Despite the equal importance of both operational and strategic planning, organizations all-too-often sacrifice requirements in one area due to high software acquisition costs, resource constraints, and/or numerous other priorities that arise in an ever-dynamic environment.
The good news is that the release of Oracle’s first Strategic Modeling within EPBCS (Enterprise Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service) now offers these organizations an opportunity to tackle both areas of need in a streamlined, cost-effective manner that adds value to the planning process and, ultimately, maximizes return on investment.
So…How Exactly Does EPBCS Do That?
To answer that question, let’s first discuss what true “Enterprise Planning” is supposed to be.
Enterprise Planning can be defined as a methodology (backed by technology) that assists an organization in creating and linking its strategic, financial, and operational plans into a single cohesive system. The process should be used to facilitate the setting of goals, the generation of plans guided by those goals, and the monitoring of results with the ability to update plans quickly as conditions on the ground change.
To hold true to the definition above, both operational and strategic objectives need to be addressed. Prior to the release of Strategic Modeling, EPBCS was still a great tool, but it focused mostly on the more detailed, short-term, operational planning piece of this equation. There were already purpose-built applications available to tackle the unique nature of things like workforce, capital, and project planning, but they lacked the robust functionality to truly handle the strategic planning components that require an emphasis on full financial statement planning.
As a result, users were often forced back into Excel to evaluate strategic decisions that have long-term cost, revenue, and/or capital implications. In addition, the ability to look at valuation, detailed capital structure optimization, covenants, and full Cash Flow impact, all of which require a robust balance sheet and cash flow modeling capability, was also often pushed out into disparate spreadsheets.
Enter Strategic Modeling
This area of challenge is precisely where Strategic Modeling comes into play, rounding out the other half of the Enterprise Planning equation.
With the addition of Strategic Modeling, users now have the purpose-built solution to tackle these needs, drawing upon out-of-the-box integrated financial statements, robust modeling features focused on capital structure optimization, valuation analysis, and M&A Modeling.
For a more comprehensive look at Strategic Modeling and its specific areas of focus/capabilities, you can view our blog post "Introducing Strategic Modeling: Oracle’s HSF Cloud Offering" and a recording of “Take Your Strategic Planning to New Heights” webinar here.
You may also be wondering if this functionality already existed with Hyperion Strategic Finance (HSF). Yes, it did. The key difference here is that with EPBCS, there is no additional licensing cost for the Strategic Modeling functionality.
The Right Tool for the Right Job
One of our mantras at Ranzal has always been “Right tool for the right job.”
We don’t believe in burdening a system or application with something that it wasn’t actually meant to do. This is why our best-practice approach doesn’t include building cost center detail into HSF or full capital structure models into Hyperion Planning. By including Strategic Modeling within EPBCS at no additional cost, Oracle has made it infinitely easier for organizations to hold true to these standards and not be tempted to comprise the intent of the solutions, by taking licensing issues out of the equation.
The result? This is a solution that truly allows the users (and us) to evaluate each business process ranging from detailed cost center expense budgeting to capital planning to long-term full financial forecasting—and, ultimately, to select the right purpose-built tool for the job.
For more information on "EPBCS with Strategic Modeling: A Match Made in Heaven" webinar