By Mike Arnoldy
November 30th, 2010
It has been nearly 10 years since Hyperion Financial Management was first released. Yet, after all this time, many companies are still using Hyperion Enterprise. During the past year, I have consulted at several of them. Now I admit feeling nostalgic over seeing my old Enterprise friend again. But the magic quickly fades and I quickly am reminded why I actually prefer Financial Management.
1. With Financial Management, I have the ability to put any dimension, in any order on a data grid. It is easy to drill into a number and see exactly where it comes from. If I need to see data in a different way, I can just change the grid. In Enterprise a data grid is a data grid—no changes allowed. In Financial Management, I get to look at accounts in rows and periods in the columns.
2. Financial Management allows me to worry (in a good way) over what to do with all of the custom dimensions. The possibilities are unlimited. I can designate a dimension that lets me track data by source such as different types of adjustments and/or data that is loaded versus data that is calculated. I can put in product detail, roll-forward detail, function or customers. In Enterprise, my worry focused on what I had to compromise to capture the required detail. Sure, you can build some of this using entities or subaccounts, but the Financial Management options are far more robust.
3. Financial Management allows me to dream of ways to write the rules, in as few lines as possible, using loops, variables, and all sorts of wonderful things. I admit that when I first saw the rules, they were more than a little intimidating. But I have found that with Financial Management, I can write dynamic rules that utilize account labels to drive the calculations. There is incredible flexibility and power with the vbscript. And with the new Calculation Manager, there is now a graphical interface that makes that scary looking code easy to read even for accountants. In Enterprise, I had to laboriously write the same line over and over changing perhaps one account per line. And the maintenance is much more intensive as you make changes to your application.
Now Enterprise has made some advances over the years—allowing Smartview access helped address some of the reporting differences. There is also some web functionality now that has improved from the first attempts. But Enterprise is still living in the past while Financial Management is heading toward the future. Someday, probably soon, Enterprise will join its predecessor, MicroControl and I don’t think I will miss either.