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Financial MDM: An Alternative to Oracle Hyperion DRM

As we work on Master Data Management (MDM) initiatives with our customers in the UK and North America, here’s what we’re hearing from Finance & Accounting (F&A) teams about their experience with Oracle Hyperion DRM:

  • There’s a lack of governance workflow. “DRM lacks built-in workflow capabilities so we cannot define collaborative processes for change management or approval.”
  • It’s too complex for business users. “It’s not user-friendly, the User Interface (UI) was designed for expert-level power users not end users.”
  • It’s limited to financial hierarchies only. “We need a more flexible, enterprise-wide solution. Our master data landscape extends beyond financial hierarchies to Human Resources, Supply Chain and Sales & Marketing.”

Financial master data is the DNA of any Finance Department because it defines core F&A data objects such as GL accounts, cost centers, organizational hierarchies, assets and legal entities. Accurate and up-to-date master data is an ongoing challenge for Finance & Accounting teams.

Unfortunately F&A teams have had few options available that specifically meet their master data requirements. Most MDM software solutions address other types of master data, mainly products (PIM) and customers (CDI) so Finance & Accounting teams typically rely on the tools that come with their EPM/BI solutions, such as Oracle Hyperion DRM. In his blog, Andrew White, vice president of Research / Business Applications at Gartner gives a good overview of those “analytical MDM” tools and highlights the importance of having the ability to share financial master data with operational systems.

While DRM was designed to address specific financial MDM needs, it has not evolved to provide true data governance capabilities for the enterprise. In addition, it requires expert-level technical skills which makes it difficult to involve a larger business user community in the data governance process.

After discussing this topic with customers and partners who are involved in financial MDM projects, I’ve found that most DRM users use the tool for limited hierarchy management tasks and make extensive use of spreadsheets and custom developments when they need to share master data across Finance and other departments.

Orchestra Networks recently announced EBX5 which offers a more flexible and user-friendly alternative to Oracle Hyperion DRM. EBX5, a multidomain MDM software solution, was designed to handle any type of master data (including all types of financial master data) and to provide business users with a 100% web-based experience.

What we’re finding is that a growing number of our customers are using EBX for Finance & Accounting MDM and some of them are starting to replace Oracle DRM. Here’s why:

  • Easy to use. The EBX5 User Interface is so simple that any end user can be up and running with very little training.
  • Web-based. All EBX5 features (including modeling and business rules definitions) are available in a Web-based UI.
  • Built-in Workflow. EBX5 provides a built-in workflow that allows easy collaboration inside and outside the Finance Department.
  • Multidomain. EBX5 addresses other master data domains beyond Finance such as Human Resources, Risk & Compliance or Sales & Marketing.
  • Advanced Capabilities. EBX5 delivers advanced data management features such as hierarchy management, past/present/future version control, impact analysis, inheritance, real-time monitoring, audit trail and role-based security.

So if you are planning on investing in an MDM solution for Finance or are looking for an alternative to Oracle DRM, you may want to consider Orchestra Networks’ newest functional solution, EBX5 for Finance & Accounting.