One trend I’ve seen consistently over the past 20+ years working in the Financial Applications market is that Finance managers and users are conservative, risk averse, and resistant to change. When they have a software application that meets their current needs and “does the job”, they will often hold on to it for as long as possible, sometimes falling behind on releases and even going unsupported by the software vendor.
This was the case at Investment Technology Group (ITG), who had been happily using Oracle Hyperion Financial Management (HFM) and Oracle Hyperion Financial Data Quality Management (FDM) for a number of years. When they first heard from a consulting partner about OneStream as a more modern alternative, they passed on the opportunity and decided to stay the course with HFM.
Hitting the Wall with Oracle HFM
But over time things started to change. They had infrastructure issues that caused system downtime, upgrades had become long and costly, training new users became difficult, complex allocations were done outside the system, and it became difficult to accommodate changes in the business. ITG had outgrown the capabilities of HFM and FDM.
This was the topic of a recent OneStream webinar highlighting how ITG made the leap from Oracle HFM to OneStream. The speakers were Craig Colby, chief revenue officer (CRO) at OneStream and Wayne Zeiler, director of global financial systems at ITG.
During the webinar, Mr. Zeiler explained how as the ITG team considered their alternatives, given their complex requirements their only choice was to either upgrade to the latest release of HFM or switch to OneStream.
With Oracle HFM, upgrading to the most current release would not have provided the ITG team with any new capabilities.The on-premise solutions were fragmented, as were the cloud-based alternatives from Oracle.Customer support from Oracle was in decline, and future upgrades would continue to be costly and time-consuming.
Making the Leap to OneStream
After doing a side-by-side comparison with HFM, the ITG team decided to convert to OneStream. Some of the key factors in the selection included the unified architecture of the platform, familiarity and ease of use, greater functionality, improved reporting, and built-in guided workflow for the users.
ITG focused their initial implementation of OneStream on their global financial consolidation and reporting process, which involved collecting data from multiple locations and currencies. The system was configured to support their financial and management reporting, with budget information being imported from their JD Edwards general ledger.
The Guided Workflow capabilities of OneStream guide end-users through the key tasks they need to complete during the financial close process. The ITG team is also taking advantage of several OneStream MarketPlace solutions. This includes the Postal Service solution (now renamed to Parcel Service), which automates report distribution, as well as the Snippets solution which provides a library of pre-built business rules that can be copied and pasted into the application, saving the time and effort required to write custom business rules.
Reaping the Benefits
The ITG team has seen numerous benefits from their OneStream implementation. End-user training and acceptance was very smooth due to the familiar structure of OneStream compared to HFM.
According to Wayne Zeiler, “The end-user experience with OneStream was so intuitive that new users were able to pick up the system quickly, after only about 20 minutes of training.”
Mr. Zeiler further commented, “Time-savings have been achieved in several areas. Data load times are faster. Allocations that used to take hours are now completed in minutes and are executed dynamically as data is changing. And overall the financial close process has been improved by 1 – 2 days per month.”
“Upgrades to new releases have become much easier with OneStream, typically completed in 2 hours,” said Mr. Zeiler. “And the responsiveness of the OneStream customer support team is outstanding – typically responding within minutes of us entering a support ticket.”
Now that the financial consolidation and reporting process has been improved, the ITG team is looking to extend their use of OneStream. This includes evaluating the Account Reconciliations, Lease Accounting, and Tax Provision solutions from the OneStream XF MarketPlace.
To learn more, watch and listen to the webinar replay – and contact OneStream if you are ready to make the leap from Oracle HFM or other legacy CPM applications.