By Danny Booher
December 29th, 2017
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that many of today’s biggest trends focus on technology. While the push toward the cloud most certainly gained steam in 2017, some applications are not yet robust enough to accommodate the needs of the business. Given some current technology deficiencies, many companies are leveraging a Hybrid approach. As a result, integration is and will remain a hot topic.
Integration and a Hybrid Approach
One of the considerations when moving to the cloud is are the applications robust enough to accommodate the needs of the business. Some are and some aren’t. As a result, a Hybrid Approach creates a best of both worlds scenario: companies can adopt the new technology and process offered by the cloud applications while other more sensitive data remains in-house until the cloud technology is mature enough to replace the on-premise options.
Moving and retrieving data across the enterprise is key to a successful hybrid environment with on-premise and cloud applications (EPM or otherwise). On-premise approaches to moving data—e.g., manual processes or manual + some integration—will become even more cumbersome in a Hybrid Approach. The good news is there are many integration options available to replace the old ways of doing things.
Deciding on the Right Integration Approach
With so many options for integration, finance teams are asking the question, “Which one is the best for our business needs?”
Oracle EPM Cloud is supported by a number of tools and technologies that can help navigate and resolve data migration and integration issues including Oracle Data Integrator (ODI), Financial Data Management Enterprise Edition (FDMEE) and Data Management.
- ODI is capable of transforming a large volume of data (such as a historical data load) from a number of different source types target systems which can be easily configured to extract data. It is also useful for loading metadata to the Hyperion applications. Business users, however, will always need IT support for maintenance or data reconciliation. Another common drawback is that there is no built-in audit trail.
- FDMEE is extremely user-friendly. Data can be loaded by the business users themselves instead of relying on the IT support team. It provides users auditability and security can be user enabling multiple users to load data to multiple systems without affecting each other. Another huge advantage delivered with FDMEE is it’s “drill back” functionality from EPM applications to FDMEE and from FDMEE to source systems (i.e. EBS General Ledgers). As an aside, a common misconception Drilling back vs. drilling down. Commonly used interchangeably, drilling down is the ability to navigate from the parent member down to the lowest level child member in a roll-up or hierarchy. Drilling back allows you to click through from your Hyperion Planning application to the source system (i.e. EBS General Ledger) where the data came from, using the exact point of view that delivered the data to you. FDMEE doesn’t come without its drawbacks either – perhaps the biggest complaint is that large volumes of data can affect performance.
- Data Management comes with Oracle Cloud Applications and can be a powerful integration tool as well. It is a somewhat scaled-down version of FDMEE, but highly capable when it comes to the Cloud-to-Cloud integration. The current drawback though, is that it is limited to the cloud with no integration capability to non-cloud applications.
As cloud applications mature and companies more fully adopt and extend the technology, integration (hybrid, cloud-to-cloud, etc.) will continue to play a big role the cloud strategy and roadmap. Watch this space for our ongoing discussion on integration, cloud strategy, roadmaps, etc.