As a Commercial Manager of our Managed Services division, I have spent much of my time in recent years working with customers and prospects, ensuring that their Oracle Hyperion EPM applications remain fully supported and available for users. This means working to deadlines and jointly planning for downtime when patches and upgrades can be applied during the increasingly busy financial calendar.
My experience is that there are only very few windows of opportunity for many companies and there needs to be plenty of warning that the system will be unavailable over a particular period. There’s nothing that annoys users more than an announcement of a forthcoming outage with very little notice – regardless of the reason.
At the moment, I sense that there’s a risk of unhappy users in organisations who have not got dates in the diary for the upgrade of their Oracle Hyperion v126.96.36.199 system before the end of the year. This version is due to go out of Oracle Premier Support in December 2021, and whilst very good reasons have been made by some as to why the work has not been scheduled, we are seeing an increasing number of requests for upgrade slots in a shrinking time window. I have been involved in helping our customers to work through their options and can honestly say that there is no ‘one size fits all’ choice, so a sudden decision to upgrade is not a good approach.
What are the key things that you should know?
HFM & Planning users won’t see any changes
The good news is that this is a largely a technical upgrade. HFM users will not see a change with this upgrade and the vast majority Planning users will not either. The key benefit is that the version of the software being used is newer, and therefore remains supported by Oracle and third parties post December 2021.
It’s not an in-place upgrade
You do not have the luxury of simply applying the upgrade to your current production systems and hence there is a requirement to stand-up separate environments to perform the upgrade and migration. There will be a lead time for your IT department to procure new environments (regardless of whether these are virtual or physical) and we also need to allocate sufficient time to provide you with a suitable hardware specification and associated prerequisites.
EPMA will be unavailable
Administrators need to do a few things differently
Administrators need a short amount of time to familiarise themselves with a few new ways of doing tasks. Some utilities and features such as the HFM CopyApp utility have been replaced with functionality in the Workspace for instance.
IT Security might not let you run the application after the deadline
For those who miss the December 2021 deadline, customers who continue to license their Oracle Hyperion products will receive indefinite technical support with Oracle Sustaining Support. This does however mean that customers on v11.1.2.x will not receive any new updates, fixes, security, and critical patch updates. After consultation with IT Security and InfoSec requirements, some of our customers have accelerated their desire to upgrade, having initially planned to postpone until 2022.
These are just some of the upgrade considerations and there are several options also. We have already upgraded many systems and will have many more before the deadline, so I would be happy to share our knowledge and experience. When you are ready, drop me a line and I would be delighted to have a chat. We are also offering a wider EPM Analysis programme. Speak soon.