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EPM Cloud: Hyperion Planning vs. Oracle (E)PBCS

Bobby Ellis | | September 19, 2018

As 96 percent of organizations have found, moving to the cloud has a variety of advantages. For example, the increased flexibility and scalability offered by cloud solutions allow companies to respond rapidly to changing business conditions, resulting in a more nimble financial planning & analysis process.

Despite the benefits of the cloud, however, many businesses have chosen to keep their FP&A software applications on-premises – at least for now. This blog post will discuss the differences between two popular choices for Oracle financial planning and budgeting, one on-premises and one in the cloud: Hyperion Planning and Oracle (E)PBCS.

What is Hyperion Planning?

Hyperion Planning is an on-premises, web-based software application built by Oracle for organizations to perform financial planning and budgeting.

The software sits on top of Oracle’s Essbase OLAP (online analytical processing) server and allows you to break down your data by dimensions such as period, year, scenario, accounts, product, and geography. The budget data is collected through web-based forms or Excel spreadsheets, and the software then generates the consolidated budget using business calculation logic.

What is Oracle (E)PBCS?

Oracle currently offers two cloud versions of Hyperion Planning: Oracle Enterprise Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service (EPBCS) and Oracle Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service (PBCS).

While the two offerings share several core features, EPBCS includes a wealth of pre-built content – based on best practices – to deliver immediate functionality for several of the major components of a typical planning and forecasting process. By contrast, PBCS is largely an empty slate from which functionality may be built to suit an organization’s specific business requirements.

Hyperion Planning vs. Oracle (E)PBCS

Most Oracle (E)PBCS users would agree that the cloud version of the software has now surpassed the capabilities of Hyperion Planning, its on-premises cousin. Just a few of the advantages that Oracle (E)PBCS has over Hyperion Planning are:

  • Pre-built dashboards: Oracle (E)PBCS includes pre-built yet flexible dashboards that can fit your exact dimensionality, a feature which is missing from Hyperion Planning.
  • Regular updates: While Oracle does release updates for Hyperion Planning, you can’t set your watch to them like you can with the (E)PBCS updates every month. More than that, in the cloud, Oracle does the update work for you – no more “big bang” upgrade projects every few years.
  • Automation: (E)PBCS allows users to automate routine tasks using the EPM Automate utility: for example, importing data, executing calculations, creating and archiving backups, restarting cloud instances, and performing routine maintenance activities to maintain application health.
  • Invalid intersections: Users can define invalid intersections between dimensions so that data is not accidentally entered to combinations that do not make business sense.
  • Cross-product navigation: For customers subscribing to more than one Cloud EPM product, the cross-product navigation features enable a seamless user experience. Business processes that span multiple Cloud EPM products can be completed from a single task list that passes users into the appropriate product for each task.

Final Thoughts

Oracle (E)PBCS has a variety of additional features that make it more compelling than its on-premises equivalent, and the gap widens with each monthly update. While on-premises Hyperion Planning has a robust feature set and is still in use by many organizations, cloud applications like (E)PBCS are the future of Oracle EPM and will continue to be Oracle’s focus for innovation.

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