Two takeaways from Kscope19

I am just back from Kscope19, and it was so rich in content that I couldn’t wait for the plane to reach the altitude where I could take out my laptop and start writing this. And there will be more posts in the near future about the new and roadmapped features and all the other interesting things I learned.

Today, I’ll just write about the two most important announcements from Oracle during the Sunday symposium and throughout the week: the new positioning and pricing for EPM Cloud and the future of 11.2.

New EPM Cloud pricing model

EPM Cloud is now one product that supports different business processes. This translates into three pricing options:

  • EPM Cloud Enterprise which gives you access to all the EPM Cloud business processes, including Financial Consolidation & Close, Tax Reporting, Planning, Profitability & Cost Management, Account Reconciliation, Narrative Reporting, Disclosure Management, and Enterprise Data Management. That’s the entire buffet of EPM Cloud, all you eat. You can have more than one of each. I asked Oracle what would happen if a customer wanted to create 100 Financial Close applications and was told that they would want to make sure there is a business reason for that, but creating an archive application from time to time should not be a problem, for example at the end of the fiscal year or before a major reorganization. In the US, the price is $500 per user per month, with a minimum of 25 users.
  • EPM Cloud Standard will get you access to only one business process, with the possibility to add more business processes for an additional fee. The standard option will be limited to only Planning, Financial Consolidation & Close, Account Reconciliation, and Narrative Reporting. Some “advanced” feature will be unavailable in the standard version (e.g., advanced consolidations in Financial Consolidation & Close, Groovy rules in Planning, translation matching in Account Reconciliation). The price for this one will be $250 per user per month, with a minimum of 10 users and an additional $2,500 per additional business process.
  • The “hosted” option which is similar to Enterprise, except that the price is not dependent on the number of users, but on the number of employees in your organization ($40 per employee per month, with a minimum of 5,000 employees).

No more silos and also no more CS! For example, FCCS is now the Financial Consolidation & Close business process of EPM Cloud.

I can’t stop from making an analogy with Netflix… At the beginning, similar to on-premise, were DVDs and VHS that you owned and kept at home, it was expensive and took space and dust. Then came Netflix DVD by mail where you could have one DVD at a time and had to return it before getting your next one, this is similar to the standard version of EPM and the EPM Cloud as it was sold until now. The Netflix we know now is the streaming service, just like this EPM Cloud Enterprise, where you pay a monthly fee and can binge on all the EPM business processes you want! This is a game changer.

I was a bit disappointed when learning that Tax Reporting didn’t make it in the Standard version, which will raise the price point for clients wanting to do only tax provisioning or country-by-country reporting. But on the other hand, it’s very exciting to consider that clients who will get passed this threshold will now have access to the entire EPM platform to support other tax needs such as transfer pricing, price monitoring, tax planning! And any EPM Enterprise client doing a Financial Close project will also be able to use Tax Reporting.

Hyperion is not dead and 11.2 is around the corner!

The new release is now announced for September 2019 and will be supported until at least 2030. 11.1.2.4 will still be supported until December 2020, with extended support available until December 2021. Customers wanting to stay on-premise will need to act quickly!

Hyperion will join the Oracle Applications Unlimited family. My understanding is that it means that it is intended to stay maintained for a long time, with a focus on stability rather than new features, and a transparent roadmap driven by the user community. This should be the last major upgrade required; once a client is on 11.2 bug fixes, enhancements and new features will be delivered through nimble patches.

To make it sustainable for the next 10 years, Oracle decided to remove some of the bloat from the platform: products that are either not used by enough customers or that rely on technology too old to be maintained for the next 10 years. The one that will impact the most customers is the loss of EPMA.  Clients who use EPMA will need to switch either to classic applications or to DRM. Oracle will provide a free limited license of DRM for all EPM 11.2 customers, for up to 5 users and that can only be used to export to EPM applications. Overall, it’s probably a good thing as DRM is a lot more powerful than EPMA, but it will require some effort to get there. Oracle promised a migration tool to help alleviate some of that.

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