November 20, 2009

ODTUG Board - Elections

The elections are over for the ODTUG (Oracle Development Tools User Group) board of directors. Here are the new board members that will be serving in 2010-2011:
They join the carry-over board members who were serving in 2009-2010:
  • John Jeunette
  • Barbara Morris
  • Marc de Oliveira
  • Mike Riley
What the keen eyed among you will immediately notice is that Tim Tow was not re-elected. Apparently, it was a very close election and Tim fell just a couple of votes shy. Oracle EPM fans should not be totally disheartened, though, because Mark Rittman was newly elected. Mark is well known in the EPM/BI community. He will do a fine job representing the EPM/BI/Hyperion needs on the board. I've known Mark for a couple of years and I can vouch that he's a decent human being. (I refuse to be friends with anyone who kicks puppies or kittens. Well, okay, I'll be friends with them on Facebook but not IRL. Point is, Mark doesn't kick any small mammals.)

Tim Tow will serve out the rest of his term through December of this year. I know I speak for not only myself but the entire Hyperion community when I say, thank you, Tim, for all the hard work you've put into ODTUG. Hyperion developers, administrators, and users finally have a place to call home again, and it was your tireless service that helped get us there. Sincerely, we appreciate it.

If you want to say thank you to Tim as well, nothing says you appreciate his service like buying a copy of Dodeca from AppliedOLAP.

November 15, 2009

Regional EPM Connection Conferences - Update

OAUG Connection Point - Enterprise Performance Management
Back on October 30, I wrote about what little information I had on the upcoming regional OAUG conferences on Hyperion and EPM. The name that OAUG is giving to these conferences is way too long and way too hard to remember, so I'm going to start calling them "EPM Connection" conferences. If OAUG doesn't like it, they should come up with a shorter, catchier, more marketable name (like Dimensions, Solutions, Collaborate, Kaleidoscope, or OpenWorld).

I have some new information to impart compliments of the OAUG eNews from November (scroll way to the bottom):

Date Change: February 22-23
Contrary to earlier information that put the dates slightly later, the conference is now going to be held on Monday and Tuesday (Feb. 22-23) in Jersey City, NJ.

Tracks Revealed
There are going to be 5 tracks at the first EPM Connection conference:
  • Budget, Forecasting & Planning
  • Financial Consolidations & Reporting
  • Business Intelligence & Analytics
  • The Office of the CFO
  • EPM Product Roadmap
The non-product orientation of the tracks seems to imply that this will be more of a business-oriented rather than technical conference. Considering that this is put on by OAUG, we sort of expected that though. To drive this point home, OAUG had this to say about their desired audience:
This event is ideal for accounting and finance professionals of all experience levels, internal audit staff with a focus on external and compliance reporting areas, and IT professionals who need to understand what the accounting and finance groups need to achieve.
I don't like how EPM is getting pigeonholed as only applicable to finance/accounting types, but you can't win 'em all.

More Information
OAUG is telling people that more information will be coming soon to this website:

At the moment, there is less at that link than I just discussed in this blog posting, but I'm sure more will be posted soon since EPM Connection is now just 3 months away. They'd better hurry with their call for papers (if they're even going to have one).

November 12, 2009

Acquisition of Hyperion Consulting Partners Continues

Back in January, I wrote a blog posting about all the Hyperion consulting firms that got gobbled up in 2008. I fearlessly predicted more acquisitions in 2009... and there were none of note for over 9 months. The last month has seen two acquisitions.

October 16: Prithvi Buys Percentix
Prithvi Information Solutions bought Southern California-based Percentix on October 16. If you're outside of SoCal or Colorado, you may have never heard of Percentix. They only had 10-20 employees, but they were developing a reputation out West. Prithvi, a major India-based IT services firm with sales in excess of $250 million, bought Percentix for an undisclosed amount.

This was definitely a stealth purchase. There were no press releases that I could find and Percentix's own website doesn't even mention that they were acquired. The only place I could find it mentioned officially was on LinkedIn. Look in the top-right corner for the new "Parent Company" information:

Why would a $250MM company bother buying a company with 10+ employees? I honestly have no idea. Feel free to speculate in the comments.

November 10: Hackett Buys Archstone
Per Archstone, Archstone has been implementing Hyperion since at least 2004. I first ran into them at Solutions 2007 at a presentation they were giving with CVS (I think), but their website claims they have a significant number of HFM and Planning implementations dating back 5+ years. Archstone even has a press release on their website saying that they were Hyperion's "Partner of the Year" in 2007, but since the press release also says that Hyperion is based out of the Netherlands, I don't put a ton of faith in it:

What's definite is that Archstone is a well-known player in the Hyperion space that's fallen on hard times as of late. At their peak in 2007, they had over 250 employees and revenue of close to $70MM. Now Archstone is around 130 consultants with revenues of about $35-40MM per Hackett's press release on the acquisition.

There are two very interesting things about this acquisition. First, Archstone didn't get very much for their company. It seems to be an all stock deal valued (depending on who you talk to) between $13.5 and $23MM. That's about 50% of one year's revenue which is what we in the USA call a "fire sale." Considering that EPM is a hot place to be right now, Hackett seems to have gotten an amazing deal.

What really puzzles me is that I can't believe Hackett is in a position to buy anyone at the moment. The same day that they announced the Archstone acquisition, they also announced that they missed their earnings and revenue expectations for Q3. Revenue was off 33% from a year earlier and net income was down over 80%. Further, Hackett forecasted a weak fourth quarter. Hackett stock (NASDAQ: HCKT) was at $3.76/share on Tuesday. At the time of this writing, Hackett stock is below $3.00/share. In other words, this doesn't seem like a good time for Hackett to be buying anybody. Get your house in order before you decide to take on someone else's housecleaning too.

What's Next
A lot of the acquisitions in 2008 were by companies looking to acquire an EPM partner to get into new customers. Neither of the acquisitions above seems to fit that mold. This begs the question: are there other Hyperion partners out there that are hurting? Considering that the EPM space is doing quite well, while there may be one or two more troubled firms out there, I just don't see a lot more fire sale type deals anytime soon.

However, I do still foresee more acquisitions in the next few months. As for who will be acquired, I'll quote my own posting from January:
...there aren't a ton of pure-EPM partners left. One could speculate that it might be interRel, PII, Kerdock, Global Analytics, US-Analytics, Analytic Vision, HCG, TopDown, or even the Hyperion arm of Palladium, but it could just as likely be some other tiny Hyperion vendor that's not on anyone's radar screen right now.
Well, Percentix definitely fell into the "tiny Hyperion vendor" category, but I would still look to one of those companies (other than interRel) I listed in January to be acquired next. Personally, I hope that either Global Analytics, US-Analytics, Analytic Vision, or Analytica (out of the UK) get bought simply because the Hyperion world could use fewer consulting companies with "analytic" in their names. Next time, try to be a little more creative, people.