Why I created a blog

Its been many years since I first created this blog. It has remained true to Essbase and related information over those years. Hopefully it has answered questions and given you insight over those years. I will continue to provide my observations and comments on the ever changing world of EPM. Don't be surprised if the scope of the blog changes and brings in other Hyperion topics.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Open World 2009 Day 2

Oracle Open World Day 2.
This has been a hectic morning with my needing to deal with some issues at clients so I missed this mornings Keynote. As I looked at the schedule as I did not preregister for any sessions (which is a mistake), I noticed that all of the Hyperion related sessions are in the Intercontinental Hotel on the 5th floor. Interestingly all of the Hyperion Vendor Kiosks were outside the rooms. What a great idea. Not huge booths, but a place to talk to vendors associated with the products you are looking at. Aside from the interRel Kiosk, there was one for Applied OLAP (and their Dodeca product) and Star analytics who has a couple of great products as well. The other booths were competitors, so I guess I won’t mention them. In total I think there were about 8 Kiosks.
I wanted to go to the session on EPM Roadmap, but when I looked on the board, I saw it was overbooked, so I figured I would have no chance to get in. There were people standing off to the side who had been shuffled there by the door wardens ( A thankless job). I figured what the hell, so I got into line expecting to be pushed aside. I got to the door warden, he scanned my card and let me in. I figured out afterwards, that my Blogger pass is worth something. Thank you Oracle.
The session was led by Bill Guilmart and Al Marciante. Like ALL of the sessions here, the first slide was a disclaimer saying nothing they say (or for that fact, my reporting of it) is reality and may never be delivered. So take what I say with a grain of salt or a pound and rub it into your open wounds.
The session first talked about the existing releases since Open World last year and since that is all old news, I won’t repeat any of it here. As they got to talking about new features, there was a these I have seen yesterday OK. I get it, the theme for the conference seems to be “Complete Open Integrated” and the real theme for the session was Unify intelligence from Transactional , BI and Management systems.. Toward that end, the topics would be
· Complete Integrated Close
· Extending the Planning Platform
· Expanded ERP integration
· Ease of use enhancements
· Integration
· Portfolio wide improvements
What does all this mean? I’ll go through what I was able to jot down while actually trying to listen at the same time (because of this my notes are not complete)
Financial Close Management is a four piece enhance,ment
1. A financial Calendar to let everyone know the schedule and task deadlines
2. Process monitoring – A dashboard to show how the close is going
3. Task Management. Lots of improvement including integration with Oulook task lists and calendar
4. Account Reconciliation This includes
a. Internal/ External reporting
b. Disclosure management (10Q, XBRL, SEC filings)
It will work with MS office and other products to provide consistent reporting and accountability

· It too has enhanced process management including reassigning of tasks(delegation)
· A New Form designer
· Composite forms
· Web form enhancements including
o Conditional formatting
o Ad Hoc Data entry forms
o Formatting options (freeze frame, sorting, filtering,, etc)
o Better member selection
o And Built in validation rules
Public sector Planning. This section went too fast for me to get the info, but it looked good

Smart View
· Enhanced Excel experience
· Task lists
· Composite forms from Planning
· Context sensitive ribbon bars
· Enhanced 2007 look and feel
· Better Log in
· For HFM
o Smart slices
o Report designer
o Cascading reports
· For Essbase
o Drill through to ERPI
Shared Service.
Alas, I was not able to get everything down they talked about, but good stuff is coming including
· New security deployment configuration
· 2 way SSL
· SSL offloading
· (I missed the rest of the points sorry)
It looks like they are doing a lot of work on EPMA to make it really usable, this is a good thing.
· Enhanced Essbase support
o ASO and BSO
· HCPM Validations
· Smart mapping of Planning lists to ASO cubes. OK, This means Planning will create ASO reporting cubes. It sounds like it turns smart lists into dimensions (attribute???) as Al talked about 25 dimension cubes for reporting
· Batch updates
· The ability to purge transaction log files
· HFM copy application ability
Calculation Manager
While enabled calculation manage to work oncubes outside of EPMA, it is getting better
· Procedural calculations on ASO cubes (Allocation and others)
· Template ability. Create one and use anywhere
· Parameter passing
Data Relationship manager
· Browser based
· Unicode support (Multilanguage)
· Role based
· Multiple applications per server
· Validations in real time and in batch
· Improved Nnavigation
ERP Integrator (Part of FDQM)
In general improvements in functionality
· Starter Kits – IFRS, Japan, ….
· Enterprise extracts in HFM format
· Integration with Government/Risk
o Segmentation of duty
o GRC manager
· Integration with OBIEE Answers
· Related content enhancement
· Grid level and POV passing enabled for snapshots and books
· MS word integration as Word tables
· LCM support to migrate
· Diagnostics and logging
This is a fairly new product and was not integrated into the suite. The major work being done will make it similar to the other products including SSL, Diagnostics and logging

HPCM (HCPM) I’ve heard it both ways.
· Expanded Driver functions
· Standard Cost drivers
· Sequence dependent drivers
· Expense assignment functionality
· Exp Model navigation
· POV management
· Improved performance
o 10-20 times better for direct drivers
o 3 times for genealogy
o 140 times from Allocations
And last but not least Essbase
· Improved EPMA deployment
· Improvements in LCM
o Outline compare
o Project naming
· Access ability(they put the number 508 in parens after it, I don’t know what that means)
· Functional enhancements
o Username/character length allowability
o ASO Formula editor
· Web services
· Studio Usability
· Diagnostics and logging
They covered a lot in 1 hour and could not go into a lot of depth, but as you can see, the products look like they are going in the right direction. It’s nice to know that Oracle thinks they are worth all the work.

OpenWorld 2009 Sunday

After an on and off and on again scenario, I actually made it to Open World. I got asked to sit on the Customer Advisory board for Essbase (CAB). So if there is anything on your wish list for Essbase or one of its related products (studio, PBIEE integration, etc) let me know and I’ll see if I can get your voice heard.
After a long day in CAB listening to things I’m not allowed to talk about, I’m sitting here with thousands of my closest friends waiting for the opening keynote address. One nice thing, they have set up an area for press and bloggers with tables so I don’t have to try to type in my lap. I hope there is some amazing tidbit about the Hyperion products I can tell you, but I’m not hopeful.
The session is starting with Scott McNeally from Sun Microsystems. His theme is innovation. He started of with a top 10 list of Engineers gone wild. His list is cute, but not worth repeating. (although I did like his sushi USB drives and Nobel prize for Gas Mask Bra ,no more funny than other Nobel prizes. ) He then went into the top 10 innovations from Sun (not a funny list, but interesting). The list includes the following,
Sparc, Solaris, Opensource, Java, Open Storage, Blackbox Datacenters( in containers for 3rd world countries), different chips, multithreading, etc.
I won’t go into them, but Scott talked about them all. And more.
Scott Fowler talked about Sun Systems, integrated systems, Java. Security.. He announces that Sun SPARC/Solaris is the number 1 in all the commercial Benchmarks including Hyperion.. He talked about the Sun Oracle Database machine (Didn’t I see a similar presentation from Oracle and HP last year?). $00 gig of flash on a card that won’t wear out like old flash and a nore Flash array. A single rack equates to 1000s of disk with 4X the throughout .
It was a real love fest from Sun about Oracle.
Larry Ellison then came out and the love fest continued with him talking about why He supports the Sun products and will not get rid of parts. He talked about his commitment to beat IBM. Expect to see ads why Oracle and Sun have a 25% better processing than IBM being 6 times more green.

After the keynote, I headed off to the Oracle Ace dinner. I met some old friends and met some new ones and had a nice mean (Thanks Oracle). While I was at the dinner, The rest of the crew from interRel was at the Partner awards presentation. interRel won the EPM Titan award for a second year in a row. Congratulations to Edward, Eduardo and everyone who was associated with the project