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Should I Buy Standard or Enterprise Oracle EPM Cloud (Hyperion)?
Posted on October 8, 2019
Author: Andy Tauro, Performance Architects

You may remember that in June 2019 (about the time of the ODTUG Kscope19 conference), Oracle’s Oracle Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) Cloud product team announced that they were simplifying the Oracle EPM Cloud product licensing model into two SKUs: Standard and Enterprise.  Since then, the Performance Architects team has been deluged with questions about which one to purchase, or what to do if an organization recently purchased some or all the EPM solutions.  This blog post provides a guide to hopefully steer you and your organization in the appropriate direction.

First, the two new SKUs are called:

Now, if you are trying to equate this to Oracle’s Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service (PBCS) and Enterprise Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service (EPBCS), don’t. Both the Standard and Enterprise editions are intended to address more than just budgeting, forecasting and planning; Standard also provides financial close and consolidation as well as enhanced reporting and analysis capabilities, while Enterprise addresses the full lifecycle of EPM needs (financial close and consolidation; profitability and cost management; strategic modeling; reporting and analysis; data management – and budgeting, forecasting and planning!).

Importantly for those of you who are more planning-focused, the “edition” of Planning that is included in both these SKUs is what used to be known as “EPBCS.” What this means is that either of the SKUs give you access to all the prebuilt modules that are part of EPBCS. However, in our opinion, the Planning included in Standard edition is essentially a reduced-functionality version of EPBCS.

Let’s start by looking at what the two SKUs provide across the EPM landscape:

So, to return to the planning topic, it may not be abundantly clear from just this table, but the EPM Standard Cloud edition is meant for “out-of-the-box” budgeting that will leverage the pre-built frameworks or modules that are a part of the EPM Planning Cloud. There is room for one custom cube (technically one BSO and one ASO), with no Groovy Business Rules or other customizations. To put that into perspective, it is rare for on-premises Hyperion Planning customers to have just one custom plan type in their application.

For customers moving from on-premises Oracle Hyperion Financial Management (HFM) to Oracle Financial Consolidation and Close, they will find the lack of custom calculations extremely limiting. As a result, most customers looking to move to the EPM Standard Cloud edition will need to re-implement their solution to leverage prebuilt components to replace their existing functionality. The EPM Enterprise Cloud edition, on the other hand, includes full-use version of all products, which include the prebuilt modules as well as the capacity for custom components. So, the customer can still migrate to EPM Enterprise Cloud, and then reimplement later.

Let’s take a further step back and examine what is included in each of the SKUs. First off, just as was the case before, with EPM Standard Cloud edition, the customer environment gets provisioned with one instance (Production and Test). The customer can choose to deploy one of four products on that instance: Planning, Financial Close and Consolidation, Narrative Reporting or Account Reconciliation. Each of these products is a reduced-functionality version of the full-use product. If the customer requires additional instances, those can be bought from Oracle for a flat monthly fee (that’s right, the instance price is the same whether you have ten users or 100!).  Again, you can choose to deploy any one of the four products on that additional instance. This edition of the EPM Cloud does have a minimum user count requirement of ten, and each user gets access to all the instances, based on their security provisioning, without additional license cost.

With the EPM Enterprise Cloud edition, the customer gets an unlimited number of instances, with the ability to deploy full-use versions of the following products: Planning, Financial Close and Consolidation, Tax Reporting, Narrative Reporting, Account Reconciliation and Profitability and Cost Management, as well as 5000 records (nodes/dimension-members) in Enterprise Data Management (EDM). EDM can be expanded for an additional price.

The customer also gets access to “free-form” Planning, which allows for the quick creation of a Planning application by importing a native Essbase application, either from an LCM extract, or an “otl” file. Such a Planning application will be free of Planning-specific constraints like required dimensions, scenario locking, or process management, while gaining Planning strengths like Business Rules and Web Forms. Initially, such an application will be restricted to just one cube, with the capability for more going to be added soon. This EPM Enterprise Cloud capability allows customers with native Essbase cubes to bring them into the EPM Cloud environment that they will own.

With an eye on providing room for growth, the customer will initially be provisioned with the number of instances that are requested at the time of subscription, and additional instances can be requested for provisioning without additional cost. As with the unlimited number of instances, the customer has the option of having as many applications of any one of the products as they need/want. This edition has a minimum user count requirement of 25 users. As with EPM Standard Cloud, each user in EPM Enterprise Cloud gets access to all the instances based on their security provisioning, without additional license cost.

Considering all this information, you may still be wondering which edition of the Oracle EPM Cloud is appropriate for you. Short answer: if you’re currently only using the prebuilt modules, or if your budgeting process can be built/re-built using just the prebuilt modules, select EPM Standard Cloud. In all other cases, select EPM Enterprise Cloud, if the price is within your budget.

In other words, you need EPM Enterprise Cloud if your organization fits one of these use cases:

  • You are a current on-premises Hyperion customer, and want to simply migrate to the cloud to be “future-proof”
  • You are a PBCS+1 or EPBCS customer, and have more than one custom BSO and/or more than one custom ASO cube

Still confused? Reach out to us at communications@performancearchitects.com, or leave comments below, and we will be happy to respond. If you are not confused anymore, then congratulations!  You have successfully navigated one of the largest Oracle solution licensing revamps that we have seen in recent times. This revamp presents great value to those who are looking to leverage the entire spectrum of tools that the Oracle EPM suite has to offer, and we believe this is a wonderful differentiator for Oracle vis-à-vis many of the other EPM vendors who are only offering point solutions (e.g., just planning or just financial close and consolidation).

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