By Mike Arnoldy
August 2nd, 2018
This year I have seen an increase in clients looking at the future of their consolidation applications. They’re finding that the path forward remains murky. Oracle did, however, provide an update regarding the path for HFM at Kscope18.
HFM version 11.2 is scheduled for release Q1 2019. Support for this version will run through 2030. Support for HFM 126.96.36.199 is scheduled to end December 2020. This allows companies a window of almost two years to upgrade HFM if they chose that path.
Most companies are interested in going to the cloud overall and IT is in full support of this move. Finance, however, is more interested in the functionality than the delivery of it(on-premise or cloud). Oracle continues to enhance FCCS but it still has a ways to go. The biggest challenge is the lack of custom dimensions.
Custom dimensions are scheduled for FCCS. Scheduled is the operative word here. The majority of the applications I have worked with include three to four custom dimensions. Most of the time the standard FCCS dimensions cannot replace all of these. The lack of support for additional customs dimensions is a major roadblock for companies moving to FCCS.
At this point, most clients are continuing to take a wait and see approach. Some of these on unsupported versions of HFM and are moving forward with an upgrade to 188.8.131.52 with the awareness that they will then have to upgrade again in the next two years. Clients on more current releases of HFM are waiting until 11.2 is available. This approach buys time for FCCS to mature further. When HFM v11.2 is released, I expect that they will take another look at FCCS and OneStream before making the decision to move ahead with the 11.2 upgrade.
What if We Need to Rebuild?
You might need an application rebuild because you are implementing a new ERP or your reporting requirements have changed to the point that your present application does not support them. If you find yourself in a situation where you need to rebuild your consolidation application, I recommend you look at this differently. A rebuild for whatever reason is a major effort and you should do it using an application that will be around for probably 10+ years. Of course, the easy answer is to build the application in HFM. However, if you take a deeper look, this is not the best answer because the effort of a rebuild is so great and we know that HFM does have a limited life. The better approach is to consider doing this in FCCS or OneStream.
The Path Forward
Accountants are conservative by nature. They like and are comfortable with their HFM applications. When we discuss the future, we agree that it is easy and safe to upgrade HFM and take the wait and see approach. But I also tell them that it nearing the time when they need to look at what their consolidation application will be after 2020. And, the consolidation application evaluation needs to include HFM, FCCS, and OneStream.