I could open this article with some cheesy metaphor like, “Reborn in the sky from its on-prem version, allow Strategic Modeling in Oracle’s cloud to make your business shine like a star,” but let me to stick to the facts.
Strangely enough, in an era where we finance officers are trying to optimise the centralisation of financial information, we can still see in strategic and M&A departments heavy Excel sheets flooded with formulas and links to other Excel files. In the meantime, defining strategic models and testing different outcomes and hypotheses has never been more critical than today.
Allow me to recap some known facts: centralisation of information is not just a trend. Among so many advantages, it allows the stakeholders of the same project or department to be certain they are using the identical and most up-to-date figures. It also ensures integrity of the calculations, thus avoiding deprecated or broken formulas that end up returning irrelevant figures.
Yet, despite all the advantages of centralised solutions, in these departments we still see Excel files that can take more than ten minutes to open, retrieve, and refresh the data and formulas. Time that could be spent on strategic analysis and modeling ends up being used on technical/mathematical troubleshooting and coffee breaks.
Last year, Oracle launched a cloud version of the previous Hyperion Strategic Finance. While this tool was already strong, handling strategic planning and modeling with multi-user capabilities, ePBCS now offers a new playing field for the old Strategic Finance. Undeniably, ePBCS empowers the former HSF with its Data management tool (light FDMEE) and the Essbase-based engine that comes with it.
Within one license, Strategic Modeling comes with many pre-built features that will allow faster implementation times. On top of pre-existing reports and charts of accounts including P&L, Balance sheet and Cash-Flow, you will be able to count on the long-range planning engine and What-If analysis based on scenarios that come with this compelling solution.
Among many features, Strategic Modeling includes complex entity/BU consolidation capabilities across multiple scenarios with simplified eliminations, M&A and divestiture simulations. You will also find some pre-built and free form forecast methods, allowing you to reproduce complex Excel formulas with ease.
A Strategic Modeling user interface has been built so that the office of finance can be independent. Thanks to its simplified formulas and comprehensive economic functions, you will be able to further develop your own models and limit your dependency on consultants.
In addition, understanding the composition of a figure will no longer be a hunt for variables in formulas across several Excel spreadsheets. The comprehensive Audit Trail allows you to drill down through all the different calculations made by the system. You will also be able to rely on strong funding options, helping you to optimize deleveraging, capital structure or treasury strategy by Modeling how cash deficits or excess are allocated.
Ultimately, despite its arguable reputation, Hyperion Strategic Finance was already a powerful tool in its essence. With Strategic Modeling on ePBCS, new doors open and a reborn tool takes place on a stronger and more well-equipped platform. Moving out of your Excel files will allow you to make decisions based on solid assumptions, where time will be spent on developing strategies rather than maintaining and updating fragile links.
In a nutshell, despite its mystical presence in the cloud, let strategic modelling help you keep your feet on the ground while aspiring for the future of your company.
If you would like more information about Strategic Modeling, get in touch with inlumi.