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John O'Rourke | Jan 09, 2018

AFL Replaces Hyperion – Unifies Consolidation, Planning and Account Recs With OneStream

When your existing financial consolidation system is becoming unstable, and too costly to manage and upgrade – that’s a good reason to consider an alternative solution.  This was the case at AFL, who replaced Hyperion Financial Management (HFM) with OneStream Cloud for financial consolidation and reporting.  But the story doesn’t end there, read on to learn more.

No, AFL is not the American Football League

Founded in 1984, AFL is an international manufacturer providing end-to-end solutions to the energy, service provider, enterprise and industrial markets as well as several emerging markets. The company’s products are in use in over 130 countries and include fiber optic cable and hardware, transmission and substation accessories, outside plant equipment, connectivity, test and inspection equipment, fusion splicers and training. AFL also offers a wide variety of services supporting data center, enterprise, wireless and outside plant applications.

Challenges with Their Legacy HFM Application

AFL was using Oracle Hyperion Financial Management (HFM) for consolidation and reporting and found the system too costly to manage, maintain and upgrade.  Excessive downtime and lost data triggered the evaluation of alternative solutions.  AFL was also using Excel spreadsheets and email for budgeting, planning and forecasting which bogged down the planning processes.

Going from On-Premise to the Cloud with OneStream

AFL evaluated several solutions and selected OneStream’s Intelligent CPM Software for financial consolidation, budgeting, forecasting, account reconciliations, data collections and cash flow reporting. After the initial implementation, AFL decided to move from on-premise deployment to the OneStream XF Cloud. No new implementation was needed, within a few hours, AFL completed an application upgrade, and a shift to the OneStream XF Cloud leveraging Microsoft Azure.

OneStream was able to easily handle AFL’s complex consolidation and reporting requirements which include consolidating 54 companies for US reporting and reporting to their Japanese parent company across 12 business segments.  The application loads data in 13 currencies from 12 ERP systems with many intercompany eliminations and some partially owned subsidiaries. Even though OneStream was tasked with handling more complexity than HFM, AFL was able to maintain their fast, 2-day close schedule.

Gaining Speed, Efficiency and More

In addition to being easier to maintain, overall consolidation performance was approximately 8 times faster (1 – 4 min. vs. 20 min.) using business rules, multiple dimensions and complex allocations all accomplished in OneStream. The finance staff at the business unit level can now load and validate their own data improving data quality and freeing up corporate Finance staff for focusing more time on analysis.

After getting the financial consolidation and reporting process under control, AFL moved its annual budgeting and monthly forecasting process out of Excel and into OneStream.  AFL now has better tracking of budget submissions, earlier submissions of budgets and forecasts, and improved data quality.

But wait, there’s more!  AFL extended its OneStream investment via the Account Reconciliations solution from the OneStream MarketPlace.   Replacing Blackline,afl fu 2-1.jpg the OneStream Account Reconciliations solution was easy to deploy, and since it is integrated with OneStream, allowed line of business users to start their account reconciliations soon after their trial balance data is loaded.  With Blackline they had to wait until after the books were closed.  This alone has resulted in a 75 percent improvement in the speed of completion and annual savings of roughly $100K per year.

Modernizing Finance with OneStream

“With AFL’s rapid growth, we recognized the need for a CPM solution that could effectively handle our complex environment while also offering us the ability to adapt to changes,” said Pam Brady, Global Financial Business Analyst at AFL. “The consolidation process that took hours in our previous system now takes only minutes with OneStream. In addition, OneStream offers full budgeting and forecasting capabilities along with superior cash flow reporting and a solution for account reconciliations that replaced our previous account reconciliation solution.”

To learn more about AFL’s success with OneStream, read their success story or view the OneStream Cloud Webinar featuring AFL Global.

John O’Rourke is Vice President of Product Marketing at OneStream Software. With a background in accounting and finance, John has over 30 years of experience in the software industry, including 20 years of experience in product marketing at Hyperion Solutions, Oracle and Host Analytics. He has worked with many customers and partners on financial reporting and planning initiatives and has spoken and written on many topics in corporate performance management. John has also held positions in strategic marketing and product marketing at Dun & Bradstreet Software, Kenan Systems and Decisyon.

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