PBCS: The Flexibility of the Cloud, the Familiarity of Oracle
For smaller companies or semiautonomous divisions of enterprise companies, the choice between an on-premises planning solution and a cloud-based one usually comes down to one major factor: cost. But at what expense? Should you move away from a solution that is rooted in years of performance and has become accepted in the finance community for its performance, reliability and flexibility?
Oracle Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service (PBCS) is a giant leap for FP&A-kind, as users are now able to work in a web-based tool with the look and feel they have grown accustomed to with Hyperion Planning, at a fraction of the cost.
Utilizing subscription-based Oracle hosted cloud services, business users are able to manage their own application without having to depend on the IT department to maintain the application or apply patches. Automated nightly updates, pushed directly from Oracle (within its mandated, scheduled downtime) ensures that once an application is deployed it will always be on par with the latest and greatest from Oracle.
Visually, the user experience with PBCS is slightly different from Hyperion Planning, but the functionality within the application – task lists, web forms, financial reports and Calc Manager – is a chip off the old block. The innate value of Smart View functionality and the ability to utilize the integrated Microsoft Office suite of products also provides that comfortable feel that so many accountants and analysts have long enjoyed.
Currently, PBCS supports standard operational planning and eventually will support the other planning modules that many financial planning & analysis groups depend on – Project Planning, Workforce Planning and Capital Asset Planning. For now, the flexibility to customize applications, while staying supported, allows users to maximize their current capabilities with the structure. It also provides the security and reliability that Oracle’s enterprise performance management products are known for.
Another key differentiating factor for PBCS, compared with other cloud-based planning solutions, is the scalability that comes from seamless integration with Oracle’s established on-premises Hyperion Planning solution. Allowing for Life Cycle Management (LCM) migration between cloud and physical hardware opens the door for PBCS to serve as a lightweight, cost-effective development environment, or eventually serve as a legacy system once a company outgrows the cloud or wishes to move fully on premises.
Our next installment will look into the specific benefits of a PBCS implementation, focusing on the speed of getting off the ground and gaining buy-in from the Finance community.