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Nicholas Cox | Jan 26, 2024

Accelerating Time to Value with OneStream and SAP

Hundreds of organisations that have standardised on SAP for their ERP have modernised Finance with OneStream for the best Financial Reporting, Close & Consolidation and FP&A led business planning solution available.

Comparatively, the fragmented approach taken by legacy EPM 1.0 vendors such as SAP, Oracle/Hyperion and IBM has limited the ability of Finance organisations to execute effective EPM processes.  These disconnected application architectures force Finance organisations to spend most of their time managing multiple products, integrating data from source systems and moving data between EPM products.  As a result, Finance has less time for analysing data and supporting decision-making.

While many organisations have tried standardising on a single ERP system to manage all their financial and operational processes, few have fully achieved this goal.  It doesn’t last because the very next acquisition changes that and the more common case involves deployment and support of multiple ERP systems across various divisions and locations.

OneStream is different.  Why?  Because it can integrate with and map disparate data sources and charts of accounts.  Through those capabilities, OneStream provides a consistent platform for financial consolidation, reporting, planning and analysis – before, during and after any potential multi-year migration to S/4 HANA.  The platform also addresses the ongoing challenge that many organisations face in integrating data from non-SAP systems that will inevitably exist at subsidiaries or acquired companies.

SAP ERP Challenges with EPM

SAP ERP users face a number of common challenges with legacy on-premises approaches to EPM:

  • Fractured solutions
    • Multiple required EPM products must be connected and result in disparate data silos. Each product requires its own implementation and resources.
    • Personnel cannot be leveraged since on-going maintenance and ongoing updates require unique skill sets.
  • Multiple integration points
    • Each product implemented means an additional integration point.
    • Each integration is a point of failure risk due to needing data quality testing and problem resolution, plus on-going maintenance and modifications as requirements change.
  • Lacking capabiilty
    • Lack of features, capabilities and user expeirence required for today’s comprehensive financial reporting, planning, budgeting & forecasting.
    • Limited availability of real-time data, hindering effective decision-making and impacting the accuracy and timeliness of financial reporting.
    • Rigidity and inflexibility to adapt to changing business requirements and industry trends.

Despite those challenges, SAP, Oracle and other ERP vendors are proposing that customers now adopt a new set of cloud-based EPM applications closely tied to their ERP systems.  But more commonly, organisations are preferring to implement and support modern  EPM solutions such as OneStream.  The reason for this approach includes (1) the need to integrate data from multiple ERPs and other data sources, and (2) the preference for a uniquely unified data model and solution to ensure alignment between key processes and an improved overall user experience.

The Power of OneStream Integration

OneStream is completely agnostic to ERP strategy.  Why does this matter?  Well, it’s simple:  Unlike SAP’s EPM strategy, OneStream doesn’t require (though still works with) S/4 HANA and therefore offers a much faster time to value than SAP’s long-term strategy (see Figure 1).  Rather than relying on a single ERP strategy, OneStream seamlessly integrates data from multiple sources – such as ERP (including SAP R/3, ECC and S/4 HANA), CRM, HCM and data warehouses (BW) – to create a single, powerful and governed version of the truth. 

And that’s exactly why we would always advise to implement OneStream before S/4 HANA.

Figure 1 – Accelerated value with OneStream.

With OneStream, organisations have one solution to integrate regardless of how they rationalise ERPs, SAP S/4HANA migration and data landscape changes.  Built-in Financial Intelligence, an ‘accounting brain’, and the agility to get up and running quickly means there is never a lost step in the close, budgeting, financial & operational planning, and reporting processes.

In other words, OneStream finally delivers on the elusive and overused one source of truth promise to get immediate value while sustaining current requirements and designs for tomorrow.  Customers who have already implemented OneStream as their solid management layer have seen no impact to their EPM processes, regardless of what’s happening in the group ERP layer (shift to S/4 HANA) and overall systems landscape of any newly acquired organisations.

Key Benefits for SAP ERP Customers

SAP ERP and OneStream customers have already achieved many benefits, which are illustrated below

Reduced time, effort and cost of maintaining legacy applications.

  • Replaces multiple legacy systems with a unified application.
  • Reduces costs of ownership and upgrades; reduces risks and integration points across systems.
  • Shifts Finance staff’s time from admin to value-added analysis.

Streamlined financial close, consolidation and reporting.

  • Provides built-in advanced financial consolidation and reporting for US GAAP, IFRS, Multi-GAAP and local statutory, ESG, foreign exchange and intercompany accounting requirements.
  • Quickly collects, validates and integrates data from financial and operational systems; enables     drill-through to transactional details.
  • Automates manual steps in the financial close/consolidation process.
  • Supports complex global consolidation and reporting requirements.

Improved agility in budgeting, planning and forecasting

  • Unifies actuals, plans and reporting & analytics for real-time variance analysis without moving data through multiple point-solutions – all within a single solution.
  • Provides integrated business planning that supports Operations, Sales, HR and Finance while still maintaining the financial intelligence to align plan data with actuals at the group level.
  • Supports more agile planning, such as rolling forecasts, scenario modelling and driver-based planning.

Accelerated delivery of new applications and business insights

  • Creates standardisation and enables reuse across the enterprise and creates higher ROI.
  • Supports the rapid creation of new solutions to handle all future requirements thanks to extensibility.
  • Enables both the quick deployment of new applications and rapid updates for new features via OneStream’s Solution Exchange.
  • Accelerates business insights and enhances decision-making with pre-built solutions.

Those benefits collectively accelerate the time to value.  In fact, Nucleus Research recently published a report highlighting how OneStream customers have reduced their financial close and planning cycles by up to 50%.

Customer Success

McCain Foods

McCain Foods Limited is a Canadian multinational frozen food company established in 1957 in Florenceville, New Brunswick, Canada.  Today, McCain Foods is a global company with 22,000 employees worldwide and corporate offices in Toronto, Canada.

McCain Foods converted from SAP BPC to OneStream and now use it on top of an SAP ERP for financial consolidation, financial reporting, and management reporting, and added lease accounting capabilities.  And the company did it all within a 7-month period to meet the implementation date for IFRS 16.

‘Extensibility is such a powerful feature of OneStream’, said Katie Shotbolt, Director, Financial Accounting, McCain Foods.  ‘By extending our corporate chart of accounts to the level of each unique GL system, the data in OneStream is both relevant and inclusive for all our regions.  It allows corporate and regions to speak the same language.  In our old world with SAP BPC, we were closing the books on Day 6, and now we’re closing at Day 4.  That’s something we are incredibly proud of and something OneStream has helped us achieve’.

Conclusion

With OneStream in place as the EPM management layer, organisations can move forward with confidence.  Any unexpected delays in a potential move to S/4 HANA won’t impact the robustness of process and reporting.  In addition, any new organisational events (e.g., acquisitions) can rapidly be integrated into OneStream for immediate reporting.  And if there’s a subsequent shift from the acquisition’s legacy ERP system to S/4 HANA, that shift won’t have any impact on the reporting in OneStream – which comes with a host of benefits.

How Can You Learn More About OneStream?

To find out more, check out the Top 10 reasons customers choose OneStream to get more value from their SAP ERP investments.  Also check out our customer case studies and testimonials to learn why over 300 SAP customers have chosen OneStream’s unified platform – and never looked back!

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