The Value Index is the result of more than a decade of analysis of technology suppliers and their products and how well they satisfy specific business and IT needs. The methodology used to produce the Value Index evaluates in detail aspects of product functionality and suitability-to-task as well as the effectiveness of vendor support for the buying process and customer assurance. The Index represents the value a vendor's offers and relevant aspects of its products and services, using both a clear and accessible graphical and analytical representation in thermometer form and a precise numerical index.
Oracle continues to enrich the capabilities of its Hyperion suite of applications that support the finance function, if that will be enough to sustain its market share and new generation of expectations. At the recent Oracle Open World these new features were on display, and spokespeople described how the company will be transitioning its software to cloud deployment. Hyperion can eliminate many manual steps and speed execution of routine work. It also can enhance accuracy, ensure tasks are completed on a timely basis, foster coordination between Finance and the rest of the organization and generate insights into corporate performance. For this, the software gets high marks. Oracle understands that it must address changing user experience requirements as the baby boomers retire and are replaced by people who have fundamentally different expectations of how software is supposed to work. While there was plenty of evidence at an Open World that Oracle is taking steps to remedy this at a corporate level, it’s up to individual units to implement changes to their software portfolio, and it’s not clear that this is a priority for the Hyperion group. But in other areas, Oracle is busy addressing gaps in its FPM offerings.
To address the growing popularity of its cloud-based rivals, Oracle’s long-awaited Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service should be available by the end of 2013, providing budgeting, planning, collaborative forecasting and reporting as services to companies. It is adding mobile enablement to Hyperion Financial Management and Planning, starting with an executive approval application to ensure that necessary signoffs can occur anywhere to speed the completion of routine work.
Hyperion offers a rich set of capabilities to automate the extended close cycle – all of the activities that start with the reclosing functions and continue through completion of external reporting. Oracle’s Financial Close Suite of applications is designed to enable companies to execute their period-end close faster and more accurately while requiring fewer resources. This is important because managing their close well is an issue for more than half of companies. Our research found that 61 percent of corporations take more than six business days to complete their quarterly or semiannual close (the consensus best practice is closing within six business days). Rather than achieving a faster close, which 83 percent of companies said is important or very important; the research found that on average it takes a day longer for companies to close than it took them five years earlier. In conjunction with better process design, using software to automate manual processes, manage all phases of process execution and limit the use of desktop spreadsheets is an effective way to shorten a company’s close cycle.
Oracle Hyperion’s Financial Close Suite is Tax Provision. Accurately calculating and reporting direct (income) taxes is a time-consuming, labor-intensive process for almost all midsize and larger companies. There are two necessary IT elements to managing this process. One is ensuring that all of the data needed for provisioning and any subsequent audit is readily available. An option here is a tax data warehouse for companies that have a large number of legal entities and/or operate in multiple tax jurisdictions. Hyperion doesn’t have this capability. However, for companies that have less complex requirements or just want to simplify and centralize the gathering of tax data, it provides the second necessary element: an environment that manages tax data collection, improves the accuracy of the data and the calculations (by substantially reducing the need for desktop spreadsheets and rekeying of data from source systems) and automates data movement through configurable wizards.
Oracle has added important new capabilities to its FPM suite since acquiring Hyperion. Expanding the suite has helped the company sustain its franchise in the face of determined competition from large to smaller sized software vendors such as IBM, Infor and SAP, as well as smaller ones including Adaptive Planning, Anaplan, Host Analytics, Longview and Tagetik . The generational change that’s under way in corporations poses a serious competitive threat to Oracle. For finance professionals, word of mouth and brand loyalty count far more than “enchanted boxes” or “undulations”: That’s how Hyperion came to dominate the market.
Credits: BASED ON THE FINANCIAL MANAGEMEND VALUE INDEX- Oracle Hyperion