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Essbase: The Cloud vs. On-Prem

Finance and budgeting teams have long been fans of Essbase — being able to store aggregated values gives users the flexibility to efficiently report and run scenarios. So, when we talk about Essbase, Hyperion Planning is often part of the conversation, too.

But, is Essbase in the cloud going to change the way we talk about and consider Essbase? In this blog post, we’ll look at some of the major differences between on-prem and cloud-based Essbase, and how having this tool in the cloud can help your organization in ways you may not have considered yet.

The Oracle Analytics Cloud

You might have noticed that Essbase in the cloud isn’t offered as a standalone application. Unlike the products in the Oracle EPM Cloud, which are offered in a SaaS model, cloud-based Essbase is part of a PaaS (platform-as-a-service) offering. The whole SaaS vs. PaaS vs. IaaS can get a little confusing. The best way to explain it is illustrated in the graphic below.

SaaS vs PaaS vs SaaS.png

If you have more general cloud vs. on-prem questions, you should check out this eBook.

The platform you have to purchase to get access to Essbase is the Oracle Analytics Cloud (OAC). You can choose between editions with the following services:

  • Standard Edition
    • Data Visualization Cloud Service (DVCS)
    • Data Visualization Desktop
    • Oracle Smart View
    • Essbase
  • Enterprise Edition
  • Data Lake Edition
    • Everything in the Standard Edition, plus…
    • Provisioning and management with the Oracle Big Data Cloud
    • Analytics Cloud Data Flows

So, with Essbase in the cloud, you’re going to get several other products. This could be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on how you look at it — we’ll talk about that more later.

New Features in the Cloud

Oracle recently updated OAC to support the direct connection to Oracle’s Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service (PBCS) and Enterprise Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service (EPBCS). These is great for organizations who want to move to the cloud and currently use Essbase and Hyperion Planning.

Essbase in the cloud comes with a couple of new features, including…

  • Sandboxing – This feature includes a built-in approval process. Your users can now save their cubes in sandboxes where it can easily be tested and later moved to production.
  • Scenario Management – This feature allows you to easily control things like ownership and the ability to create workflows.
  • On-demand Essbase cubes – This feature allows you to use templates to build your cubes.
  • Essbase file directory structure – This segregates your Essbase artifacts that are needed for restructure, so they can easily be backed up and stored.

Other features include idle cube detection, application-level Essbase configuration (Essbase.cfg), and an MDX insert.

Changing How You Think About Essbase

Essbase in the cloud can still be used flexibly and give your finance department the power of quick reporting and analysis. However, going to the cloud with Essbase gives you a lot more to think about.

If you were previously only using Essbase as a tool to support your FP&A functions, then you might not think the other analytics products included in OAC are relevant to you. With PaaS, you manage the application in your platform, so you don’t have to use any of the applications besides Essbase if you don’t want to… but, that seems like a waste of money and waste of opportunity.

You can use your cloud migration from on-prem Essbase to Essbase in the cloud to bring some new tools and processes to your organization. OAC includes powerful business intelligence applications that can give you a better view of your business. You can do data mash-ups, build interactive dashboards, utilize the mobile app integration, and much more. To find out more about OAC, check out the FAQ or tour OAC.

Wondering if your organization would actually put these BI tools to good use? Our world-class BI training programs address any concerns about user adoption and ensure that your organization maximizes the value of its analytics tools. 

Download the complete guide to making cloud vs. on-prem decisions:


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