By Nancy Ackerman, Consolidation Practice Lead, Inspirage
In the 1990s, the first Windows-based consolidation tool to hit the market was Hyperion Enterprise, a simple and easy-to-use application that accountants were able to manage without the help of IT. While Hyperion Enterprise was an effective solution for basic legal and statutory reporting, it didn’t meet the growing list of newer reporting and analysis requirements.
Hyperion Financial Management (HFM) was the next generation of financial consolidation and reporting tools. This tool was popular with finance professionals because of its expansive functionality—including more detailed analysis, comprehensive audit trails, electronic certification of results and more. HFM provided global collection, consolidation, reporting and analysis in a single, client-server application. At the time it arrived, HFM was unique in that it used the most advanced technology, integrated easily with other Hyperion tools and could be owned and maintained by the finance team with minimal IT intervention.
As solutions have moved to the cloud, so have Oracle’s consolidation tools.
Oracle Fusion Cloud EPM includes comprehensive abilities for cloud financial close and consolidation . It’s an out-of-the-box cloud solution for consolidation and close process tasks. This newest consolidation tool provides all the same functionality as HFM but has the addition of pre-built content, including dimensions, forms and rules. Oracle Cloud EPM has a user-friendly interface and built-in functionality to accomplish reporting and consolidation tasks and requires minimal IT support. Also included with the subscription are the cloud versions of capabilities that will be familiar to Hyperion users: financial close manager and financial data quality management. With EPM Cloud, companies no longer have to manage the software and servers; Oracle manages both.
As consolidation and close tools have evolved, many are wondering how these three products compare. Whether you are using one of these tools or considering a move to a different tool, it is important to understand some high-level differences.
Hyperion Enterprise is no longer available and has not been supported for many years, as it runs on an unsupported Microsoft operating system. If this is your current close and consolidation tool, you should definitely be moving to a supported tool. But where to go? Do you stay on-premises with HFM or move to the cloud with EPM? Let’s compare these two options on a high level.
HFM is an on-premises tool that many customers have heavily customized. If you’re not already using HFM and determine that this on-premises application is best for your needs, version 11.2 should be your choice; it’s the latest release and the only version still supported. It’s also important to consider that this support will end in 2030. And because this is an on-premises tool, your team will need to manage the servers and any and all patching requirements.
Oracle Cloud EPM Financial Consolidation and Close is the best-in-class cloud consolidation tool, and it comes bundled as part of the Oracle Fusion Cloud EPM suite—a scalable and easy-to-use application with no hardware requirements, because Oracle addresses all patching needs as they arise. Because of this, you’ll save time and money while ensuring that your software is up to date with new features and functionality. Oracle Cloud EPM also includes comprehensive capabilities for planning and budgeting, account reconciliation and narrative reporting—all included in your EPM Cloud subscription. If you choose to stay on-premises, you’ll need to purchase each of these features separately.
Stay tuned for the next part of our series when we take a deep dive into the functionality of each application—Hyperion Enterprise, HFM and Cloud EPM Financial Consolidation and Close—to see how they compare.
Nancy Ackerman is the consolidation practice lead for Inspirage. She has over 17 years of experience with the Hyperion suite of products with specific emphasis on financial consolidation products. As an Oracle Certified Implementation Specialist for both Hyperion Financial Management and Oracle Cloud EPM, Nancy has led, designed, and implemented countless successful projects, from requirements gathering to delivery to training the end users.