Thoughts on Life in the Cloud

By
March 31st, 2017


Transitioning to the cloud is a big topic for all our EPM customers. There are many aspects to consider when transitioning from on-premise to EPM cloud. I will highlight a few key ones all centered around change management in this blog post.

Moving to the cloud brings change across multiple areas:

Your relationship with Oracle—e.g., licensing, updates, representation, etc.

Responsibilities within your company—e.g., users, IT, administration

How you interact with your consulting provider

Your Relationship with Oracle

There are a few differences to note between Hyperion on-premise and EPM Cloud. Starting with licensing. With on-premise perpetual license agreements, customers can build multiple applications to segment and deploy across the organization. However, EPM Cloud is a subscription-based model that gets you a single application.  Having a single application must change the way to architect and deploy the cloud-based solution to ensure long-term growth and scalability.  The EPM Cloud can be licensed based on one to five-year terms.

Next is environments, you get two (the reason this is so great is outlined below):

  1. Development
  2. Production

Another EPM Cloud benefit from Oracle is a dedicated customer success manager and a dedicated cloud team that is very receptive to any trouble calls.

The biggest benefit to highlight is that you are part of the entire EPM Cloud ecosystem. Every EPM Cloud customer is on the same platform, and all customers are unique QA testers. The reason this is such a great benefit is because each cloud update is released to all customer’s Development environment two weeks before it goes to Production. Having hundreds of QA testers helps ensure any issues that arise from the product updates will likely be solved before you see them. Also, the broad user base working on a single configuration allows Oracle to release new product features much faster.

Inside Your Organization

What are the biggest changes you will encounter across the organization from an IT, User, and administration perspective?

Users

When working with EPM Cloud, users now have different two access options: Microsoft Office or your web browser (any browser you choose). One of the cool things about the latter is its mobile friendly—i.e., formatted to tablets and smartphones so no app is necessary. You can access your cloud applications anywhere: home, a local café, at the beach if you have Wi-Fi! (Note that depends on IT standards).

Also appealing to users is the world class performance. Oracle made significant investments in the cloud infrastructure so global companies no longer experience network latency that can occur with on-premise deployments. Users have great performance from any country.

The bottom line is EPM Cloud offers friendly accessibility.

IT

The good news for your IT organization and your company’s financial bottom line is most overhead and administrative burden goes away with EPM Cloud. Oracle owns product updates, server side maintenance (done at night), the optimization and tuning of the application for great performance, disaster recovery needs, and more. Another great benefit is Oracle updates your system just like a smartphone by pushing out updates on a monthly basis. And just like your smartphone, you can say no if the updates are coming at an inopportune time—e.g., during a critical planning, consolidation, and/or close cycle. They will work with you to make sure the update doesn’t interfere with your business.

For the updates, you get a notification from Oracle first. Then they distribute the updates to development (See benefit above about testing), and two weeks later they push them to production. This two-week window gives all users an opportunity to confirm everything is working right.  If something is wrong, someone will find it. Also, Oracle promises two major releases per year. These will include new functionality that is only available in the cloud.

One thing to note is IT still manages integration process—moving data via flat files, controlling user access (e.g., VPN, SSO), more extensive backup process if you want it, etc.

Admins

The on-premise life of the Admin focuses on data movement/moving pieces. Life in the Cloud focuses administrative activities on processing information because the cloud simplifies a lot of activities. You don’t have the burden of taking care of infrastructure items, so you can operate in a functional capacity and focus on the processing of data, metadata, developing reports, data entry forms, specific business processes, etc.

Working with Your Consulting Provider

Your relationship with your consulting provider just gets better with EPM Cloud. We also get the infrastructure relief and that combined with the built-in features of the cloud applications gives us more time to collaborate with you on business processes, data movement and more.

 

 


About TopDown Team

The TopDown Team includes members of TopDown Consulting who want to let the community know about webcasts, conferences, and other events. The team also conducts interviews on various EPM industry topics.

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