Oracle Planning and Budgeting Cloud Services (PBCS) is Oracle’s latest foray into moving its flagship products to the cloud. PBCS will not be available until early 2014, but Peloton, as an Oracle Platinum Partner, was invited by Oracle to test the environment prior to general availability during the PBCS preview program. We had the opportunity to interact with the environment and put it to the test, and are gearing up to fully support PBCS when it goes live in the next few months. Included below is a brief overview of PBCS and our findings from the preview program.
PBCS is a flexible application based on Oracle Hyperion Planning that supports enterprise-wide planning, budgeting, and forecasting in a cloud-based deployment model. PBCS provides a rich Web and Microsoft Office enabled planning and modeling framework that supports driver-based planning to help connect operational assumptions to financial outcomes. It supports a hierarchical planning process that encompasses both corporate finance and the lines of business within an enterprise. With PBCS, you can meet your immediate financial planning, budgeting and forecasting needs while enabling a platform for future cross-functional expansion and automated process integration.
The Oracle Cloud — an enterprise cloud for business — houses portable applications and databases that can be transferred to/from a private cloud or on-premise environment. Cloud services are built on the Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud and Oracle Exadata Database Machine, offering a platform that delivers extreme performance and scalability.
Functionality included in PBCS:
- Planning – Hyperion Planning
- “Classic” managed applications only – no EPMA
- Rules Management with Calculation Manager
- Data Integration through FDM EE
- Flat file loads for Hyperion Planning
- Large file uploads using http protocol
- On-premises app migration using LCM
- Reporting with Hyperion Financial Reports
- Smart View integration with MS Office
- Guided Demo Application
What are the benefits of using PBCS?
Oracle Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service removes infrastructure barriers and allows businesses of any size to deploy a planning and budgeting application in short order. PBCS requires no onsite hardware or software, which facilitates a quick deployment — ideal for customers looking for hosted applications and no IT maintenance.
A web interface provides easy access to the Oracle Cloud, which is good for a distributed workforce. The solution offers the administrator several features, including full administrative access for application maintenance, external data integration, and support materials such as video tutorials and step by step instructions.
What is different about PBCS from on-premises Hyperion Planning?
Oracle Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service contains the same features and functionality as on-premises Planning with a few distinctions. PBCS allows for one core planning application per deployment, with flexibility to include capital asset and workforce planning capabilities. The optional planning modules, such as Capital Asset Planning, Project Financial Planning, Work Force Planning, and Public Sector Budgeting are not yet available in the cloud model. Calculation Manager was upgraded to include key features usually located in EAS, thus removing the need to utilize EAS during a PBCS deployment. User Management is handled outside of PBCS using OIC (Oracle Identity Console) — also known as the IDM console. Active Directory users should be aware that credentials need to be loaded into OIC. Finally, end users can download the Smart View and Financial Reporting Studio clients directly from PBCS, thus removing/reducing IT support.
Who should consider a PBCS deployment?
There are several scenarios in which a company utilizing Oracle Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service makes sense. Below are some examples of why an organization may want to consider PBCS over an on-premises deployment:
- Looking for a quick deployment with no infrastructure maintenance
- Interested in evaluating the Oracle Hyperion Enterprise Performance Management suite before making a large infrastructure investment
- Lacking a dedicated IT department or the experience to install/maintain an Enterprise Performance Management environment
- Complementing on-premise deployment with rolling out PBCS quickly to field units or new divisions, etc. in a hybrid model
Interested in learning more?
Peloton had the opportunity to work with Oracle during the preview testing of Oracle Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service. If you are considering a PBCS vs. on-premises deployment or are interested in learning more about our experience with PBCS.