Oracle EPM Cloud Managed Services
Leave the technical, tedious, and time-consuming tasks to us
What will you do with an extra 10 hours a week? That's how much time our clients save, on average, by offloading Oracle EPM tasks to us. They're able to focus on strategic work that only they can do.
How We Help
Rely on certified, US-based consultants who are dedicated to managed services and available 24/7.
Save an average of 60% on Oracle EPM administration costs.
Focus on strategic work and leave EPM administration to our trained experts.
Receive proactive communication via monthly reports, quarterly reviews, and as-needed phone calls.
Get visibility into problem tracking and resolution with our user-friendly ticketing system.
Scale support based on known and/or unforeseen events.
Stay ahead of the curve on new technology requirements and capabilities.
Ensure your data meets compliance requirements.
What Makes US-Analytics Different?
We pride ourselves on excellent response time to your requests, but that doesn't mean we're reactive. Our clients love our proactive scheduled tasks and the ideas we bring for system automation and enhancements.
We operate a cloud portal ticket management system for instant client communication and tracking issue resolutions. Our clients get 24x7 in-office coverage and SLAs for incident response.
Complete EPM Skillset
The expertise across our team spans all Oracle EPM cloud and on-prem products. We also provide functional expertise in addition to technical support – our team members have backgrounds as former controllers, accountants, and strategists in digital finance transformation.
100% Dedicated to Managed Services
Unlike many consulting firms, our support is not an afterthought to project work. We assign a dedicated team based on your unique needs, and they are solely focused on support.
- Application support.
- End-user technical support.
- Detailed service level agreements to ensure clear roles and responsibilities.
- Rapid problem tracking and resolution, documented by our user-friendly ticketing system.
- Proactive communication via monthly reports, quarterly reviews, and as-needed phone calls.
- Continuous training.
- Capacity planning.
See what people are saying about our managed services...
US-Analytics' response time is very quick. I’ve worked with other consultants before and that has not been the case!
US-Analytics was head and shoulders above the other companies that I had talked to. Other companies seemed to try to do a lot of things, and it seemed to me that their expertise was not really deep.
They are awesome and super responsive. That resonates with me because whenever I get a request, I try to knock it out right away because the user has a problem and I need to fix it.
Frequently Asked Questions
Oracle EPM systems require a level of support that's often underestimated.
Because these solutions are designed to modernize the finance function, teams get starry-eyed by what's to come:
• No more time-consuming manual methods
• No more emailing records back and forth, getting versioning confused
• Better integration of data between systems to improve data integrity
• Getting your team on the same page, using the same processes
• Being able to better visualize large amounts of data
• And, most importantly, getting to go home from the office by 5 p.m.
Expectations often do not line up with reality. Yes, things will be far better than the days of manual methods and inconsistent data — but there are still tedious, time-consuming tasks.
System administrators are tasked with a slew of responsibilities. Depending on the applications you have, tasks include managing metadata, maintaining business rules, supporting data loads, and, of course, responding to users when things break. If you're the admin, you know it's not realistic for you to do everything, and there are some tasks that you would like to offload so you can focus on more strategic, pressing work.
If your organization has just invested in implementing a new system, managed services may seem like another financial burden. However, an Oracle EPM support services team can actually help you save money.
A recent survey of managed services customers found that many organizations reduce their support cost by at least 10 percent, sometimes even reaching 75 percent. Many can't even begin to assess the savings because not having the proper support can lead to much more costly consequences. You need the specialized system maintenance combined with the support for critical business functions.
By reducing costs, mitigating risk, and increasing the value your organization gets from Oracle EPM, support services provides an excellent ROI.
When you hear about EPM support, you usually hear about opening tickets, technical help, and the expertise of the team. But you rarely hear about exactly what tasks are being taken off your plate. A good support services provider will resolve your tickets quickly, but a great support services provider will provide you with a combination of reactive and proactive support. This comes in the form of scheduled and unscheduled tasks.
Your Oracle EPM systems require periodic maintenance and updates to keep your business running smoothly. These scheduled tasks might be weekly, monthly, quarterly, or even daily. These are the tasks that you establish with your Managed Services team — ensuring that these tedious to-dos are complete so that you don't have to think about it.
Just as important are the unscheduled tasks — those issues that arrive unexpectedly and you need completed in a timely manner. For these unforeseen issues, you'll need an experienced, communicative support services team and a reliable ticketing system.
Businesses naturally ebb and flow, which is why you’ll need to manage your metadata accordingly to reflect your business and reporting needs. To ensure everything runs smoothly and is consistent with your business needs, you’ll need your hierarchies updated regularly. Whether you’re adding new accounts, creating alternate hierarchies, or updating member formulas, a managed services team will maintain your metadata — allowing your team to focus on strategic reporting.
Data Management Issues
The Oracle EPM Cloud uses Data Management to integrate your data from an ERP system to your EPM target application. You’re also able to drill through from your EPM application and view the data in your ERP source system.
Like most things, Data Management isn’t as simple as it sounds. Though you can use it with every EPM Cloud application, there are notable differences between how it works in each application and how it works in the cloud vs. the corresponding on-prem version.
There are also many tasks that need to occur within Data Management, like administration and security tasks as well as setting up your source systems. A managed services provider can ensure that everything is set up properly and, if something goes wrong with your data load, fix it quickly and efficiently.
Setting up security for your users is still an essential task in the cloud. As we’ve said in past blog posts, there are a lot of things that can go wrong. You’ll need someone to manage your groups and security settings for your users. To understand the complications that occur with security, check out our worst practices blog post here.
There are too many activities to cover them all thoroughly in one blog post. Other tasks include:
• Update business rules
• Create and maintain workflows
• Set up, open, and close business processes
• Provide end user support
• Ensure data accuracy among applications
• Script backups to be archived off cloud (currently, nightly backups are not saved indefinitely)
• Update admin guides and process documentation
Being in the cloud does take infrastructure tasks off your plate, but you still need a support plan for application support, business processes, automation, and end user support.
Outsourcing this work will allow your team to get back to business… and you can pack your bags for that dream vacation.
If you can snag an in-house administrator (they are hard to find and retain!), having someone right there is always useful.
The power of having an admin and a support services team together means that:
- Your admin can focus on tasks that can't be outsourced, while the support services team focuses on the tedious to-dos.
- You get a full team that your users or admins can reference for their expert knowledge, i.e. more heads are better than one.
- Your support is guaranteed, meaning your admin can go on vacation, take off when they're sick, and even have a life outside the office.
Of course, you need someone there when there's an emergency, but that's not the only reason to have a support team on deck. Your EPM managed services team is also there to anticipate issues.
A proactive support team will continuously monitor your environment and perform health checks to ensure your apps are running how they should be. These are tasks that are done consistently — weekly, monthly, quarterly. It ensures your system is running smoothly when you need it most, like during month-end close. The optimization and monitoring of your environment is the part of support services that should truly give you peace of mind, while saving you time and money in the long run.
This might be true for some managed services providers, so it's important to ask a lot of questions when you're looking for a vendor. What you really need is a team who not only understands the technology, but the EPM processes behind the technology. They can truly become an extension of your finance and accounting teams, by completing tasks like...
- Routine financial close accounting tasks during month-end or quarter-end.
- Assist FP&A with forecasting and strategic planning.
- Perform analysis and modeling of business metrics.
Depending on the support services provider you're evaluating, there might be some truth to these misconceptions. What your organization needs is a provider that will tailor the services to your needs. It can be difficult to know what questions to ask prospective providers, which is why we built a checklist so you can be 100 percent sure you get the support you need.
Offshore support can cause a lot of frustration, especially since you're typically with a call center and never the same person twice. But when it comes to EPM Managed Services, there are on-shore teams out there that you'll know by name.
Offshore call centers don't work as well with your Oracle EPM technology because the solutions can vary from customer to customer. With a dedicated onshore team, you'll have a group of people who intimately know your environment allowing them to properly and quickly respond to your problems. Before you sign a contract with your support services provider, you should be able to meet the team who will be supporting your environment.
The most ideal situation will include at least someone overseas, giving you 24-hour "follow the sun" support. But this shouldn't be a call center — just one or two people who are familiar with your environment and can help while you're working late.
The other reason organizations tend to shy away from outsourcing support services is the nightmare scenarios they've already experienced. We've heard many horror stories — tickets going unresolved due to lack of expertise, long ticket wait times (we're talking weeks), and even not being able to get a member of their support services team on the phone.
Nightmare: Slow Response/Resolution Time
There you are at your desk working during month-end close, then something goes wrong. This can't happen — you need things to be back up and running fast. This is your support services team time to shine. You call in your sidekick and they don't respond. It's like Batman without Robin; Sherlock Holmes without Watson; Han Solo without Chewbacca. The bad guys win; the case goes unsolved, the spaceship gets blown up.
I'm sure you get it, there's no one there to bail you out of your difficult situation.
Slow and unresponsive support is one of those nightmare situations we often hear about. This usually happens when support services teams...
• Don’t dedicate a team solely to support. This is the most likely reason for delayed service. Very few EPM consulting firms have dedicated support services staff — so who’s handling the tickets? Consultants in the field are already stretched thin across projects for other customers.
• Don't have a good ticketing system. If you get multiple responses from support staff that are duplicating efforts, or you have to repeat yourself, your provider doesn’t have a good ticketing system (or they aren’t using it effectively).
• Don't provide “follow the sun” support. We've talked about this in the former section. Your Oracle EPM solution is a mission-critical system used around the clock by global organizations. If your support services provider doesn’t readily provide 24-hour support, that’s a red flag.
Dream Team: Support that Maximizes Your Time
Like we mentioned above, fast reactive support is incredibly important. Your dream team should have an easy-to-use, accessible ticketing system so that you have a clear thread of communication and tracked response/resolution times.
Like we said before — it's a misconception that support services is only there for when things break. What better way to maximize your time than having your system proactively optimized?
At the end of the day, a good support services provider recognizes that their goal is to save you time and energy. If your provider is sending unnecessary back-and-forth emails from multiple points of contact, do they really respect your time? Are they really adding value?
Nightmare: Lack of Expertise
Does your support team’s responses (or lack thereof) make you wonder if they are adequately trained in Oracle EPM applications and business processes? You’re right to wonder. Hiring fully trained staff or getting junior staff up to speed is not something all providers are willing to do.
Support Services providers should be proud of their team. Before a contract is signed, you should see thorough bios outlining specific experience and certifications. You should see references and Net Promoter Scores. And, like we stated above, you should get to speak with the admin team members that you’ll work with on a regular basis.
Customers of subpar providers, on the other hand, typically find out the hard way when their systems are supported by an inexperienced team.
Dream Team: Expert Guidance from an Onshore Team
We’ve talked about the specific skills and experience to look for in a Oracle EPM support team. Expertise is one of the many advantages of outsourcing EPM support — with a good provider, you get access to a much broader and deeper skillset than any one admin could have.
Note that while a “follow the sun” model is important for 24-hour support coverage, having an onshore-based team is important for clear communication when you need it most.
Nightmare: Not Delivering on Their Promise
You can meet with an organization who promises you the moon, but it doesn’t mean they’re going to give you the moon. Some support services providers will make you promises that they don’t deliver on, like deep expertise and quick resolution times.
If your support services team promised to optimize your system, but they’re not completing monthly maintenance tasks, then you have a problem. But how can you tell a provider won’t deliver on their promise before entering into a contract? And what can you do about it after the fact?
Dream Team: Exceeding Expectations and Adding Value
To ensure that a support services provider will deliver on their promises, ask references to compare their experience to what was initially promised. Ask the provider for a full list of Net Promoter Scores — not just a few positive examples they cherry-picked. As mentioned above, a dream team will introduce you to team members so that there are no surprises. Finally, look for value-adds that you don’t see other providers offer.
Value-adds might include...
• Making enhancements to existing applications
• Providing thorough documentation of your environment with application and process details
• Keeping you informed of new technology requirements, capabilities, and trends
• Providing quarterly service reviews
All of this might sound like a compelling case for Oracle EPM Managed Services, but if you're not a decision maker in your organization, it can be difficult to convince management to invest in a change.
But, as you've learned, getting the proper support for maintaining your applications is incredibly important. After reading this the reasons why you should choose support services are probably obvious to you, but it might be difficult to summarize it for your boss.
Show the Value
If you’re a finance professional, you’re probably all too familiar with the adage “numbers speak louder than words.” In business, this is especially true. The average salary of a Oracle EPM admin is close to $100,000, according to Glassdoor. Because the skillset to support Oracle EPM is so rare, organizations must offer admins competitive salaries.
If you're investing so much in an admin, you don't want them to burn out and leave. If you have a Managed Services team on deck, they can be your admin's sidekick. They'll actually be able to go vacation with peace of mind, knowing that there's a team to handle issues in their absence. As stated above, the support services team can take care of the tedious work while your admin takes care of more important tasks.
You want your EPM applications to be a solution to increase efficiency, not a system you have to worrying about maintaining that will ultimately weigh you down. If you can show management an estimation of your savings, ROI, and a projection of increased efficiency — the better off you’ll be.
Actionable tip: Use our State of Oracle EPM Managed Services Report for compelling stats, like how much customers have saved with support services.
Refer to Real Customer Experiences
If your organization is new to EPM managed services or has worked with an inexperienced provider, your boss may have questions like "Can these applications be supported remotely?" or "Will a support services provider share our urgency when there's an issue?" If you anticipate and address these concerns before they come up, management will see that you've thought the business case through.
Fortunately, there are many companies out there who have had positive experiences with managed services. Using their stories will help paint a picture for your boss, showing them how other companies have benefited and saved with support services.
Actionable tip: Download stories that align with your company in terms of challenges, industry, or products:• Case Study: Retailer Cuts Costs While Improving Oracle EPM Performance
• Case Study: Oilfield Products Company Optimizes Oracle EPM Performance Remotely
• Case Study: Manufacturer Maintains Seamless Oracle EPM Support After Admin Leaves
• Video: How Williamson-Dickie Supports Oracle Planning
FREE Support Assessment
Does application support make sense for you? There's a quick and easy way to find out.
Book a brief assessment with an expert. In 30 minutes or less, we can tell you if there is a fit and what it would cost. Worst-case scenario? We point you to another answer.