Solid functionality and flexibility--if you can support the complexity
Matt Downing | TrustRadius Reviewer
Updated January 28, 2015

Solid functionality and flexibility--if you can support the complexity

Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Software Version

11.1.2.1

Modules Used

  • Financial Management, Financial Data Quality Management, Essbase, EPMA

Overall Satisfaction with Oracle Hyperion Enterprise Performance Management

We use Hyperion Financial Management (HFM) as our main global consolidation and financial reporting tool. Our structure is somewhat complex with several entities, substantial volume of intercompany transactions and use of multiple exchange rates. It streamlines our consolidation process and provides a platform for users to also enter reporting pack data that support the financial statements. We also load our budget data to HFM in lieu of a separate planning tool. Not optimal, but works if you don't want to turn a new budget around more than once a year. We use Essbase as an analysis tool to drill-through to transaction data from the GL balances. We use Financial Data Quality Management (FDQM) as the tool to pull data from our source systems, transform it, and load it HFM. FDQM can eliminate the need for IT involvement or other specialized ETL (Export, Transform, Load) tools.
  • HFM will handle complex calculation and consolidation rules extremely well. It's flexibility for writing new rules is unmatched in other products I have seen--the world is quite literally your oyster with this product. You will not come away saying "I wish we could get it to do_______" because it seems there is always a way!
  • The Smart View tool is how most of our users interact with HFM, and obviously the only way they interact with Essbase. It is a very good tool, and speed of Essbase queries is always strikingly fast. The HFM queries are slower, but that is due to the underlying structure of the database being much different than Essbase. Basically all of our reporting is done in Excel using the Smart View add-in.
  • One pain point for us is the consolidation and translation process. Needing to translate the data over and over again is frustrating and there is no visibility into how many users are running a translation. If multiple users attempt to translate the same data set, say goodbye to your performance but you have no way of knowing! (Unless you want to pull up a task audit which is not a very realistic expectation). It has the been the quickest way for us to bring the system to it's knees. The consolidation process performs in direct correlation to the complexity of the calculation/consolidation rules. So, while the product is extremely flexible, you still have to be careful how you design your rules and calculations to make sure that you do it on the smallest subset of data as possible to avoid large processing times. This makes sense, but requires some significant expertise that most organizations do not have in-house.
  • The Hyperion Financial Reporting product is ridiculously outdated and clunky to use. The interface for designing reports is not intuitive, and not easy to modify once a report is built. I think there must be a strategic decision to move away from it and go to something more like Oracle BI because I just can't understand why in the world they don't update the reporting product. It also requires a significant level of expertise to be able to use. Not a great solution at all if you want multiple end-users to create reports in something other than Excel. Nobody except the HFM admin (which I used to be) in our company even touches this module.
  • Another pain point is the amount of IT support that is required to run this thing, and again, specialized knowledge of Hyperion products and how they work is required for IT to adequately support it. This goes for application servers and the Oracle database that the applications are running on.
  • Using HFM has helped us to close and consolidate the books quicker while also providing the level of detail that we need for supplemental disclosures and reports to the market. What used to be a very manual process of sending spreadsheets around has become centrally managed within HFM and we are able to pull the information we need directly from it.
  • Using Essbase has given our accounting teams tremendous insights into transaction details which has helped with account reconciliations and troubleshooting errors during the close process.
We have evaluated other options in the past, and we are currently re-evaluating some of the SaaS providers due to the increased strength of those products over the last few years. However, our biggest need continues to be a very capable consolidation tool as we are consolidating over 80 entities around the world. There are few competitors that can match the quality of the Hyperion product as a consolidation tool, so we have stayed with them for the last 8 years. As competitors improve the quality/capability of their products, we will be tempted to move away onto something that reduces our IT burden and has more user-friendly reporting tools.
This product is well suited to a company that needs a very robust consolidation tool, has good IT support, and has the budget to hire a full-time administrator. It does consolidation really, really well so if that is the primary need, then this is probably a very good choice. For a company with a fairly simple structure that only needs to roll up GL data into some financial reports, there are quicker, simpler, and effective products available at likely a fraction of the cost.

Using Oracle Hyperion Enterprise Performance Management

We're in the middle of the road because we are not sure that other products on the market fit the bill for what we need yet. Hyperion is expensive and burdensome from an administrator and maintenance standpoint, but it still seems to be the best solution for what we need. Show us an equally capable SaaS consolidation product and we'll talk again.