Monday, January 31, 2011

Automating Oracle Hyperion Financial Management (HFM) Tasks

In the previous posts, Star Finance Command Center (SFCC) was introduced as an alternative to scripting and manual processes. In this post we discuss the automation of Oracle Hyperion Financial Management (HFM) Tasks.

Since SFCC was launched over 18 months ago, Star Analytics has focused on the need to automate a complete finance systems environment. One of the key areas that our early adopters asked us to focus on was automation of the HFM environment. Simply put, there was no real way to automate the updating, calculating, consolidating, and exporting of an HFM application. All this required “all or nothing” access by an HFM administrator to go into the HFM console and manually run processes. The alternative was to whip out some Visual Basic code and perhaps tie it into a Windows scheduler or use the rudimentary capabilities of HFM Task Scheduler. Either way, a costly and/or inflexible, and un-scalable approach for business users at any HFM installation of significant size.

In fact, in showing SFCC to the HFM product team, they seemed to be impressed enough with the product’s capabilities to drive us to release our first SFCC Automation Task Pack for HFM. With that, some long time Hyperion luminaries like John O’Rourke saw the tremendous value-add for their customers and have spoken on the product’s behalf on numerous occasions:

“We are pleased that Star Analytics is leveraging Oracle’s open application framework with the Star Finance Command Center,” said John O’Rourke, vice president of product marketing at Oracle. “This helps makes it easy for Oracle Hyperion Financial Management customers to automate their financial processes across multiple applications and systems.”

Since introducing the HFM Automation Task Pack, we have had some of the world’s most prominent HFM shops, like Pfizer, embrace SFCC to connect, automate, and eliminate manual processes in their finance systems environment. As the buzz for SFCC has grown at various user groups, and the list of customer success stories has grown, John recently co-presented with EDMC at a recent Star Analytics webinar and provided some additional thoughts:

“Organizations are always looking for ways to speed close cycle times while improving the integrity of their financial data,” said John O’Rourke, vice president of product marketing at Oracle. “The combination of Oracle’s market-leading financial close and reporting applications and the Star Finance Command Center is a powerful one-two punch that helps achieve that goal by streamlining systems for more consistent, timely, transparent and accurate financial data and processes.”

A replay of the webinar is available by clicking here.

In recent times, we have also been asked by perspective customers to compare and contrast SFCC to the newly released Financial Close Manager (FCM). Having seen previews before its commercial release, we were pleased to see its workgroup oriented features to manage the “to do” tasks of the financial close process. We were even more pleased to see that FCM and SFCC were designed to address different sides of “automation”. While FCM is inwardly focused on the HFM close environment, SFCC is all about the connection, automation, and monitoring of HFM in conjunction with the whole ecosystem of application processes that surround it.

Samples of how our SFCC HFM Task Pack works are explored in this PDF file:


  1. EPM Maestro has existed as complementary value option for HFM administration, automation and a whole pile more. Since 2003, (HFM v3.5) it has helped and is still actively used by close to 200 Hyperion HFM customers worldwide.

    To say 'there was no real way to automate the updating, calculating, consolidating, and exporting of an HFM application' is not correct.

    Many consultancies have built custom solutions as point solutions to address one off elements, but EPM Maestro was the worlds second packaged solution (first supported) after the HFM Utilities bundled with (but up to v not supported by Oracle.

  2. While EPM Maestro has some good features, it is a point solution that only works with HFM. The Star Finance Command Center was designed as a comprehensive automation solution that manages a whole ecosystem of applications. We find that most customers needing automation don't want to be locked into a point solution, but would rather have an open web based product that scales to a wide range of applications.

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