Hyperion Planning in the near future to further its strategic oversight and governance over its financial management processes, and have their sights set on visualization and mobility after that.

We would also like to recognize the following nominees for a 2015 Fusion Middleware Innovation Award for their outstanding achievements: MD Anderson, Wilsonart, HomeStreet Bank, Cheniere Energy, Boeing, UNS Energy, Terumo, and Enel. We wish you continued success with your Oracle solutions and applaud your innovative achievements.

Oracle OpenWorld 2016 is set to take place September 18–22, 2016 in San Francisco, California. To learn more about the event and how you can be part of it, please click here

To learn more about Oracle Enterprise Performance Management solutions, click here.

Friday Oct 02, 2015

OpenWorld 2015 – The Oracle EPM Team Forecast is ‘Cloudy’!

With nearly 50 EPM conference sessions, 7 demo stations and 2 hands-on-labs, plus 35 customers, 15 partners and 26 Oracle staff speaking, Oracle OpenWorld (October 25–29, 2015,  San Francisco) offers more Oracle EPM content and expert experience than any other conference in the world. Whether you already have, or are considering, Oracle EPM On-Premises or Cloud solutions, Oracle OpenWorld is the place to be.

EPM Cloud is in the spotlight this year, with sessions covering existing Oracle EPM Cloud customers, products and strategy, as well as roadmap sessions that set out plans for new offerings coming in the next 12 – 18 months. Attendees will also get the opportunity for a ‘first look’ at some of these new Cloud solutions. In addition, a number of customers will share their experiences and results from using Oracle EPM Cloud solutions.

In addition to Oracle sessions covering On-Premises Oracle EPM Products, there is a focus on customers sharing their experiences with over 10 sessions dedicated to multiple customer case studies.

Do you want to get more product detail or even get your ‘hands on’ Oracle EPM products? We will have experts ready to demonstrate the complete range of both Cloud and On-Premises products, and you can also book to attend a ‘hands-on’ session where you can try out Oracle EPM Cloud solutions first-hand.

So what sessions should you look out for?



  • Oracle EPM General Session with KPMG: Executive Briefing on Oracle’s EPM Strategy and Roadmap [GEN7014] Monday, Oct 26, 4:00 p.m. | Moscone West—2008

  • Customers Present: Oracle Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service [CON9540] Monday, Oct 26, 1:30 p.m. | Moscone West—3018

  • Oracle Fusion Middleware: Meet This Year’s Most Impressive Innovators [CON10374] Tuesday, Oct 27, 4:00 p.m. | YBCA Theater

  • New: Oracle Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service Enterprise Edition [CON9529] Wednesday, Oct 28, 11:00 a.m. | Moscone West—3018

  • What’s New and What’s Coming: Financial Close in the Cloud [CON7031] Wednesday, Oct 28, 11:00 a.m. | Moscone West—3020

  • Product Development Panel Q&A: Oracle Hyperion EPM Applications [CON9524] Wednesday, Oct 28, 12:15 p.m. | Moscone West—3009

Also look out for customers who are speaking including Kraft Heinz, Serta Simmons Bedding, Wilsonart International, Baxters Food Group, Ambarella Corp, Invesco, WestRock Co, Cognizant Technology Solutions Inc, Vodafone, EA, Suntrust Banks, Inc. and many more.

And, don’t forget the Customer Appreciation Event held on Treasure Island on Thursday evening, Oct 29, where you can hear great music from Elton John and Beck. Have fun and learn at Oracle OpenWorld 2015. We look forward to seeing you there!

To find out about everything Oracle EPM and OpenWorld 2015 click here.


Friday Jul 31, 2015

Can EPM Go Fully Cloud?


By Guest Blogger Muthu Ranganathan, Director, EPM Product Management at Oracle

There is no denying the fact that the world is moving towards “the cloud”, and CFOs and CIOs have come to the point where they can’t avoid recognizing the many benefits of the cloud. While finance took more time than their peers in Human Resources or Sales to go to the cloud, recent trends indicate that more CFOs are open to “getting on the cloud”.

Opex vs Capex

Given CFOs care a lot about cash flow and ROI, the biggest advantage for them with cloud is the “Opex" (Operational expense) element, as cloud systems are not “Capex”(Capital expense) types. The cloud certainly helps them with profitability and cash flow as a justification to move to the cloud.

Beyond Organizational Boundaries
– You just need a URL and your cloud applications can be easily rolled out to your customers, vendors and other stakeholders in your business network. This is a huge advantage for finance, especially when they can exchange information through the systems. Imagine getting sales forecast data from your distributors, or project finance data from your subcontractors.

No Shelfware – One of the biggest pains of the past was that a lot of software was purchased, but not used. The unused “shelfware” became a sunk investment due to the lack of resources available to get the application installed and working. Cloud completely eliminates this issue as installation and management is provided by the cloud vendor.

No Hardware - other big benefit is that you don’t have to worry about hardware costs - and more importantly maintaining hardware - the installed applications, and having to consider different test and production environments.

New Features Rapidly – When we login to Gmail or LinkedIn every day, we often see that there are a lot of new features added. This is the power of the cloud. The same is also true for enterprise applications – you no longer have to wait for a long upgrade process to see new features, because they are installed by the Cloud vendor and appear regularly and rapidly in the cloud.

Simpler to Use – organizations can take advantage of new design ideas and new technology like mobile and social functionality which may not be available or difficult to implement in the on-premises solutions they currently use. Also Cloud solutions deliver significantly simplified application management designed for Business users with the complex IT management being handled by the service supplier.

Security is no Longer an Issue - Uptake of cloud solutions has been across many application types, including HCM, ERP, SCM, CX, and EPM, all industry sectors, including Public Sector and Financial Services, and organization sizes, from very small enterprises to global brands. For this to happen these organizations (especially sectors like Financial Services and Public Sector) have to be convinced that their data will be safe, their systems will be available when they need them and there will be sufficient capacity to provide the response they expect. Given the 1000s of organizations that have moved to the cloud and likely due diligence they have applied organizations should not be citing security as an impediment to moving to the cloud.

EPM and the Cloud
Enterprise Performance Management (or Management Accounting / Information Management) systems have evolved through different generations of software. Reporting, planning, profitability and consolidations have evolved from spreadsheets to desktop applications, to the web, and now to the era of cloud and mobile. While the above benefits are relevant for EPM systems, there are even more that make it clear it is time for EPM to move to the cloud.

Tapping the Unserved Business Users - While EPM systems have existed for over a decade, it has still been a highly corporate finance affair for many years. Still, many Business Unit level users rely on spreadsheets and other unstructured ways of creating and seeking information. There are several reasons for this, one of the main being difficulty in maintaining IT systems, costs, and lack of technical consultants to support their pursuits. With cloud, we see a change where we can now roll out these systems just via a url to anyone in the company at a very affordable subscription-based price. It starts to really tap into the departmental use cases for Business Unit CFOs and other business users such as HR, Marketing, Sales Ops etc. With Oracle Planning and Budgeting Cloud Services, as well as Oracle Enterprise Reporting Cloud Services, departmental business users are better served. 

Business Calls the Shots - Traditionally, Business users, especially coming from finance, have owned the EPM systems. Often in the past, due to heavy Capex and upfront investments as well as infrastructure/upgrade needs, IT had to be heavily involved in EPM projects. With the cloud, business users are able to make quick decisions and call the shots for EPM systems as they do not need major IT resources to get them up and running. They can be live in just a few days or weeks. This is certainly an exciting reason for business and finance to move to the cloud for EPM. We are seeing faster adoption due to Business being in charge for Oracle Planning and Budgeting Cloud services.

People as the Focal Point - Cloud brings with it the benefit of receiving new features rapidly, as mentioned earlier. As users have now experienced consumer grade cloud applications like Facebook, they will expect enterprise applications also to act in the same way; so the focus is mostly on user experience, flexibility and keeping it very simple for the users. Also, for EPM systems, users have been great fans of spreadsheets; so it’s very important to have the user experience to be like a great consumer grade application combined with the flexibility and simplicity of spreadsheets. The great advantage with cloud is, engineers who build these systems get really close to seeing how users use the solution and roll out changes more frequently. Oracle Planning Budgeting Cloud Service has been very well received by users because of the great user experience and spreadsheet-like flexibility on the web, and because it is supported by the Oracle SmartView for Microsoft Office interface - a great solution for the Excel lovers

The Case for Hybrid EPM 
But, with the benefits and value mentioned above the question still remains - can all of the EPM systems go fully into the cloud? The answer is yes!But, it may take more time since many companies have mission critical financial consolidation and reporting systems, as well as corporate planning systems in which they have invested over the years, and cannot be replaced in a short period of time.

This is why Oracle provides a hybrid EPM strategy for companies to combine on-premises and cloud based EPM systems. What we see is that customers are continuing to leverage their existing on premises deployments for the corporate finance needs, and using cloud applications and infrastructure to surround these for new Departmental and Business Unit needs.



As both on-premises and cloud run on the same best-in-class Oracle Hyperion technologies, they offer a seamless and integrated as a suite of hybrid EPM solutions. While Cloud EPM systems provide significant benefits to warrant moving to the cloud in the medium term, hybrid EPM is likely the best strategy for the short term; and Oracle is the best equipped to provide a comprehensive solution for both worlds.

For more information on Oracle EPM on premises applications, click here
For more information on Oracle EPM Cloud, click here

About

This blog will highlight key EPM market trends, recent events and other news of interest to our field, customers and partners.

Search

Categories
Archives
« June 2016
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
   
1
2
3
4
5
6
8
9
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
  
       
Today