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5 Misconceptions About EPM Support Services

When we talk to finance and IT teams that don’t outsource support for Hyperion or Oracle EPM Cloud applications, it’s typically because:

1) They had a bad experience with a subpar managed services provider, and they aren’t sure a different MSP will be better.

OR

2) They haven’t tried managed services yet because they assume it costs too much, they won’t get the custom support they need, or other misconceptions.

It’s time to clear the air! In this blog post, we’ll cover the biggest misconceptions we’ve heard about managed services for EPM tools.

Scorecard: Evaluating a Managed Services Provider

Misconception No. 1: Managed services is only needed when things go wrong.

Having a team who can quickly and efficiently resolve emergencies is, of course, integral to your support. But it’s just as important to anticipate and prevent issues before they arise with proactive support and monitoring.

What does proactive support look like? Your managed services team will set you up with continuous monitoring and health checks to optimize your systems. They’ll schedule and complete the weekly, monthly, and quarterly tasks needed to keep your systems and EPM processes running smoothly. You’ll have peace of mind, knowing that your applications perform well when you really need them.

Yes, managed services is a hotline for solving support issues — but it can and should be much more.

Misconception No. 2: If I use managed services, then I don’t need an administrator, right?

You’ve probably heard this one a lot. Many managed services providers point to high Hyperion admin turnover as a reason for turning to managed services. It’s true that qualified candidates are in scarce supply, but having an in-house expert is never a bad thing. Better yet is having a team of certified Oracle professionals backing up your staff. This is ideal because:

  1. Your team can focus on strategic tasks that can’t be outsourced. Managed services will take on the tedious tasks that burn out talented, high-value employees.
  2. You get access to a full team with a broader and deeper skillset than any one employee could have.
  3. You have guaranteed support around the clock. You don’t have to worry about your mission-critical system when an admin is out sick or on vacation.

Misconception No. 3: Managed services only helps with infrastructure and break/fix issues.

A good managed services provider is able to fully support you in your EPM processes, meaning they are truly an extension of your finance and accounting team. For example, they can:

  • Complete routine financial close accounting tasks, such as running month-end close processes
  • Assist the FP&A team with managing the periodic forecast, financial close, strategic planning, and modeling processes
  • Perform analysis and modeling of business metrics

A managed services team wouldn’t be doing their job if they only solved break/fix issues as tickets came up. Look for a team that will provide functional support, optimize business processes, and help you get the most out of your tools.

Misconception No. 4: Managed services is too expensive.

A recent survey found that Hyperion managed services reduced support costs by at least 25% for the majority of customers, even reaching 75%.

And that’s just compared to what they were spending. What about the support you don’t have today and the indirect costs of keeping things as is? Running EPM systems without having the proper support in place can have pricey consequences. These tools not only require specialized system maintenance, but they support critical business functions.

By reducing costs, mitigating risk, and increasing the value your organization gets from Hyperion, managed services provides an excellent ROI.

Misconception No. 5: All managed services means is some guy overseas who I’ll never meet.

Have you been burned before by offshore support? You’ll be relieved to know that it’s very easy to avoid from the get-go.

Look for an onshore managed services provider that openly shares — even promotes — the locations of all their support team members. Clear written and verbal communication is a major priority for customers, so it should be important to the MSP. You should be able to speak with any team member before you sign a contract.

This doesn’t mean there won’t be someone overseas. The ideal situation is to have your primary support team based onshore, supplemented by “follow the sun” support. That way you’ll have experts available to help you 24 hours a day.

At the end of the day, what’s important is that you’re comfortable with your support team. Know what all is possible with managed services so you can determine your own must-have vs. nice-to-have criteria.


Download the checklist to start evaluating MSPs!

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