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HFM: Deciding on Your Next Steps

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In the past couple of years, Oracle has been addressing its future plans for on-prem, and there’s a lot to consider — especially with regard to Hyperion Financial Management (HFM).

The new version of Hyperion (11.2) was set to be released in early 2019, but we have yet to hear any news. With ODTUG Kscope19 just around the corner, we're expecting to hear something very soon, which is why we decided to update this blog post. 

Based on previous roadmaps from Oracle, all of the on-prem tools, including HFM, will be enhanced with new features and functions based on customer feedback. And HFM’s loyal fanbase can rest assured that it’s not going anywhere anytime soon.

In this blog post, we’ll go over several reasons why you should consider a(n) (continued) investment in HFM, and several methods for doing so.

Upgrading to a New Version

If you're on version 11.1.2.4 (or anything 11.1.2.x), there are a few key dates coming up that you're probably aware of...

  • Premiere Support ending December 2020
  • Extended Support ending December 2021
  • Indefinite Sustaining Support

Upgrades are huge projects (especially if you also need to upgrade to FDMEE), so upgrading to 11.1.2.4 from an earlier version probably doesn't make the most sense. But, before completely writing off 11.1.2.4, considering checking out Oracle's explanation for each level of support and what's included.

If you're looking (and waiting) for 11.2, you'll have Premiere Support until December 2030. It's a great option for an organization wanting to stay on-prem, and for those who are still hopeful that Oracle might decide to produce another on-prem version sometime in the future.

If you are considering upgrading to 11.2, these are some of the features you can look forward to. 

HFM Upcoming Features

  • Automatic consolidations
  • Enhanced insights, archiving
  • Expanded dashboards
  • Web-based metadata
  • Web-based metadata editor
  • Simulated posting/consolidation
  • Entity hierarchy for ICP dimension
  • Critical customer requested enhancements
  • Matrixed security

Moving to the Cloud

It's not a secret that Oracle Financial Consolidation and Close Cloud Service (FCCS), is not "HFM in the cloud." It's a different cloud-based tool that might be right for your organization. You can read a little more about FCCS in this blog post. You can also review the differences between HFM and FCCS at the end of this blog post.

Some organizations with cloud initiatives, have also chosen other options, one being completing their consolidations in Oracle Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service (PBCS). You can read more about how this major infrastructure company did just that in the case study below...

PBCS Replaces Manual Planning & Consolidation Process

Opt for a Blended Approach

When you shop for a new technology and simply go straight to the vendor, it doesn't seem like you have many options — on-prem or the cloud — that must be it, right? Not necessarily. 

EPM consulting firms are here to implement the technology in whatever way makes sense for your organization. With that context in mind, there are some other options you can consider, like a blended environment. Some companies have chosen to keep HFM on-prem for consolidations, while using a cloud-based solution for other functionality not included in HFM.

You can also host HFM on a private cloud, in which a third party takes care of the hardware and data center that only you can access. There are also options for on-premises private or hybrid cloud.

Differences Between HFM and FCCS

As you probably already know, FCCS has not yet achieved parity with HFM.

Many organizations require customization when it comes to a tool like HFM. If you’re on a version prior to 11.1.2.4, you have many custom dimensions in HFM. On-prem customers get unlimited custom dimensions; FCCS, on the other hand, is an out-of-the-box tool with 11 predefined dimensions. With FCCS, you do get the simplified user interface (coming soon to HFM) and drillable dashboards.

Besides functionality, the biggest difference between HFM and FCCS is where your financial data is stored. With FCCS, your data is being placed on a “public cloud,” which saves you upfront hardware and maintenance costs. There are ways to extract this data, but you no longer have your own data center and lose control of your security. You will also no longer own licensing for your software with FCCS; rather, you pay a monthly per user fee to log in and use the tool.

For a more detailed comparison, check out the blog post on HFM vs. FCCS.

Supporting HFM While You Decide

Most of us have a hard time deciding even the simplest of things — what to have for dinner, what to wear on a date, whether or not to get your cheeseburger animal style (though that seems an obvious choice) — so you can count on it taking your company some time to decide what path to take.

In the meantime, you can utilize a Support Services team to ensure that HFM stays up and running (especially if your Oracle support has run out). A dedicated Support Services team helps you proactively manage your environment and solve any unexpected issues that may arise. It's a team you'll know, who will know you as well as your processes and environment. You can learn more about Support Services here.

Moving Forward with HFM (or leaving it behind)

What you should gather from this blog post is that you have options — cloud, on-prem, both, or you could even opt for a different technology altogether. It's truly about what makes the most sense for you. 

If you need helping finding the right path, our advisory team is always here to help. We help companies assess solutions, create roadmaps, and optimize their processes. You can book an appointment to speak with an EPM advisor here.

To learn more about your options for keeping your on-premises software licensing, moving to the cloud, or doing a little bit of both, download the eBook: To Move to the Cloud or Stay On-Prem?

hyperion-move-to-cloud-or-stay-on-prem
 

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