Letting Go of the Past – Embracing the Future With Cloud-Based EPM

The 1990s called.  They want their EPM system back.

There were some great technology products created and introduced in the 1990s.  But running your Finance processes in 2015 on 1990’s technology can create risk and hold your organization back from achieving its full potential.  

Hyperion Infographic

Think about how today’s new technologies have enabled us to accomplish more tasks faster, and increase our productivity.  Don’t you want the same for your Finance department?  Let’s take a little walk down memory lane, shall we?

flip_phone

Flip Phones – Remember these?  They were a great improvement over the bulky phones we used to all carry around.  They also made us feel like we were on Star Trek, whipping out our communicators and speaking with our friends anytime, anywhere.  After the flip phone, cell phones evolved and got smaller, eventually becoming “smartphones” and providing many additional functions, such as texting, internet access, GPS, email, and thousands of “apps.”  

Apple-Computer-1995

Personal Computers – The 1990s also brought us great advancements in PCs.  One was the Apple McIntosh Classic, which was the first Apple computer to sell for less than $1000.  The Classic was only useful for word processing, spreadsheets, and databases. It wasn’t very popular in the business world, but the price and the availability of education software made it quite popular in education. 

In the business world, after years of using a number of clunky, expensive Windows-based computers, we saw the arrival of the first IBM Thinkpad in 1992.  This was a big improvement over the clunky desktop computers we were all using, as well as the 40 lb. “luggables” that we carried around.  The Thinkpad line continued to evolve and improve over time. It’s alive and well today, too, under the ownership of Lenovo. 

Windows_3.1

Operating Systems – Along with advances in personal computers, a number of new operating systems were also introduced in the 1990s.  Included here was Microsoft Windows 3.1, which was the first really viable version of Windows.  That was followed by Windows NT, which ran on servers and PCs, then Windows 95 and Windows 98 – which was the first version that included the Internet Explorer web browser. 

oracle-hyperion-enterprise-screenshot-home-963-653

Hyperion Enterprise – In the world of financial applications, a major breakthrough was Hyperion Enterprise – the first Windows-based financial consolidation application.  Its “big button” user interface made it easy for Finance professionals to use.  The ability to run the application on a desktop computer also allowed Finance to maintain and run the application without any IT support. 

After a 20-year life and 6 major releases, the end of the road has come for Hyperion Enterprise.  The product was put on “controlled availability” by Oracle in December 2012, and premium support for the product was halted in April of 2013.  Sustaining support continues for the product, but that means there are no further enhancements and only limited service patches.  And that means no support for the latest versions of Windows and other platforms. 

Hyperion Infographic

Moving to the Future

Some products evolve with technology, but many don’t and eventually have to be replaced.  Running the most important part of your business (your financials) on old, outdated, technology is a risky proposition.  Not only are you out of SOX compliance, but you can expose your company to legal issues (e.g. Oops Wall Street, that number was wrong because my consolidation system was running on Windows XP and the bug was never identified or fixed in my 20 year old software.)

So what’s the next step for a Finance organization that needs a replacement for Hyperion Enterprise or other legacy applications? One that can integrate data from single or multiple GLs? Support their financial consolidation and reporting process while keeping Finance in control of the process?  One alternative is to implement another on-premises financial consolidation application, such as Hyperion Financial Management.  

But these systems typically require a lot of IT support and infrastructure – server hardware, relational databases, web servers, etc.  Plus, the implementation process can be costly and take 6 months or longer to complete.

An increasingly popular alternative is to adopt a cloud-based financial consolidation application. Enter Host Analytics Close Management Cloud.  Today’s cloud-based close, financial consolidation, and reporting applications offer the robust functionality required by medium to large enterprises. They’re also very easy to learn and use. They don’t require any IT infrastructure, either.  And with subscription-based pricing, the up-front costs are a fraction of what on-premises solutions cost.  In addition, because of the cloud, they can be implemented in a quarter of the time.   It also lets Finance stay in control of the process and the system – just as they did with Hyperion Enterprise. 

To learn more about how Host Analytics Cloud EPM Suite can move your Finance organization from the past – into the future – check out some of the resources below:

Host Analytics Close Management Cloud

Hyperion Migration Program

Customer Case Study

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