In this post, I will follow up those findings with the top reasons companies, currently using Oracle Hyperion, who are evaluating a move to Host Analytics or another cloud product, often stick with Oracle Hyperion, and get stuck. I will include many facts, trends and thoughts on why sticking with Oracle Hyperion may not be the best move. Let’s start with the top three in this post and I will post the next three soon!
Reason #1: Cloud adverse company. This was a very common response two years ago but one that is less and less common. This is for good reason, as market trends show a big shift to the cloud.
Let’s start with research. In Gartner’s recent survey of CFOs that they fielded with FEI, they found a full 81% of CFOs expect expect more than 50% of their organizations transactions to be in the cloud by 2017. In 2013 Paul Hamerman, from Forrester research, goes one step further, saying “We expect [Cloud] SaaS to become the primary FPM deployment model within three to five years”.
One strong proof point is with what Oracle is saying about the cloud. Two years ago Larry Ellison went “all in” on Cloud despite bashing it for years. Here is a fun article from Network World that covers the about face. Today Oracle has Cloud offerings across their portfolio, although their definition of Cloud is quite liberal. For Oracle, loading one of their legacy on-premises software applications on an Oracle server and allowing customers to access it over the internet is cloud. Although this does not deliver all the benefits of multi-tenant Cloud/SaaS, the fact remains, Oracle has finally embraced the cloud.
Contrast their definition with the basic definition and benefits of Multitenant Cloud, and you will see why the market is changing.
Reason #2: Familiar brand. As a marketer, this is a reason I both understand and appreciate, but it too has flaws. Hyperion built a tremendous legacy and brand before it was acquired by Oracle. Hyperion used the latest technology to address the needs of finance and accounting. It started circa 1992 with Hyperion Enterprise and Hyperion Pillar and continued with the products that succeeded them ten years later – Hyperion Financial Management (HFM) and Hyperion Planning. Hyperion made customers a huge priority, and their customers received the benefits.
Since the Oracle acquisition in 2007, and now some 12+ years since HFM and Planning launched, the underlying technology has seen little change yet the costs continue to grow. The customer focus and support under Hyperion, is all but gone in Oracle’s monolithic organization. It has gotten so bad that research firms such as Gartner show Oracle Hyperion slipping down in their annual Gartner Magic Quadrant for Cloud Financial Close and Cloud Financial Planning and Analysis Solutions report. Where once it was a safe choice – that isn’t necessarily the case anymore.
Reason #3: Data security. This reason is also on the decline but still worth mentioning. Interesting enough, practically every major data breach over the last two years has involved on-premises data centers. That fact is getting more apparent as described in this Tech Crunch post. Oracle Hyperion users generally have three levels of potential data security risk.
At the front lines, Oracle Hyperion users financial processes generally involves steps outside of their software, due it its complex nature. It usually means passing sensitive financial data from Hyperion into human hands, Excel and Email; a dangerous combination. This is an example of what happened to Google when their financial results moved outside their financial system.
At the next level it involves their company’s IT department and how well they can protect their servers and data. If they are very good and put resources behind the effort, it is likely adequate. The problem is that many cannot.
Finally it is Oracle’s security patches. When Oracle publishes their critical security patches monthly, they also telegraph system vulnerabilities. After that it is up to the company to implement the patches to ensure data security. If the organization is resourced properly and has the flexibility the window is small, but the longer it takes the longer sensitive financial data is vulnerable.
The cloud model is completely different. A Cloud vendor with the proper controls is safer than running your own datacenter. They have much more at stake when it comes to security. A breach could prove devastating to their businesses so it is always a top priority.
If this post sounds familiar, you are not alone. If you feel Oracle Hyperion is not delivering on your needs, evaluate the Hyperion alternatives and migrate from Oracle Hyperion. They are robust solutions available in the market. Host Analytics is in the process of disrupting Oracle Hyperion in the same way that Salesforce.com disrupted Siebel and continues to do to Oracle today in CRM. Based on my conversations with our customers that have made the move from Oracle Hyperion to Host Analytics, and what finance and accounting needs from an EPM solution, I am confident Host Analytics is a great alternative for current Oracle Hyperion customers looking to make the move.
If you are interested in reading more about Oracle Hyperion and the cloud, “Why Would Satisfied Oracle Hyperion Customers Leave?” and “Oracle Audits? The Real Story Is Oracle’s Fake Cloud!” offer a customer perspective and more about their cloud.