While traveling back from the Oracle OpenWorld 2013 conference, I realized it will be several days before I recover from the very busy, long days and all that walking (yes, I was warned about the blisters!). I learned quite a bit about the America’s Cup this week but for those who were unable to attend the conference, there is also a lot to share about changes in the enterprise performance management (EPM) and business intelligence (BI) space.
Big themes at OpenWorld this year included some expected topics such as the Oracle Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service (which we heard is now general availability December 2013), as well as the very promising and exciting plans for Oracle’s integration of the Endeca product with E-Business Suite and OBIEEand launching business analytics in the cloud sometime in 2014. We also heard significant buzz around the BI mobile options and through the demonstrations of just how easy it is to create a BI mobile application (if you are a skeptic, I reassure you that just this week, one of our customers shared how he built his first BI mobile app in about five minutes!).
Perhaps equally exciting is the new focus on mobile for the EPM products – Hyperion Planning and HFM. It appears Oracle will start small with the Finance executive approval application that was demoed this week – and what a place to start! The application will provide obvious value-add for Finance executive users and is a very logical place to introduce mobile into the EPM space.
In other end-user experience news, the path to true integration of Planning and OBIEE was clearly defined this week. While it will be sometime until we see Oracle Financial Planning Analytics dashboards come to life for Hyperion Planning, it is wonderful to see Oracle pushing forward to create that end-to-end reporting experience for the Finance team. Many of us are starting down that path today, but for the wider community, the process of integrating OBIEE and Hyperion Planning will be greatly simplified.
Hardware news was another big focus area at the conference. If you haven’t heard about the T5-8 box yet, you certainly will be reading a lot about it soon (we promise more to come on our blog!). The latest in the Oracle Exalytics offerings, the impressive news on this box isn’t only the size and capabilities but the forward-looking direction for housing Hyperion Financial Management (HFM), Hyperion Planning, and Financial Data Quality Management Enterprise Edition (FDMEE) all in a single, optimized location! As one conference presenter put it this week, with a box this big, Essbase is virtually an in-memory database!
We also heard some interesting reminders during the conference. It seems many customers have been slow to adopt EPM 11.1.2.x. As a result, Oracle has made the decision to extend the support for an additional 3 years! With that news comes a cautionary note for those of you adventurers considering moving to the cloud. When on the cloud offering, you will be upgraded when all others are upgraded; there is no opt-in or opt-out choice.
That said, the Oracle team did a great job assuring us all of the coordination between cloud offerings and on-premise solutions. Some speakers went so far as to suggest that the lowest cost way to develop any new model is in the cloud but that many organizations may choose to put their production solution on-premise. This ‘hybrid’ model (as Oracle terms it) makes perfect sense to us and to many of the customers we chatted with throughout the conference.
In all, this OpenWorld newbie found that the product updates created more buzz than the America’s Cup win AND the Maroon 5 concert…and that Oracle will continue to have us talking, planning, and upgrading for some time to come!
Author: Kelli Pircio, Performance Architects