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Outsourcing Oracle EPM Administration: The Pros and Cons

If you’re a large enterprise running Oracle EPM for business intelligence and corporate performance management, you know the value of a knowledgeable and experienced Oracle EPM administrator. You also know how potentially damaging — even catastrophic — it can be to lose your administrator.


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The sobering reality is that Oracle EPM administrators tend to have relatively short tenures — often as short as 12–18 months. With many companies requiring two administrators to handle the uniquely different challenges of maintaining an Oracle EPM environment, replacing in-house admins is costly — often totaling close to $250,000 for acquisition, compensation, and training. As a result, growing numbers of IT and human resources managers are looking at the pros and cons of outsourcing Oracle EPM administrators.

Reasons for outsourcing Oracle EPM administration:

Difficulty Acquiring and Retaining Talent
As more organizations try to gain a competitive and operational advantage through BI and EPM integration, it becomes increasingly difficult to find the right person with experience to administer such a complex, sophisticated platform. Oracle EPM has a vast set of tools — you might find someone who knows Essbase administration, but doesn't know HFM administration. Outsourcing guarantees the availability of trained and experienced Oracle EPM administrators with a managed services agreement.


Risk Mitigation
Outsourcing Oracle EPM administration helps minimize the risks associated with losing a key resource for keeping financial reporting and overall business management at an optimal level. Losing active control of your BI or EPM tool could put projects and operations at risk as maintenance and updates fall behind


IT Resources Drain
As more companies implement comprehensive ERP solutions, IT departments are getting stretched thin supporting increasingly larger projects. Meanwhile, business and finance departments experience growing frustration with long delays in IT response. Adding daily Oracle EPM maintenance and administrative tasks to an already over-burdened IT resource increases the chance for errors and even failure. Valuable in-house IT resources should focus on core competencies and key daily business operations, not trying to support a financial reporting application.


As we mentioned earlier, acquiring, training, and retaining in-house Oracle EPM administration can cost about a quarter million dollars, with no guarantee that the admin will even stay. Outsourcing to a managed services provider can save as much as 40 percent on these administration costs.


Reasons for NOT outsourcing Oracle EPM administration:

In-House Personnel Received On-the-Job Training
Even if your organization turned to an outside vendor to install and optimize all or part of your Oracle EPM suite, employees who participated in the implementation may have received enough on-the-job training to manage and maintain it with little or no outside help. You can always contract with a managed service provider for as-needed periodic maintenance or specific, project-based services.


Managed Services Costs are Greater than In-House Costs
If you’re looking to replace a departing system administrator, the costs to acquire a new one can vary greatly. A current employee with the know-how to manage and maintain a sophisticated Oracle EPM suite could cost considerably less to train than a novice IT employee. If the cost to train, equip, and compensate a fully-functioning in-house admin is less than a long-term Oracle EPM managed services agreement, you’re better off NOT outsourcing your Oracle EPM support. 



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