A journey from Oracle to OneStream

by | Aug 24, 2021 | Insights | 0 comments

Are you an existing Oracle Hyperion 11.1x customer? Are you at a crossroads as to whether you should upgrade or evolve? Point applications including HFM, HP, HPCM (to name a few) reach end of support in December 2021 leaving most existing customers with more questions than answers. Papers such as OneStream’s Hyperion Conversion already paint the picture very well, and what I’d like to layer on is some personal experience having made the transition from Oracle to OneStream myself.  

It all began around the middle of 2019 when I was implementing Oracle’s Planning & Budgeting solution (PBCS) at a large Financial Services company in the United Kingdom, and we ran into trouble. The customer required large scale (200, 000) transactions to be loaded for Capital analysis and we got as far as loading 4,000 transactions before the wheels started creaking and smoke poured out the servers. My colleague and I had over 25 years of CPM experience between us and we knew the only way was to think outside of the box, or the Cube in this case! 

You see, PBCS and most of Oracle’s other Corporate Performance Management (CPM) applications use cube-based, OLAP databases to structure their data models. These are inherently limited to only a few thousand members at best, which was not great news for the project! We started looking at other options like another separate database with API commands to try to sort, calculate and integrate the data. This was when I came across OneStream.  

I had heard of OneStream as a new contender to the CPM market but thought it was mainly a consolidation solution until I spoke to another colleague who had joined their team. One conversation was all it took to be almost overwhelmed with just how progressive and vast OneStream really was. “You mean, Consolidation, Planning, Reporting, Data Quality, Account Rec’s… are all in one solution? I queried. “Yes!” was the reply. “And customers are loading millions of transactions for Bill of Material Planning in less than 20 minutes?” Another confident, nod came back reassuringly. 

It was at that moment I realized how stuck in the past, merely conforming to the status-quo, I was. Consultants, much like their customers, are often stuck in their own echo-chambers too, where all the feedback they get is just on what they’ve been doing for the last decade. It’s easy to remain the same. But it’s much better to evolve! 

My journey as a Solutions Consultant at OneStream gave me a broad view of the different kinds of customers looking to progress to a next generation CPM platform. Many of those being HFM and Hyperion users who decided to make the change to OneStream.  

 

ONESTREAM – A REVOLUTIONARY SOLUTION IN THE CPM/EPM SPACE 

OneStream XF (XF stands for extensible finance) provides a revolutionary CPM solution which simplifies and unifies financial consolidation, reporting, analytics, planning and data quality through a single, extensible application. Learning about OneStream’s Extensible Dimensionality®, meant that a single platform could extend its data model to different business areas. This unique capability of ‘Extensible Dimensionality’ allows finance professionals the flexibility to report and plan at additional levels of detail. This solution supports the consolidation of financial results, but also supports the more detailed requirements of operating units – what more could one want?  

 

Not having to use multiple applications meant that customers were rationalizing up to 11 (the most I heard of) HFM applications into a single OneStream solution. The result is that all of those complex, maintenance-heavy, risky data integrations could be replaced by simple extensions to the Entity (or any other) Dimension, with no data management needed. 

BI-Blend meant that the Dimensional/Cube data model (which is great for reporting, segmenting and slice-and-dice data analysis) could be supplemented with relational data, seamlessly! This means that a customer’s entire Employee or Fixed Asset register could be loaded for detailed bottom-up planning. Of course, the capital instruments that my previous customer required would have been a lovely use-case. 

OneStream offers top of the range visualisations and reporting to wrap it all up and present the data outside of the two-dimensional PowerPoint and Excel!  

The XF MarketPlace provides customers with more than 50 pre-built business solutions ranging from account reconciliations to capital planning, guided reporting, and the list goes on. XF MarketPlace extends a customers investment by keeping up to date with the latest technological evolutions such as machine learning.  

Best of all, upgrading to the latest version of OneStream takes place in a matter of hours, carries just about no cost and is done by the finance team itself! 

 

BACK TO THE MATTER AT HAND: UPGRADE? OR EVOLVE? 

The December 2021 end-of-support deadline is fast approaching, and Oracle Hyperion customers are faced with the options to either: 

  • Upgrade to on-premise Oracle Hyperion to 11.2X 
  • Convert to Oracle Cloud EPM 
  • Convert to another solution, such as OneStream 

The path, going forward with Oracle Hyperion is far from straight forward.  

 

UPGRADE?  

You could, but the significant cost and disruption to maintain the “as is” or “even less” environment may not be worth it… Upgrading to the on-premise 11.2X version will result in the loss of certain features that will no longer be supported. One of the biggest issues customers have encountered with the upgrade, is the loss of EPM Architect (EPMA), which allows dimensions to be shared across multiple EPM applications. Any existing EPMA applications will need to be rebuilt as stand-alone applications. This makes the upgrade an expensive and labour-intensive one, that probably requires the help of an expert.  

 

MIGRATE TO THE CLOUD? 

Oracle is encouraging customers to move over to its cloud-based EPM applications. Although this option removes the need for IT support and infrastructure, Oracle EPM Cloud re-implements the same fragmented legacy applications and challenges as the on-premise Suite. Case studies reveal that Cloud applications do not offer equivalent functionality as their on-premise ancestors. Before migrating to Oracle Cloud, customers should be aware that these applications are relatively immature and lacking the capabilities of its former on-premise Suite. Not to mention the fact that cloud solutions often include multiple products and applications that require cloud integration compromising on capability, performance and scalability.  

 

SO IS THE CONVERSION TO ONESTREAM REALLY WORTH IT? 

The short answer is yes. Converting from Oracle to OneStream means that customers will save on software licenses, costly upgrades, implementation, and training costs, as well as IT costs, to name but a few. The conversion is really a no-brainer, as finance teams can get back to business, use best-in-class, function-forward consolidation and planning technology that continually extends their investment instead of wasting time on menial tasks such as upgrades, data integration and validation.  

Still unsure? The Industry Analysts have conducted independent reviews already. Take a closer look at the reviews here:   

Gartner OneStream Review 

Dresner Recognizes OneStream as Overall Leader in EPM 

BARC OneStream Review   

 

 

Written by Mike Van Rensburg