HFM is Dead....Long live HFM!
Customers running HFM for consolidation and reporting have faced an uncertain roadmap, with promises of major new versions not matched by timely releases. It has left the gate open to competitors, and caused many of our clients to wonder about the product’s future.
It is a reasonable question to ask. Several stories have been circulating that the end is nigh and that Oracle’s strategy for Cloud domination means that HFM has been left in its wake....
The reality is that this is not the true picture. Oracle’s own salesforce have created this uncertainty which in turn has led to a number of competing vendors taking the opportunity to reinforce the agenda for change.
HFM is not dead! Oracle’s Hyperion Enterprise Performance Management System 11.2 is now imminent. Customers running on release 11.2 will benefit from enhanced HFM functionality, and a commitment from Oracle that they will provide ongoing updates running through to 2030. This is good news for those organisations that plan to remain with HFM.
Proposed enhancements include a revised administrative layer that makes for easier management of HFM and its related components, an updated user interface (that in time may align with the look of Oracle’s more recent Cloud EPM applications), security enhancements and a new SmartView client to support all MS Office variants (Mac, Windows and O365).
Oracle has launched its ‘Applications Unlimited’ programme for on-premise applications. This new initiative is a reaction to the misinformation in the market, and an attempt by Oracle to assure existing users of HFM, that their investment in the software is safe.
Customers can expect:
- Ongoing Applications Updates - Updates will be cumulative and will combine bug fixes and new features into a consolidated patch set that can be easily applied.
- Ongoing Technology Stack Updates – this separates updates to the applications stack from the technology stack, allowing customers to obtain new versions of the technology stack without need to upgrade the Oracle Hyperion EPM System applications code.
As normal, Oracle will be offering Premier Support for the Oracle Hyperion EPM System 11.2 release. In the past Premier Support applied a ‘5 year’ support life to each specific system version, however under ‘Applications Unlimited’, Oracle is committing to provide support to at least 2030.
Commencing 2019, Oracle are also promising to annually review whether or not to extend Premier Support for ‘Continuous Innovation’ releases by another year beyond the current roadmap.
Contrary to what you may have heard, HFM is very much alive and well with a guaranteed development and support path until at least 2030.
The blog post by Rich Wilkie, Vice President of EPM Product Management, Oracle, talks further about the support Oracle will be offering and the imminent 11.2 release of HFM:
HFM Customer Roundtable
So, where does that leave your decision process? There are a multitude of factors to consider. For some companies, knowing that HFM will continue to have a future is sufficient. For others, a Cloud strategy may motivate a change. And for a growing number of firms, there is a realisation that HFM only forms a part of the wider management reporting cycle. For such organisations, there is a need for better close management, a desire to bridge the account reconciliations gap between subledgers, G/Ls and reporting models, or a pressing requirement for more integrated operational and financial planning. In those cases, we are seeing customers consider Oracle's own EPM Cloud solution or, in some cases, ask for our guidance on other emerging technologies.
If you are an exsting HFM customer and wish to explore this discussion further, our next HFM Customer Roundtable event will be held in London on 26th February.