Enterprise performance management (EPM) software is one of the most important resources in a company’s technological tool kit. EPM applications help you measure past performance and predict future results, while simultaneously offering ways to reduce inefficiencies and streamline workflows. As such, it is important to make sure that you choose the EPM solutions that are best-suited for your organization’s needs and objectives.
Oracle is a recognized industry leader in the EPM software application space. Oracle offers its customers a choice between the traditional on-premises model and more modern cloud-based offerings.
Although you have no doubt heard of cloud computing and the benefits it can bring your organization, you may be among those who have concerns about making the leap to the cloud. If you are struggling to choose one over the other, here is a look at the differentiating factors that you need to consider before making your final decision. For a more in-depth exploration of this comparison, download our white paper, The ROI of Oracle EPM Cloud vs. Hyperion On-premises.
What Are My Options?
Oracle’s EPM cloud offerings are intended to replicate, although not duplicate, the functionality of on-premises EPM software. Since introducing its first EPM cloud product in 2014, Oracle’s cloud EPM portfolio has quickly expanded to eight offerings:
- Enterprise Planning Cloud
- Planning and Budgeting Cloud
- Enterprise Performance Reporting Cloud
- Account Reconciliation Cloud
- Financial Consolidation and Close Cloud
- Profitability and Cost Management Cloud
- Tax Reporting Cloud
- Enterprise Data Management Cloud
While the on-premises versions of the EPM applications are still supported – and the next major release is scheduled for late 2018/early 2019 – Oracle’s strategic vision is focused on the cloud portfolio. Each of the cloud EPM offerings listed above has an equivalent on-premises offering.
What Are the Differences?
While Oracle’s EPM cloud and on-premises software offer similar core functionality in most respects, there are important differences to consider in choosing the right solution for you. Some of the most important considerations are outlined below.
One of the greatest points of difference between cloud and on-premises Oracle EPM software is the ability to use the application from anywhere and at any time. With nothing more than a web browser or mobile application, users can access cloud software on a variety of devices – a feature absent from their on-premises equivalents. No VPN client is required to access cloud platforms from a mobile device.
As on-premises EPM customers well know, upgrading to a new release can be a substantial undertaking, particularly if a company has multiple environments and multiple EPM modules deployed. Managing the cutover timing and ensuring late changes to the pre-upgrade environment are captured are just two examples of the challenges faced in an on-premises upgrade. With the cloud EPM modules, upgrades are automatic and occur on the same schedule every month, eliminating the need for costly, “big bang” upgrades that can be disruptive and consume scarce internal resources.
The pricing model is significantly different for on-premises offerings as compared to the cloud. For on-premises offerings, there is a substantial upfront expenditure to purchase perpetual licenses for the respective products. In addition, an expense for software maintenance is required annually to entitle customers to support services and to the latest patches/updates for the software. By contrast, there is no upfront licensing cost for the cloud modules; instead, the modules are priced on a per-user-per-month basis. The pricing model for cloud offerings makes them very compelling, and offer a much lower entry point than on-premises.
As mentioned above, the cloud offerings are Oracle’s stated focus for the future of EPM. The most significant implication of this for EPM customers is what can be expected in the future. New features and functionality continue to be introduced to the cloud EPM offerings on a regular basis, while updates to on-premises offerings are largely limited to bug fixes. As this trend continues, the gap between cloud functionality and on-premises functionality will continue to grow in favor of cloud offerings.
To add some further complexity to the decision, hybrid approaches are also possible, where some applications are deployed on-premises and others implemented in the cloud. If the above considerations have not helped you settle on a direction for your organization, Datavail is eager to assist you. We have helped numerous clients assess whether cloud offerings would fit their business requirements. We also provide roadmap services to assist clients with outlining a strategy for moving existing on-premises applications to the cloud. Contact us today to learn more.
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