Cloud Update for Q1 2016

The pressure for cloud

2 Trillion of global GDP out of about 75 Trillion is spent on IT. Of that two trillion, about half is consumer spending, and the other half is corporate spend. Of the corporate spend, 18% is spent on innovation, which has been fairly flat over the years, while consumer spending has been on the rise (due to devices)

 

However, in the last 7 years revenue has been less than 1% growth. Sustainable revenue has come from cost cutting. Cloud solutions offer opportunities to cut IT operational costs while still achieving functionally and agility.

And the competition is fierce. There is clearly a race to not only bring EPM solutions to a all business shapes and sizes, but grow EPM into every major business function.

EPM everywhere

 

EPM is evolving from financial reporting and dashboards.  Its is becoming a critical tool for gaining business insight and decision making, providing a tool to manage goals and performance, and aligning behavior to actions.

Innovation has been centered on user adoption, which means a focus on simplifying the user interface, and reducing footprint, and rapid support. Focus areas of modern software companies

  • Millennials – work anywhere on any device, on the go. Today Millennials make up 36% of the workforce, it will be 50% by 2020.
  • Flexibility to change priorities on the fly
  • Instant seamless scalability to handle globalization, acquisitions
  • Push corporate capabilities to all levels of the organization
  • Mobile delivery
  • Easy adoption and rapid value.
  • Agile
  • Collaboration

Your Cloud Options

When evaluating the cloud, it’s important to note there are many options. The first thing is to figure out what exactly you want outsourced. For those that want a simple, rapid solution, Oracle’s Cloud solutions such as Planning and Budgeting on the Cloud Service is a great choice if your requirements fit within its capabilities.

But for others that may have needs outside current SaaS capability, already own the software, and just want to outsource hardware and the associated maintenance overhead, perhaps an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is really the cloud type to consider.

 

cloud options

Cloud Roadmap Summary

 When considering your cloud strategy, it is also imperative to be in the know on Oracle’s Cloud roadmap to ensure it meets your timelines and capability requirements. Here is what I am hearing… as usual, these are my guesses only and nothing official at all, and these change all the time.

  • Oracle Planning and Budgeting on the Cloud service. Currently available, launched in Feb 2014. One classic planning application only. Currently there are about 1000+ Subscriptions.
  • Oracle Performance Reporting Cloud Service. Currently available.
  • Oracle Account Reconciliation Cloud Services. Currently available. Read this for more info
  • Essbase Cloud Service. Originally I heard it was gong to be released in the next month or so, but then I heard it was pushed out to the next fiscal cycle.   It will have sandboxing and workflow built into it. It will have the ability to import data from BI Cloud Services (BICS) and Database cloud service. They claim that consumers of Essbase Cloud will not need to have Essbase skills as there will be guided database creation wizards and guides.
  • Enterprise Planning and Budgeting on the Cloud service (EPBCS). This is PBCS with all the modules – CAPEX, Work Force, Project, etc. You will get ALL the modules with your subscription and you simply enable the modules you want. It’s designed to start with one and incrementally add functionality. At this time I do not have any information on the license methodology nor the technical methodology to migrate from PBCS to EPBCS. I think that is still being ironed out. Price is $250/user/month
  • Financial Consolidation Cloud Service (FCCS). Around May-July. Should be integrated with current cloud offerings, but will not be immediately migratable from on-prem. The Initial release is intended for net new customers and will have limited functionality. Think of it as having the same features as the initial release of HFM – the basic close:

 

    • Address management and legal entity consolidation.

    • Not meant to be HFM on the cloud. (It’s actually built on top of PBCS, with an Essbase back-end)

    • First release: Out of the box functionality with limited customization. I believe you will get 2 custom dimensions

    • Built in orchestration

    • Standard consolidations and eliminations only.

    • Currency translations and FX adjustment

    • Automated Cash Flow

    • Task management, status. Workflow.

 

As you would imagine, it will have tablet interface, social interactions, etc. I heard the price will be $120/user/month.

 You might want to shy away from the first release if you are an existing customer with custom scripts, rules, or complex things like equity eliminations, allocations, a lot of multinational GLs, etc.

Way Further Out (2017)

  • Tax Provisioning Cloud Service. Should be integrated with FCCS and I believe it will have a migration path from on prem HTP. Second Half of 2017.
  • Profitability and Cost Management Cloud
  • Dimension Management Cloud – think DRM

 

The Hybrid Approach

What we are seeing today is that everyone’s situation is a bit unique. While many companies would like to use Oracle’s SaaS cloud, they have situations where they have some products or features that are not yet available. For these, often a hybrid solution can be used to create a mix of different products and cloud services that is the most cost efficient and delivers the features and functionally that is needed. For example, if a customer has planning and HFM, we can use a combination of PBCS and a ADI hosted IaaS to seamlessly deliver an overall cloud approach. The trick for the seamless integration is active oversight and managed services as it relates to data integration, process orchestration, and metadata maintenance. If done correctly the actual physical platform is transparent to the customer and fully administered behind the scenes – all at a lower cost of ownership.

hybrid

 

The On-Premise Warriors

I know, you know, and Oracle knows there are some customers that will never go to the cloud.

Generally I see these being customers that:

  • have mature IT departments
  • want to capitalize software and hardware assets
  • have mature or custom internal processes, compliances, business continuity models.
  • have specific performance needs (Exalytics/Exadata), high I/O or Network requirements
  • are generally more comfortable having their data internal to their own data center.

For those customers – not to sweat.  All the functionality that is available in Oracle’s SaaS EPM services will be eventually available on-premise.  Just know that it will be applied to the cloud instances first and more frequent.

Summary

If your requirements align with the capabilities of Oracle’s SaaS cloud offerings, then it might be worth considering waiting and giving them a try when they are released.

Can’t wait and want to get the cloud now? Contact me for information on our Infrastructure as a Service outsourcing and Managed Services to get you up and running in no time with no limitations. We can chose between all the different options, including a customized hybrid solution that fits any situation.

 

 

~ by Eric Helmer on March 11, 2016.

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