Migrate to the Cloud: Introduction to EPM Cloud
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):
Stages of the EPM Process
We can distinguish several stages within the circle-shaped life cycle of the EPM process:
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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.
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.
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:
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.