Significant changes to the Oracle EPM Cloud offering

Jazmin Ribeiro
Brovanture Consultant

Brace yourself. Here goes…

As you may have heard, Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service (PBCS) and Enterprise Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service (EPBCS) as we know them are no longer offered by Oracle to new customers.  Neither are:

  • Financial Consolidation and Close (FCCS)
  • Account Reconciliation (ARCS)
  • Narrative Reporting (EPRCS)
  • Profitability and Cost Management (PCMCS)
  • Tax Reporting (TRCS)
  • Enterprise Data Management (EDMCS)

for that matter.

Replacing these will be Standard EPM Cloud or Enterprise EPM Cloud.

 

Firstly, the new names:

Fed up with all the acronyms? Us too. The “Cloud Service” or “CS” has now been dropped from the acronyms of all the Cloud products…

The following cloud products are now referred to as Business Processes:

  1. Planning (previously PBCS/EPBCS)
  2. Financial Consolidation & Close (Previously FCCS)
  3. Narrative Reporting (previously EPRCS)
  4. Account Reconciliation (Previously ARCS)
  5. Tax Reporting (Previously TRCS)
  6. Profitability & Cost Management (Previously PCMCS)
  7. Enterprise Data Management (Previously EDMCS – DRM in the cloud) *

*Enterprise Data Management is the only one of these which can still be purchased as a standalone product.

The prebuilt frameworks that used to come with EPBCS i.e. Financials, Workforce, Capex and Strategic Modelling are now called Modules.

The URLs will even be renamed – e.g. the suffix for Planning will change from /HyperionPlanning/ to /EpmCloud/

Standard EPM Cloud

With Standard EPM, you can choose ONE of the following Business Processes for $250 (£198)/user/month.

  • Planning
  • Financial Close and Consolidation
  • Account Reconciliation
  • Narrative Reporting

So, if a new customer just wants Standard Planning, they pay $250 (£198) /user/month.

If this customer also wants Financial Consolidation and Close, they would need to pay an extra flat fee of $2500 (£1981)/month, but the user which is already costing them $250 (£198)/month for Planning now can also access Financial Consolidation for no extra cost.

If they then want Account Reconciliation too, they need to pay ANOTHER extra flat fee of $2500 (£1981)/month but the user which is already costing them $250 (£198)/month can now access Planning, Financial Consolidation and Account Reconciliation for no extra cost.

Each of these would be provided in a DIFFERENT environment (read: different identity domain) still each with a test & prod and within the same data centre.

To offset the inevitable pain with this; environments can be linked to one landing page and we are led to believe that Data Maps ACROSS environments will be available soon. Further down the road Oracle are also planning to come up with a method for updating a user’s passwords for all environments at the same time and for setting the daily maintenance window across environments. ** Subject to Oracle’s Safeharbor **

 

So, what comes with Standard Planning?

Standard Planning comes with all of the following cubes:

    2 Custom cubes i.e. 1 Hybrid BSO cube and 1 ASO cube

    6 Out of the box modules: Financials, Workforce (x2), CapEx, Projects, Strategic Modelling

    A total of 8 cubes @ 10 users min

Note that all BSO cubes are now Hybrid by default – this means the potential for complex calcs AND speedy aggregations!  Oracle have also decided to not include Groovy as part of the Standard Planning offering *sadface*

So, if an existing customer has more than 1 custom cube in PBCS and they want to move onto the new pricing model, they will need to buy Enterprise Planning (continue reading).

Enterprise EPM Cloud

Enterprise Planning comes with ANY of the following i.e. A client could choose to have 10 Planning, 5 Financial Consolidation, 3 Account Reconciliation, 2 Narrative Reporting environments all for one price of $500 (£396)/user/month where this licence allows this user to access all of the business processes the client has chosen.  Note that there is no extra fee of $2500 (£1981) for each additional business process and they can be added onto a subscription at any time.  Each comes in a separate environment (this customer would have 20 environments).

Available business processes:

  • Planning
  • Financial Close and Consolidation
  • Narrative Reporting
  • Tax Reporting
  • Account Reconciliation
  • Profitability & Cost Management

So, what comes with Enterprise Planning?

When a new customer activates Enterprise Planning, they can choose EITHER:

  1. Custom – Do whatever you like :)
    • 6 Hybrid BSO
    • 6 ASO

Total 12 cubes

OR

  1. Module based – Effectively the old EPBCS
    • 3 Hybrid BSO
    • 4 ASO
    • 6 cubes from the modules

Total 13 cubes

OR

  1. Free Form Planning – Essentially SaaS Essbase!
    •  Choose from BSO, Hybrid BSO or ASO

Total 1 cube only

 

Some Free Form features:

  • No standard dimensions so you can create whatever dimensionality you want!
  • Can leverage the web interface, data forms, rules, security, dashboards, reports
  • Upload an outline from an existing Essbase .otl file
  • Large number of dimensions and members (talking ~1 million)

On the roadmap for Free Form: **Subject to Oracle’s safeharbour**

  • Create from Excel template
  • Data maps across environments
  • ASO as a source for data maps
  • Predictive planning
  • Sandboxing
  • Copy data
  • Copy version

It does not support:

  • There is no EAS – reserved for PaaS Essbase only which is now divorced from OACS (another major change)
  • In-built currency
  • Workflow
  • Transparent partitions

Note that if a client wants more than one Free Form Planning application, they can request as many as they like but remember each will be in a DIFFERENT environment. i.e. A customer with 100 Essbase cubes would have 100 environments!

 

Where does this leave us?

This does mean that Enterprise Planning – at $500 (£396) /user – is the only effective solution for:

  • Existing clients who have more than 1 BSO cube
  • Clients migrating from On-Prem to the Cloud
  • New clients who are looking to expand beyond 1 BSO & 1 ASO cube and don’t fit any of the templated modules

This model is great for the large companies whose users all access the whole suite of business processes but no doubt this is going to be a tough sell for finance departments looking to implement a small scale planning solution.  Having said that, there is definitely a lot to be excited about in terms of the Enterprise functionality.

 

What if you already have PBCS/EPBCS?

Although the PBCS/EPBCS SKUs don’t strictly exist anymore, Oracle have said that existing clients will still be able to keep, renew and add new users to their current subscription on the old PBCS/EPBCS licensing model.  New customers already in the process of purchasing PBCS/EPBCS will also be honoured.

It’s worth mentioning that since Hybrid BSO runs off a different platform to the existing BSO cubes, customers looking to migrate to the new pricing model will also have to migrate their existing application into an updated environment using LCM (Life Cycle Manager) – the BSO cubes can then be tweaked to leverage the Hybrid BSO functionality. This will require a thorough retest of rules, formulae and performance.

I’m keen to hear other views on this tectonic shift in licensing, feel free to pop any thoughts/questions below or in an email. Alternatively, have a lie down and try to take it all in…

Until next time

Jazmin

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