As part of the 2019 Cloud Webinar Series – EPM Cloud Day, Al Marciante, Senior Director of Product Management at Oracle, presented the Oracle EPM Cloud roadmap and strategy update.
Concerns of Today’s CFOs
According to a study on CFO Global Outlook performed by Duke University in December of 2018, CFOs have become pessimistic in most regions of the world. Some of the top concerns are:
- Retaining and attracting talent
- Economic uncertainty
- Government policies
- Currency risk and productivity
Companies feel the pressure to act agilely as they react to potential issues and rapidly approaching realities. Whereas companies once realized the need to create tomorrow’s business today, the current climate requires them to look even further into the future. Additionally, the digital divide is widening. Today’s superstar firms have 1.6 times more economic profits than 20 years ago. With this in mind, Oracle EPM Cloud is the industry-leading EPM suite – aiming to anticipate changes so customers can adapt quicker and easier than their competitors.
The Value of Oracle EPM Cloud
Ultimately, Oracle’s success in the Cloud is tied to the success of its 4,100+ customers. Customers have adopted 6,900+ subscriptions across 80+ countries and 20+ industries.
The image below shows the results of a recent survey of Oracle customers about the value that they see in Oracle EPM Cloud.
These data points bring a sense of optimism to an otherwise overwhelming business climate. Oracle’s ability to forecast needs and deliver upgrades has increased from five-year upgrades with on-premise applications to monthly updates on Cloud applications. These monthly updates create continuous adoption cycles, provide new features and technologies in updates, and create an immediate feedback loop for customers to adopt and implement new features. Essentially, by investing in EPM Cloud, a company is making the decision to future-proof its business.
Marciante explained that Oracle EPM Cloud is designed with the goal of complete agility. With more than just finance in mind, EPM Cloud connects Corporate FP&A to HR to IT to Operations to Sales to Marketing and back again in an effort to synergize the company. It aligns enterprise data, connects all planning, outperforms with intelligence, reinvents analytics and reporting, and closes with confidence.
Marciante also stated that the profitability and cost management owned by business users boasts unparalleled transparency in allocation-based business processes and purpose-built capability for best practices profit and cost analysis.
Changes in EPM Cloud Pricing Model
It is important to note that there has been an update to the pricing model for EPM Cloud in an effort to simplify expenses for the customer. Instead of separate Clouds for separate products, a single Cloud offers easy access to multiple business processes. Customers should be able to easily attain, initialize, and take advantage of these business processes. The EPM Cloud Enterprise, for example, has a minimum number of 25 users. Once a company reaches 25, every user has access to the available business processes. Additional environments are also available at no additional price.
The images below show more information about EPM Cloud pricing.
Oracle EPM Cloud Roadmap
The image below shows some of the items currently on the Oracle EPM Cloud roadmap.
Key Financial Close Updates
Within Financial Close, Oracle is focused not only on core consolidation but on managing the overall close with task manager, supplemental data manager, etc. There are 600+ live customers with over 100,000 users on the system and 30 percent subscription growth.
Financial Close has evolved through more than 250 enhancements including new capabilities and features. The main areas of improvement on EPM Cloud roadmap are closing the gap with HFM with parity and ensuring all capabilities currently available will remain as such.
Companies with an existing Reconciliation Compliance can lift into Account Reconciliations in the Cloud easily. Reconciliation Compliance will manage the entire reconciliation process including balance sheets, B/S and P&L Variance Analysis, consolidation check, and local GAP vs STAT, etc. Furthermore, it will ensure compliance requirements. Transaction Matching is not on PRIM, but it is in the Cloud.
Finally, tax reporting in the EPM Cloud is especially helpful for global customers. There is country by country reporting, transfer pricing, and several other capabilities.
Oracle EPM Cloud Platform
Oracle EPM Cloud Platform offers several capabilities including Free Form Planning, Automated Prediction, and EPM Cloud Reporting Framework. Oracle EPM Cloud reporting and Analytics offers Smart View with new features for Office 365 (as pictured below) that is Multi Grid with Data Management Drill Thru results and uploading of cell attachments.
Also coming soon in Smart View:
- Parity for EPM Cloud (Essbase provider)
- Structures and dashboard support
- Flex forms
- Right-click for members
- Smart View for Office 365 updates
In Narrative Reporting, new features include Management Reports with notes and hidden grids, upload doclets and styles from Library, server refresh of excel reference doclets, disclosure management — ESMA and Auto Tag, and Extension Update Alerts. Still to come: Report Package Shared Doclets and Management Reports with books and batches, platform integration, and intelligent narrative generation.
There will also be a user interface uplift within the calendar year 2020 where EPM Cloud will start to adopt and align more closely with other Oracle Cloud applications and create a much more streamlined user experience.
Additionally, there will be embedded intelligence and automation. Intelligent Automation streamlines tasks related to account reconciliations, transaction processing, consolidation, close process orchestration, and disclosure management. This will free up tasks being performed by the task manager. Intelligence Performance Management will inform planning decisions with predictive analytics and machine learning.
The On-Premises Strategy
Oracle Hyperion EPM on-premises will officially join Oracle Applications Unlimited with the upcoming 2.11 release. This places certain responsibilities on development organizations – providing peace of mind and standardization for customers.
Essentially, Hyperion EPM joining Apps Unlimited offers:
- A commitment to customers through Oracle Premier Support through at least 2030
- A commitment to innovation in the reception of ongoing new features and a promise to run the same application on-premises or in the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure
- A commitment to the product with a transparent product roadmap and ongoing R&D
Therefore, an Oracle Hyperion EPM customer future-proofs their business. The 11.2 release is planned for September 2019. It is an out-of-place upgrade – meaning it will go on a new piece of hardware running the latest matrix or support matrix and then use LCM to move applications into the new environment. There is a lot of simplification that comes with this upgrade. Third-party certifications are to include Windows 2012 and 2016, among others. The full matrix will become available eventually.
One key announcement that Marciante made is that EPM Architect (EPMA) will not be available as a foundation component in EPM 11.2 and beyond. For existing deployments of EPM Architect, Oracle Data Relationship Management will be offered under a restricted use license to facilitate Oracle Hyperion EPM (on-premises only) dimension maintenance. A migration kit will be published, including a whitepaper and scripts to assist with dimension extraction from EPMA to DRM.
It is also important to note the Hyperion EPM on-premises products and features that will be discontinued in 11.2 – displayed in the image below.
Finally, take a look at the roadmap for Oracle EPM on-premises.
To learn more about the Oracle EPM Cloud roadmap, check out the full 2019 Cloud Webinar Series presentation attached below.
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