Business Recovery » Post coronavirus finance: Leave your legacy behind

For most global organisations, post-pandemic finance means moving far beyond simply automating key processes such as financial consolidation, reporting and planning. Why? Because post-pandemic finance requires teams and their business partners to act – and act fast. This is especially critical as FP&A and business controllers evolve their processes beyond the typical month-end cycles to analyse revenue, costs and cash flow on a weekly or even daily basis.

While legacy corporate performance management (CPM) solutions like Oracle’s Hyperion and SAP EPM have helped finance teams automate key back-office processes for years, they are not designed for post-pandemic finance. Why? Because their fragmented architectures, costly upgrades and maintenance create a burden for finance teams to manage rather than actually enabling finance leaders to focus on the analytics and decision-making post-pandemic finance requires.

And though legacy vendors are shifting R&D investment and marketing efforts from their on-premise products towards the cloud, the architectures are still fragmented, and some of these applications are immature and lacking the capabilities of their on-premise ancestors.

Are you ready for post-pandemic finance?

As finance leaders evaluate post-pandemic life alternatives, here are few key areas to consider in assessing whether your legacy tools are up for the task:

  • Are your legacy tools like Oracle HFM, Hyperion Planning or SAP BPC approaching end of life and/or no longer supported?
  • Does your Finance team need to move data between applications to support actual vs. budget variance analysis?
  • Do you require multiple instances of applications to address the needs of both corporate and subsidiary or business unit planning and reporting requirements?
  • Are you required to use additional modules to support centralised management of meta data across your suite of CPM/EPM solutions?
  • Are upgrades to new releases costly and disruptive to business processes?
  • Can the legacy vendor provide live customer references for their new cloud-planning solutions?
  • Are the legacy vendor’s new cloud planning solutions truly unified with solutions for financial close and reporting, or are they part of an “integrated suite” of products?

It’s OK to leave your legacy behind

Despite the potential drawbacks and limited customer references for their newer cloud solutions, Oracle and SAP have announced plans to cease support for certain on-premise applications and are now putting a great deal of pressure on customers to migrate to their cloud applications.

IT industry analysts and other experts are encouraging finance teams to consider other alternatives before simply migrating to legacy vendor cloud applications. Viable and proven alternatives are available with a more modern architecture, with new capabilities, and support on-premise or cloud deployments.

And one of those proven alternatives is OneStream Software.

Modernise finance with a Unified SmartCPM Platform

OneStream provides a revolutionary corporate performance management (CPM) solution – it’s called the OneStream XF SmartCPM platform (XF stands for extensible finance). OneStream XF unifies and simplifies financial consolidation, planning, reporting, analytics and financial data quality for sophisticated organisations.

OneStream is the first and only solution that delivers corporate standards and controls, with the flexibility for business units to report and plan at additional levels of detail without impacting corporate standards – which is why OneStream received 38 Top Ranks within the BARC Planning Survey 20 and is the highest-rated Cloud FP&A Solution according to Gartner Peer Insights.

The hallmark of a SmartCPM solution is the capability of having multiple solutions for actuals, budgets, forecasts, plans, profitability analysis and more all living together in a single application. Each solution benefits from leveraging all that the platform offers. OneStream XF eliminates risky integrations, validations, and reconciliations between multiple products, applications and modules.

Modern finance in action

Melrose Industries PLC is a London-based company that specialises in buying and improving underperforming businesses. Melrose buys good manufacturing businesses with strong fundamentals whose performance can be improved. Melrose finances its acquisitions using a low level of leverage, improves the businesses by a mixture of significant investment and changed management focus, sells them and returns the proceeds to shareholders. Its shares are listed on the London Stock Exchange as a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.

As a result of their acquisition strategy, Melrose’s Finance team relied on a combination of multiple Oracle tools for their planning, analysis, close and cash-flow forecasting. This included Oracle Hyperion Enterprise, Hyperion Financial Management (HFM), FDM as well as Essbase and Hyperion Strategic Finance (HSF) for scenario modeling and analysis.

As the organisation continued to acquire additional businesses, it became increasingly difficult to roll-up and integrate disjointed data. Melrose needed a unified CPM solution that not only reduced the burden of maintaining multiple applications, but also allowed for complete visibility into data and process changes.

When evaluating CPM solutions, a key requirement for Melrose was having an agile solution that offered true flexibility when acquiring businesses quickly, while also retaining historical data. They needed complete visibility into a reliable weekly cash flow for well-organised forecasting and reporting.

By implementing OneStream, Melrose was able to utilise a single platform that complies with their statutory reporting requirements, improves analysis, includes audit controls and provides enterprise-wide visibility into changes. Additionally, Melrose now has the flexibility they need as the organisation continues to grow. As Melrose acquires new businesses, OneStream can easily cope with that radical change—especially as their user base quickly expands overnight.

“OneStream has given us one product that contains everything we need to meet our reporting requirements. The biggest comfort we have now is that anyone in the group, around the world, can use OneStream. It’s the first time as Melrose PLC that we’ve actually had that,” Jason Care continued. “In the past, we had this hybrid of systems and numerous Excel® spreadsheets, and now that’s all been removed. Everything is driven from OneStream so, we have one version of the truth. It’s always available, and it just works.”

To learn more about how your organisation can leave your legacy solutions behind, register for our upcoming webinar here.

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