“There’s talk on the street; it sounds so familiar. Great expectations, everybody’s watching you.” Eagles sang this in their 1976 hit New Kid in Town.
The same applies for OneStream in EPM. It’s been around for a while and all the more companies are choosing it when considering their new EPM solution.
I’ve recently finished my first OneStream project, and I’d like to share some thoughts on it from the point of view of a consultant designing and building a solution.
About the customer & project
The customer had recently undergone a major structural change. The aim of this project was to build a common financial planning and analysis solution for the new, combined business. We started with the actuals reporting while forecast and budgeting came later.
The source systems for data were quite different as the various businesses have been managed according to their respective business models, metrics and systems.
It was decided that OneStream would make a good fit to the evolving needs of this company because the cube-based data structure and numerous, extensible dimensions allow for growth and further development the solution. The advanced data integration capabilities were also very much of value in this project.
What makes OneStream a pioneer in EPM technology? I get this question frequently. One of the biggest advantages of OneStream technology is that the components are closely connected. For instance, in the data integration you can fully refer to the member properties in the cube. Also, the raw data in the stage can be accessed from the cube for drill-down, etc.
Issues can be solved by scripting in a lot of places in OneStream. The scripting language, for simplicity, is the same in almost in all the instances; Visual Basic .Net.
Multi-threading is taken many steps further, so the system can take full advantage of the available calculation capacity of the hardware. This allows handling more transactions and more complex logic without compromising on performance.
User-experience in OneStream can be personalised in a dynamic manner to a large extent. Parameters can be used to steer the appearance in almost all possible ways: members appearing on a report, members available in drop-down lists and how cube views are formatted, to name a few.
Since the possibilities are endless, the users need to be guided through the jungle. In OneStream this is done with Workflow, a key concept which connects the steps the user has to take in the reporting process, certification and the data itself. Workflow enables the user to carry out all processes from a user-friendly, centralised panel.
It is essential to invest in the design and build phases to ensure that the system will serve end-user needs better once in use. One consideration for the design process is that elements built in OneStream can be difficult to delete. Metadata cannot be replaced in an easy manner and members with data can’t be deleted. Ultimately, however, I consider these features to be a huge advantage once the solution is live.
How would I characterise OneStream, then? As I see it, OneStream meets the challenge companies face with their EPM processes today. Due to its extensibility and continued development, it is in a good position to meet the challenges also in the future.
We at inlumi are happy to help you in all EPM-related issues. Feel free to contact an inlumi office near you.