Monday, June 22, 2009

Smart Strategies for Uncertain Times

The Monday keynote by John Kopcke (happy the keynote is in the BI/EPM space, so the lanyard by RittmanMead and bags logo of Interrel!)

Do business executives really do not know what they want for BI/EPM is it simply the dashboard envy that drives the projects? John is highlighting the importance of economic downturn for new opportunities. Smukers has grown in profits recently. So what are the high impact strategies:

- Cash conservation is a no-brainer here...
- Manage risk and performance
- Management Excellence (ability of business to be agile in changing times)

E.g. Southwest took 4 days to respond to the 911, to change routes and supporting changes... how does this compare at other business... an example of management excellence. I would add the oil price hedging as an another example that has given Southwest an advantage over others.

John is now talking about he Hackett Value Grid based on 2000 companies surveyed, as the foundation of World class companies and how they outclass others. They have lower DSO and other Finance KPI's are better but they have lower % headcount in Finance and hence lower costs, compared to peer groups. The SOX impacted the peer groups a shot their costs up.

So far the keynote is quite technology agnostic... more generic EPM / BI terminology... the next topic is 7 imperatives to deal with Crisis:

1) get insight and share it (e.g. provide finance professional with operational insight)
2) monitor continuosly
3) plan flexibilty
4) rething strategy
5) invest and divest
6) build trust
7) ... and do this all correct (not just YADT... it should not be Yet Another Dashboard Tool!)

Now John is explaining the importance of BI Applications in this challenging situation. Use the pre-packaged applications and quickly implement to get the insights in your business. Now once you have "insight" into the business problems, how do you "Plan Flexibly?" Time to rethink what does Planning process mean.

Yesterday, there was a lot of focus on the public sector Planning and performance management. Often budgeting is an yearly rituals and then forget about it... can it be used to convert to a rolling business event based activity...

We will see more of integrated business planning. I think BI apps for HFM will be a key bridge between BI and EPM... and will help to close the bridge between IT and Business.

Rethink Strategy: A good example when cost of oil went to $150/barrel.... financial modeling is back in fashion, a good example from IBM - had a financial model on mainframes. Seems like we forgot about financial modeling, important when "obvious" history would not tell us about future... now you need deep mathematical / data mining models to use financial models for "knowing" the future. ABB is a good example of using this to survive a financial crisis ($4B debt restructuring). Gave a good example of who should go to Univ of Vermount - use of data mining to go after the right target prospective students.

Invest and Divest Wisely: Companies need to identify porfolio of best product-market-channel combinations.

Customer success story - Burger King is using 3 month and 5 year planning cycles. Crystal Ball or the Monte Carlo simulation for predictive Modeling is being reintroduced. By the way, at Colaborate Steve Stein of Perot system had explained in brief how Crystal Ball works using human readable rules, so I need to look at it in details. John says, we often plan and budget but do not go and verify how the real worked outperformed viz-a-viz the plan/budgets.

Build Trust: How to "gain to sustain?" Identify the right stake you identify who are the right consumers of EPM and BI information. New York City ( used dashboards to make govt transparent to the citizens.

shyamvaran John: "TWEETing is great but you cannot run business on Tweets unless you have processes in place", (I think #ODTUG has process in place)
half a minute ago from web...

Before the Hyperion acquisition, BI was looked as add on technology by Oracle. BI / BI apps were post-ERP implmentations. Hyperion has made Oracle realize that BI/EPM cannot be an after-thought, rather needs to be part of the application strategy.

I will be touching some of the concepts today in my MDM for BI - talks at 3:45PM, Session 91

Monday at Kaleidoscope

Monday sessions start...

Todd Trichler is getting the Oracle Contributor Award.
Second award goes to Al Marciante - for contribution to Hyperion SIG, having seem him last year and this year at Hyperion Symposium, this is a well-deserved award.

Paper awards being announced now (Editor's Choice)
...and the winner is Peter Koletzke!

Speakers awards based on speaker feedback
1) Presentation style Peter Koletzke (won a kaleidoscope as his award! the real one)
2) Best presentation content topic ...and the winner is Dimitri Geillis (a proud new father this week)

I am sitting next to Tom Kyte and have asked him to touch on the recent Big Blue announcement in the Database Panel, that he will participate in.

Jeff is explaining why Kaleidoscope has grown in size this year in size, an important milestone in this economy...focus on content. They are inviting Track Managers for next year. The event received over 500 abstracts for 2009, in the 4 main tracks. The APEX track is shown explosive growth. If you look at Oracle Mix, some of the top proposals are related to APEX. The Sundown session on Tuesday evening is for attendees to talk to the Oracle ACES.

Now the Keynote speaker is being introduced as former Hyperion, now Snr VP of BI & EPM (developer's developer as head of development from Hyperion)...

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Hyperion Planning

Hyperion Planning Roadmap

11.1.2 Release Theme

Public sector Budgeting (out of box ERP implementation using ERPI, Support position based budgeting for public sector, public sector process / workflow management, budget books etc)

Establish MS Office as a prominent Planning user interface

Enhance and Evolve Planning Web Functionality and Usability

11.1.2 also has Data Validation Rules in the Forms for Traffic lite kind of display, based on thresholds. Also this release introduces a much robust member selector.

ASO Reporting Cube Links are possible.
Lightweight Data Entry Pages (Ajax grids): Planning client can retrieve data from the server asyncronously.

Hyperion Financial Management (HFM)

Financial consolidation is almost synonymous with HFM both for Oracle and SAP customers. Janette Hollar of Oracle will be speaking now. In last 25 yrs HFM is the industry leader. It has 1500 customers worldwide. EPMA is used to manage dimesionality over multiple applications. Calculation manager is coming out for it in CY09. On the roadmap for CY10 is better hardware utilization.

HFN-GRC provides fully integrated GRC reporting. GRC has application access controls governor to enforce the proper segregation of the duties in applications. The OBIEE and HFM integration will allow HFM data participates in Common Enterprise Information Model. There is plan for BI app for HFM. It will be to see if new content for Informatica will be generated or only ODI connectors will be provided. With this HFM BI apps, dashboards will be able to BI and EPM data in same dashboard out of box.
SEC is adopting XBRL for reporting 10K, Quarterly reports in a fashion such that companies can be compared easily.

There are new products that are under NDA... so can't be detailed here.

ERP and EPM Integration (ODTUG 2009)

Mike Cassey is now speaking on ERP and EPM integration.FDM source adapters for eBS R12.06 and 12.1. Target adapters for HFM etc...the goal is to integrate metadata and prevent re-development for the users.

FDM ERPI ERP integrator is a new product.

Also see this

Peoplesoft V9 is also supported. Oracle Data Integrator (ODI) is used behind the scenes. More support such as public sector planning, SAP and Oracle Fusion GL will be coming in future. Look for some of these in the Talleyrand release. Two important features are Drill Through and Budget write-back. Public sector Planning needs budget data being written for GL encumberances. eBS hierarchies can be pulled by the EPMI, with no need to re-define them. The EPM System workspace has a data load with places for creating the data rules. Likewise, the calendar mapping can be set. Incremental data loading is also possible.

FDM allows flat file load, but there is no Universal adapter in the plan right now.

Robert Gersten at Kaleidoscope 2009

The first key note of today, from Robert Gersten, Snr VP (EPM and BI Development), starting now. Tim did a nice intro of the speaker but there audio problems to begin with... Robert, thanked the Hyperion customers for their loyalty to the product. The 5 core processes of EPM are metrics, planning, management reporting, specialized analytics and financial reporting.

Specialized analytics includes what-if, predictive analytics etc. EPM is part of Oracle Fusion Middleware group under Thomas Kurien...The current largest install base of EPM is on 9.x Fusion EPM System 11 will work with OBIEE 11g. This version of OBIEE will support HFM etc. out of box. Oracle EPMS ERP Integration expected in Aug 2009. 11.1.1.x (also called) Kennedy) was a very feature rich release - HFM 64-bit), Essbase (ASO/BSO enhancements) etc.

11.1.2 (Talleyrand) will include features for Public sector, full-featured experience in Excel etc...expected in 4th Quarter. The OBIEE 11g is code named Negril (vacation spots!!!) will have OBI Server + essbase, HFM Planning and other integrations. Robert said that BI apps is the fastest growing segment of the Oracle BI/EPM market segment. The PL/SQL API for MDX sounds cool, you can expose data from cube via PL/SQL calls.

do you have an interesting EPM implementation, check out:
This is the first time any company has made concerted efforts to bridge the gap between BI and EPM. Though, there are some areas yet that need work such as high availability, failover, cluster etc....

Question about Essbase applicance or EPM appliance like Exadata? Is that in near future?

Sunday at Kaleidoscope (ODTUG) 2009

The sessions started today, got registered at 7:30AM, a see a lot of people, met MArk Rittman picking up his registration. The location is quite a contrast from last the heart of New Orleans with all the traffic, here a very quite resort location, just off the Pacific, and the Hyperion session is in room called Pacific.

Got a nice ODTUG jacket at registration, will be good for the chilly weather here (50's). Ed Roske opened the HYP session and talked about the Hyperion Board ballots in the registration bag for the ODTUG attendees. Ed mentioned that there will be a lot of Twitter use this year. And there is mid-night session with chocolates...

Al Marciante, mentioned we do not have to see for 8 hrs today and he is going to delegate the tasks much more to the others today (unlike last year). First session on Essbase roadmap started around 8:30AM - speaker is Aneel Shenker. This was followed by the OBIEE 11g roadmap... a number of cool features were talked about - Mike Donohue and Kris. After a little break, Toufic Wakim is now entertaining the crowd and in the background telling us about Smart View for Office. Next would be session on HPCM...

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Journey from Kaleidoscope to Oracle Openworld 2009

This is the week prior to Kaleidoscope and also the week when Oracle had started inviting the speakers based on the call for presentations. So let's look at what is hot this year, more from the Information Management perspective - i.e. Business Intelligence (BI), Enterprise Performance Management (EPM), Data Warehousing (DW), Enterprise Data Management or the Master Data Management (EDM/MDM) and Enterprise Content Management (ECM). In other words, IM is the catch all phrase today for BI/EPM/DW, EDM/MDM and ECM.

The Sunday Symposium in Kaleidoscope has Hyperion/ EPM as one of the tracks. BI will be in the back drop. However, there are about 13 talks in the BIDW track, about half are by Oracle speakers.

There are about 26 talks in Hyperion related topics, and a number of hands-on sessions. Equal number of Essbase talks.

Thus EPM outnumbers BIDW, a few times at Kaleidoscope and that has been the historical trend.

What is interesting though that this is a Development Tools User Group and the only 10 sessions are categorized as Oracle Tools related.

Overall, these is a lot of content and as usual there are many sessions at same time that one would like to attend...

This week also marked the selection of the Oracle Presentations for Openworld 2009. So far I will be in two sessions at Oracle Openworld (OOW). Starting from 2003, this year would be my 5th appearance as speaker (past ones being 2003, 06, 07, 08).

There will be at least 25 sessions on MDM alone at OOW, compare that two in Kaleidoscope (one being mine). At least 48 that have Hyperion in the title or abstract and 18 related to Essbase. OLAP in 13, 5 for data mining. About 125 that are related to Business Intelligence!!! Only 5 talks will mention about Discoverer, really the product is phasing out...

Exadata is hot, we did a webcast today on it, see
OOW 09 will feature as many as 19 Exadata related talks and Panels...
At least 50 talks will touch on RAC....

So does Larry have any more big announcements to make this year, no clue...Exadata was a real big announcement last year. May be Oracle 11gR2 will be released in the OOW timeframe. Also user community is awaiting the OBIEE 11g version...

Enough for now... keep any eye here for more hot of the press from Monterey!!!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Kaleidoscope (ODTUG) 2009 is a week away!

It was not too long ago that I blogged about Collaborate '09 and now it's about time for Kaleidoscope. It will be my second time at this event. Last year, it was at New Orleans where I volunteered on Saturday to paint a school along with several other volunteers such as Mary Lou Dopart from Oracle.

This year the scene shifts to Pacific, Monterey Beach, CA is a very beautiful location. So all those who do not often go to CA or more so to this part of coastal California, about 100 miles south of San Francisco, should definitely try to set aside some time to visit the surrounding places. About 30 miles south is Big Sur...the picture below is a nice view but any picture or video cannot do real justice to the natural beauty of the Monterey and its surrounds.

Well enough about the surroundings, let's now get to what we are "really" to the conference for. So even though the conference starts on Saturday with the voluntary event, the main attraction for me is the full day Sunday event. I am looking forward to the Hyperion Symposium, details in this post below. I sat through a similar session last year, and plan to assimilate more this year. Hope to meet Ed Roske, Tracy, Tim etc...even though it is an all day event where you practically sit in the same room, time I recall from last year.

Monday, I have a few sessions in my personal schedule builder, but my speaker session #91 is towards the end of the day : 3:45–5:15 PM Session 4 (90 minutes). The 90 minute format reminds me of the large slots on the SIG day (Sunday before Openworld). At Collaborate, I think there are either 60 min slots or 120 min expert sessions only... I will be talking about Master Data Management and its usefulness in context of Business Intelligence Applications.

I will be blogging and Tweeting on #ODTUG... with tips on logistics, what else to see in the area and so on...

Hyperion Symposium
Moderated by Al Marciante, Oracle Corporation

Oracle’s Sunday Symposium at ODTUG Kaleidoscope 2009 will give attendees a unique preview to upcoming development work in Oracle’s Enterprise Performance Management applications and Business Intelligence Platform. The symposium includes demos, prototypes, and slide content, as well as interactive Q&A for attendees to provide feedback to help validate and shape the features under development. The all-day symposium is planned to include previews in the following areas:

EPM Foundation and common services
Oracle Hyperion Planning
Oracle Hyperion Financial Management
Oracle Essbase
Oracle Business Intelligence
Other projects in development
This symposium is offered for in-person attendees, and will not be recorded or available for download

Proposal for Oracle Openworld 2009 via Oracle Mix

Check out my proposal for Oracle Openworld 2009, via the Oracle Mix:

Any comments are welcome. It is about implementing Oracle BI Applications - 7.9.6