Migrate to the Cloud: Introduction to EPM Cloud

Migrate to the Cloud: Introduction to EPM Cloud

Published date: 16th Jan 2017

EPM – Enterprise Performance Management – might be defined as a part of wider category Business Performance Management focusing on the optimization of all processes within the company. It is based on several functionalities, such as (but not limited to):

  • The right information flow within the company AND information exchange with the environment
  • Mapping, visualisation and analysis of all processes within the company
  • Creation and implementation of workflows
  • Supervision and controlling of each stage of the defined processes

Stages of the EPM Process

We can distinguish several stages within the circle-shaped life cycle of the EPM process:

  1. Design
    This stage is based on both designing new processes and identifying existing ones. Both are important to make sure none of them can cause interruption and that they are well synchronised. The main goal of this stage is to ensure that efficient and correct process design is prepared.
  1. Modeling
    This stage takes the design and focuses on adding a combinations of variables
  1. Execution
    Software has been developed that enables the full business process (as developed in the process design activity) to be defined in a computer language which can be directly executed by the system. The process models can be run through execution engines that automate the processes directly from the model.
    However, automating a process definition requires a flexible and comprehensive infrastructure.
  1. Monitoring
    This involves tracking all processes to be sure that all of them are working as planned and that people responsible for them have all necessary information about their state.
  1. Optimization
    Requires retrieving information about the performance of the process from the monitoring stage and defining both bottlenecks, possibilities of improvements and, at the end, implementing those conclusions in the next process design stage.
  1. Re-engineering
    Optional stage applied when the process becomes inefficient and optimization cannot solve the problems.

A webinar to discuss migrating to the cloud with one of codec-dss consultants will be taking place on
Thursday the 26th of January.
If you are interested, please click on the picture below to register

migrate-to-the-cloud-webinar


EPM software

There is a huge amount of software suppliers, offering a variety of products – from simple Balanced Scored Cards to the more complex and tailored solutions.

The most important thing (except the ROI of course, but directly connected with it) is not the price nor the time of implementation, but the COMPLEXITY which enables a company to start with a tailored solution which answers their exact needs – to avoid the situation, where company pays for a large system, and 50% is useless for the company’s purposes.

This is why cloud-based solutions are constantly gaining popularity.

Let’s think more concrete and let’s take an example
that every company needs to face – Planning and Budgeting processes.

Why the cloud?

The most important, no matter if your organization hires tens or hundreds of employees, is to realize the fact that planning and budgeting processes are not limited to Finance Departments. Moreover – P&B are largely carried out by line of business users. But at the end of the day the Finance, Planning and Administration group are responsible for composing everything, and it is their responsibility to sign off a plan.

Time spend on planning

Construction of the annual plan requires a lot of information. Common wisdom suggests, that more and more input can help to create a better plan – more data about the past equals more accurate forecasts. According to Oracle’s industry studies, on average 20% of employees are involved for at least three weeks to create the annual plan. But here’s the catch: more often than it might be thought all those inputs (remember: done by various departments) lead to misunderstandings and generate more costs without any warranties. Why? Because a majority of those inputs are done via disconnected processes, often using spreadsheets. This generates a general loss of productivity and huge inefficiency. Unfortunately finance departments, instead of doing their job and being an active part of the strategy-builders group in the company, spend a lot of time on the process of data unification.

This is why, according to Oracle, three quarters of respondents in their survey admitted, that’re using (or considering) deploying their EPM in the cloud.

SaaS (Software as a Service) is the answer

Nowadays we can observe aggressive increase in the SaaS model. Various branches switch to it, including widely understood Business Intelligence. What are the advantages? Take a look onto leading provider of BI solutions: Oracle. In this case we can name one crucial element: “Cloud service is based on Hyperion Planning, offering cloud-optimized solutions from this software.”- Jennifer Toomey, Senior Director of Product Marketing at Oracle.

With a cloud product there is no more misunderstandings and time is not wasted trying to combine plans from various departments. All involved in Planning and Forecasting processes work on the same tool, with same standards. Full data integration (including MS Office) make this solution easy to roll out across the organization – quickly and flexibly.

For whom?

The easiest way to answer this question is to say “everyone”. That’s the truth, but we can also point at mid-sized companies. It is rare that those businesses have resources to implement an on-premises solution. Fast and – even more important – flexible adoption is a change factor. Organizations can change the method of deployment in the future with an increase of business – because it is the same software in the cloud and on premise.

Any customer – from mid-sized companies to massive international businesses can benefit from quick roll out a departmental or line of business-based planning solution outside of finance.

What else?

Mentioned example – Planning and Budgeting processes – absolutely does not exhaust the list of functionalities. EPM Cloud consists of several modules – besides Planning and Budgeting Cloud:

  • Enterprise Planning Cloud
  • Enterprise Performance Reporting Cloud
  • Account Reconciliation Cloud
  • Financial Consolidation and Close Cloud
  • Profitability and Cost Management Cloud

What is most important – it’s not just hosted versions of “normal” software. As Oracle emphasize, these are complete applications, which take every advantage of their “offline” versions and have been optimized for the cloud.

migrate-to-the-cloud-webinar