Rumor Mill – Planning, trends in Finance, and what’s coming

Rumor Mill – Planning, trends in Finance, and what’s coming

At this year’s Openworld, Oracle defended their strategic direction and themes based on some common Trends they see in Finance:

48% CFOS say IT systems are out of date and inflexible

40% can only forecast 3 months out.

93% still use spreadsheets

As a matter of fact, as much as 35% of large companies and as much as 65% of midmarket companies are still using spreadsheets for planning/budgeting

Why so high in Midmarket?  Because the high cost of an IT infrastructure and full software license ownership has been quite a challenge.  In order for Oracle to continue to compete in this market, they must go head-to-head with some of the SaaS EPM leaders such as Host Analytics and  Adaptive Planning

The Cloud push has been so strong that is the last “on premise” code base.   11.1.3 will be a cloud based theme.  Meaning that all new development must be developed and deployed to the cloud first and then ported to the on-premise versions… so we can assume all the latest wiz-bang features will be available in the cloud first.

And we are already seeing it.  There are things that will be released in the Planning and Budgeting cloud (expected December) that may not be available on-premise.  Such as:

  • Create New Application updates
  • Build Process Task List
  • Import / Export / Data Management Capability
  • Application Monitor and best practices advisor
  • ASO Plan Types
  • Smart View Metadata Updates

There is even a friendly (or not so friendly) competition between the various internal EPM developer groups on who can get the most functionality on mobile quicker…

But EPM is not the only one… Larry’s direction is to get everything on the cloud and on engineered systems.

Any application, on premise or in the cloud, managed or not, owned or SaaS.

The Theme…. Is total customer choice…

  • Deliver mainstream apps in the cloud
  • Self service everything. no IT
  • Multi tenancy, data isolations, security
  • Give choices between on-premise and cloud, mix/match and integrate.
  • Include managed service model





HFM platform revamp  

We have been asking Oracle when HFM/FDM will be available on Unix platforms.  The answer was always that the demand was not enough for them to consider the massive recoding it would take to convert the code.  Since HFM is so dependent on Windows-only components such as IIS, DCOM, and .Net, the effort would be too massive.

Suddenly, Oracle recently announced that HFM and FDM will now support Unix/Linux platforms.  Why now you ask?   Simply because the cloud and Exalytics are both Unix based.

Oracle is also continuing to focus on improving the speed, accuracy, and complexity of the financial close process.  At the same time, we are seeing a push to include more users in the process and incorporate workflow across the enterprise.  We are seeing the close process including hundreds and even thousands of users and Oracle must attack this problem.  We need to get 7 hours long processes to less than 30 minutes. Believe me, they know this.

Within the Consolidations suite of products, we can also expect

  • Dramatically improved consolidations performance
  • Deployment simplification
  • Ability to leverage Exalytics

Planning Approach

Planning modules are a key strategy.  Oracle will continue to invest in Planning modules as quick start pre-built templates for dedicated purposes.

At this time, EAS and Essbase studio is still a go forward strategy despite the movement to Calculation Manager for Essbase administration in the cloud version. EIS is not a strategic direction.  My prediction is that a unified Essbase and OBIEE administration tool will be coming, probably leveraging Oracle Enterprise Manager.

What’s coming:

  • EPM mobile applications for Planning and HFM approvals
  • OBIEE reporting integration with Planning – through   Oracle financial planning analyzer (OFPA)
  • Full data copy for ASO
  • Seamless ASO-BSO trickle
  • Auto upgrade for modules
  • Sandboxing
  • tighter FR integration
  • Project Financial Planning and Public Sector in the cloud
  • Open dimensions in Smartview, and add dimensions,u pdate properties. (probably only for classic apps)
  • Add new plan types on the fly
  • PFP -integration to Primavera P6 and EBS projects.

For Mobile:

  • Mobile Applications for approvals – Planning and HFM
  • Reporting and BI Mobile browser friendly
  • Better interaction with forms, including data entry.

Another rumor is the addition of various functional starter kits to deploy apps quickly. Using wizards, guide you through common models, etc.  Perhaps a “driver based rolling forecast functional starter kit”

~ by Eric Helmer on October 10, 2013.

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