It’s 2 days before OOW16 officially starts and I’m feeling energized about the direction of EPM Cloud. Today I had the privilege to hear from each of the lead Oracle EPM Product Management folks, ask detailed questions, and share feedback on my product and customer experiences. In the last couple of years, I’ve seen a shift with the Oracle EPM Product Management team. They’ve become more transparent with their information, which is refreshing and necessary as their product offerings continue to evolve and grow at such a rapid pace.
Although I can’t go into the specific details that were discussed, I will say that there was a lot of discussion around EPM Cloud. There was also chatter about on-prem (covered in the second half of this post) and ERP integration.
Note that the following information is protected by #SafeHarbor (which means that Oracle makes no formal claims about what they choose to share and they can change their product direction at any time). In addition, it’s important to note that I’m not revealing anything here that hasn’t already been discussed publicly at some point. If you want more detail and you’re at OOW16, I would highly recommend catching the appropriate session by Oracle. The EPM Product Management team is clearly excited about what’s to come and their enthusiasm shows.
The EPM Cloud highlights that stuck out most to me (which I’ll kept at a high level):
- PBCS direction: they are working on enabling Hybrid BSO, but it will continue to take some time to get this right
- EPBCS direction: the new “Strategic Modeling” component
- BICS direction: updated timeframe for when there will be connectivity to Smart View (although no dates are guaranteed)
- EPRCS directions: moving towards regulatory reporting needs, a richer reporting experience, and better integration with the other cloud products
- FCCS direction: continually closing the feature and functionality gap with HFM
- ARCS direction: development work on transaction matching
- TRCS direction: updates on the release timeframe (although no dates are guaranteed)
- PCMCS direction: updates on the release timeframe (although no dates are guaranteed)
- DMCS direction: updates on the release timeframe (although no dates are guaranteed) and DMCS will be considered to be a SaaS solution – not PaaS as previously thought
- EssCS (also known as “Essbase Cloud Service”): updates on the release timeframe (although no dates are guaranteed)
In addition, the following was stated about on-prem, which I think are good messages for on-prem customers to hear:
- On-prem is not being abandoned and, in fact, many customers are still adopting 18.104.22.168. Specific information was given to support why this is true. In addition, there was discussion about what to expect in 2017 for on-prem.
- There are many updates planned for on-prem and they will be released through a series of PSU’s
- Oracle will continually strive to bring cloud-only features to on-prem, both now and in the future
- Rich Wilkie continues to harp on this point: EPMA is not going to cloud but, contrary to rumors, it is not going away anytime soon, either
Finally, a discussion around “Beyond Finance” definitely got my attention. This is a direction that Oracle EPM has been communicating for years, but it seems that Cloud is already there and being specifically enhanced to support non-Finance functions. Concrete examples were given to show how EPM Cloud either already can or will be able to support Sales & Sales Ops, Marketing, HR, IT, and Operations in meaningful and strategic ways. This is fantastic news, as this focus continues to broaden the customer base and expose Oracle EPM to new and exciting opportunities.