Consolidation Done Right

By Craig Colby, Vice President, OneStream Software:

There is a good reason that there are hundreds of budgeting and planning systems.  Budgeting is simple aggregation.  However, when these budgeting solutions claim that they also do consolidation, you really need to dig deeper.  Most of them can handle a single currency, a lack of intercompany elimination complexity or really simple calculations, however, they really don’t know how to handle the complexity that comes with the combination of multi-currency, hundreds or thousands of entities, multiple organizational structures, constant rate analysis, minority interest, intercompany, multiple source ERP or GL systems, consistency, audit, reporting and speed that you expect to see from these systems.  Their marketing materials will all say that they do these things, but we know from experience that saying and doing are two totally different concepts.

OneStream’s Domain Knowledge is the main reason why OneStream Software is the only vendor that can truly challenge Oracle® Hyperion® for Financial Consolidation & Reporting and Financial Data Quality software leadership.  OneStream XF is the only solution that can truly meet and exceed the functionality that Hyperion® offers.  Our  analytical engine provides the flexibility to handle the typical complexity of large organizations along with the power to consolidate multi-dimensional applications with unprecedented speed.  There is simply no one who understands these systems and the requirements to handle every conceivable issue like Bob Powers, the inventor and former chief architect and engineer of HFM and Tom Shea the inventor and former chief architect and engineer of Hyperion FDM/UpStream.

OneStream did not start off with a simple or small organization as our first customer.  We started with a very complex multi-billion dollar organization with the complexities of over 2000 entities, hundreds of end-users, multiple ERP and general ledger systems including several SAP instances and extremely complex cash flow requirements.   Although OneStream XF will be very attractive to mid market customers because of its pre-built functionality, ease of use and simplified deployment, it was built to handle the largest and most complex customers in the world.  Several complex, multi-national, multi-billion dollar customers already place their trust in OneStream XF.

We continually hear that customers are looking to the SAP® BPC due to their SAP ERP investment, yet they continue to struggle with larger customers.  In twelve years they have acquired just a few large customers as positive consolidation references.   Even for these customers, if you look under the covers, you will find that they lack typical complexity or size of consolidation that we would typically see.

There are also several new “single product” vendors out there.  These vendors say they do everything, but the word from consultants who have worked with these systems is that their message of simplicity is greatly exaggerated.  Complexity is the term they typically use more than simplicity.

You will be amazed at the ease of deployment and use of such a powerful solution.  We are Domain Experts for Enterprise Performance Management; we know Financial Consolidation & Reporting, Planning and Financial Data Quality better than any other vendor.   Our Domain Expertise gives us a huge advantage when migrating from systems like Cognos, BPC, HFM or Enterprise and we will guarantee that every customer is successful!  Contact us for more information or a demonstration of OneStream XF.

Posted in Budgeting, Business Intelligence, Corporate Performance Management, Data Quality, Enterprise Performance Management, Extensible Dimensionality, Financial Consolidations, Planning | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Extensible Dimensionality – The Differentiator

By Craig Colby, Vice President, OneStream Software:

Corporate Performance Management vendors come in two flavors: those that offer multiple products and sell them as an “integrated” solution, and those that tout a “unified” product but really require multiple applications.  Oracle®/Hyperion® is a good example of the multi-product vendor, while SAP Business Objects Planning and ConsolidationsTM/OutlookSoft® is a good example of the unified vendor. Who’s right? Or are they both wrong?

Hyperion built separate systems for consolidations (Hyperion Financial ManagementTM) and budgeting (Hyperion PlanningTM) for a really good reason.  Actuals are sacred!  The thought of anyone messing with the system at the wrong time by changing metadata, interrupting consolidations, or impacting actuals to accommodate a budgeting process would be unheard of.

OutlookSoft introduced a “unified” system where actuals and budget were all in one product. However, actuals are still sacred and they have no ability to maintain unique metadata between actual and budget in the same system.  Because actuals are sacred, the vast majority of organizations are forced to build multiple applications for consolidations and budgeting.  Ultimately they both suffered for the same reason.  Deploying multiple products or building multiple applications forces additional integrations, validations and reconciliations between applications in order to compare actual vs. budget. These processes are complex, time-consuming, extremely costly, and contain so many moving parts that errors are unavoidable.

OneStream XF’s Extensible Dimensionality attacks this business problem on two fronts.  First, any business unit can produce statutory consolidations and management reporting at different levels of detail than their corporate office requires, without affecting the sanctity of actual consolidations.  Second, these same business units can budget/plan at unique and relevant levels of detail than the corporate budget requires, again, in the same application and without affecting the sanctity of actual consolidations.

In other words, Extensible Dimensionality allows for a standard corporate chart of accounts and dimensions that can be extended both for actuals, to allow for more detailed management reporting, and then again for budget, to allow for a more relevant budgeting process, all in the same application.  Because our corporate structure always remains intact, there is no concern when a business unit extends an account or dimension (e.g. product, customer or region) because corporate actuals are never impacted.

The other benefit of Extensible Dimensionality is that actual and budget always compare.  Because the corporate standard chart of accounts and dimensions are not changed when business users extend these dimensions for their unique needs, these extended accounts and dimensions always roll up to the standard.  This means that there is never a need to integrate, validate, or reconcile data or metadata between products or applications to compare actual vs. budget.  We have effectively eliminated 90% of the complexities of a CPM implementation and deployment while delivering a system that is easier to learn, use and maintain.

An example of how Extensible Dimensionality can be used by business units to extend a single account’s definition, yet still roll back up to the corporate standard

Posted in Budgeting, Business Intelligence, Corporate Performance Management, Data Quality, Enterprise Performance Management, Extensible Dimensionality, Financial Consolidations, Planning | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

The Power of One!

By Craig Colby, Vice President, OneStream Software:

What is the big idea behind unification?  Why is everyone talking about it and who is truly unified?  Well, we at OneStream Software think we are the only ones who have truly unified Corporate Performance Management.  Financial Data Quality, Financial Consolidations & Reporting, Budgeting & Planning, and Analytics are supported by our unique and powerful Extensible DimensionalityTM.  To put it simply, any company can have a standard corporate chart of accounts and dimensions while each business or reporting unit within this company can extend these standard accounts and dimensions to meet their specific needs for statutory reporting, management reporting, budgeting, forecasting, planning or analysis.   We have engineered a way to manage this data and metadata in a single unified solution while offering a simplified user experience.

Basically, we have eliminated all of the moving parts in a close and budget cycle.  No moving, copying, validating or reconciling data between products and applications.  Eliminate multiple metadata maintenance point.  Finally, forget about cross product integration.  In other words, this is the first solutions that lets you view, manage, maintain, and variance budget vs. actual in the One product and One application.

Have I mentioned data quality? We perform data quality validations and verifications on all source data pre and post consolidations without the need to move it around between products and applications.  This is where everyone else loses the ability to say that their results are really “One Truth.”  Because everything is in One product and One application, OneStream XF is and always will be “One Truth.”

There are a lot of vendors that talk unification, but they all have two weaknesses.  First, they can’t have different metadata between actuals and budgeting/planning.  Second, they have no ability to handle complex or large consolidations with the speed and efficiency of our 64 bit in memory processing combined with our powerful calculation engine.  Unification combined with the most powerful and functional consolidations engine ever built makes OneStream XF the next generation in CPM systems.  This is the big idea behind unification.  This is the power of One!

Posted in Budgeting, Business Intelligence, Corporate Performance Management, Data Quality, Enterprise Performance Management, Extensible Dimensionality, Financial Consolidations, Planning | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,