Oracle Cloud planning, budgeting and forecasting as we know it is changing, with some seriously exciting opportunities in the new world of Enterprise EPM Cloud, or the more familiar world of NetSuite PBCS. There are also new pre-built applications in the works aimed at strategic workforce planning and sales planning, which aims to bring some of the functionality of Oracle Hyperion Planning on-premises to the Cloud and to new areas of your company.
Below is a comparison from Oracle of the various flavours of planning available in the Cloud, including the exciting free-form planning option and the capability for up to 6 BSO cubes in a single application with the EPM Cloud Enterprise option.
Hybrid BSO is available right now for Enterprise Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service (EPBCS) customers – by creating an SR you can request that this is turned on for you. This effectively gives you the power of BSO calculations at level-0 with the aggregations of ASO, leveraging the best of both worlds! Once you’ve turned it on, you apply it by creating sparse dynamic parents, and you will need to tune it to some extent (like how ASO uses aggregate views to pre-aggregate some data). PBCS does not get this feature yet, sadly! ☹
Free-Form Planning functions like Oracle Essbase, but in the Cloud, and with all the extra bells and whistles of Cloud planning. Currently each free-form application can only support one cube, but since you’re only likely to use it with the new EPM Cloud Enterprise SKU which gives you unlimited apps, you can really take advantage of this new tool.
Free form means that there is no requirement on dimensionality whatsoever, and therefore you can create all sorts of specialised models for very specific parts of your business, and then use data management tools to migrate the information into your forecast or budget.
Oracle Smart View for Office 365 Browser and Mac
Oracle Smart View for Office can now be deployed centrally to your web browser, which is a massive improvement. It paves the way to a much better process for quicker plan updates – saving forms in Excel workbooks on SharePoint, so your users can click a link in an email to open their form in the browser, in Excel rather than the PBCS online wizard. There are great online resources to walk you through this process here, or you can wait for my blog post after I’ve implemented it internally for us! 😊
IFRS16 Full Support in Capex Module
This was big news for me, as I recently developed a custom IFRS16 application in PBCS. Pretty soon full IFRS16 functionality will be available by default in the capex module, although it remains to be seen how configurable it will be.
Groovy is going to the big time, as more and more customers move to EPM Cloud Enterprise. I’m personally going to start migrating my EPM Automate scripts to start using Groovy instead, and business rules can also include Groovy in EPM Enterprise Cloud or EPBCS, which gives you a lot more power and control over your business rules. The best example, courtesy of Kyle Goodfriend of in2Hyperion (who has put an immense amount of work into creating publicly available Groovy tutorials), is to use Groovy to only run aggregations for specific cells on a form that have changed, which massively reduces the calculation overhead. Using Groovy gives you the power to loop through these cells and create FIX statements on the fly, which is extremely powerful.
There’s loads more that Groovy can do, and you can look forward to more Groovy functions becoming available as it’s on the strategic roadmap.
A quick note – go to this link to access Oracle’s new tool for announcing and searching new features – it’s fantastic and has great links to the documentation, so that you can find out about key new features without having to wait for us to blog about it.
The future of planning, budgeting and forecasting is bright, and I’m looking forward to it!
Until next time,