December 27, 2009

Kaleidoscope - Hyperion/EPM Agenda Approved

Cameron and Gary Beat Me To It
At least two of my fellow ODTUG Hyperion SIG members (and so called "friends") broke the story first
, but allow me to elaborate as the Hyperion/Essbase/EPM content chair on the agenda for ODTUG's Kaleidoscope 2010.

Before I continue, as you've read previously on this blog and others, the only national conference with a major Hyperion presence in 2010 is Kaleidoscope. If you're looking for the best parts of the old Hyperion Solutions conferences, come to Kaleidoscope. Ask anyone who went in 2009 and they'll all agree that it was the best training money they spent all year.

The conference is June 27 to July 1 in Washington DC. Unlike some conferences, the content starts first thing in the morning on Sunday and goes through lunch on Thursday, so make sure you fly in on Saturday and don't fly out until Thursday afternoon or evening.

The opening Sunday in 2010 (like in 2008 and 2009) will be turned over to the Oracle Product Managers to tell us everything that they have planned that hasn't yet been released. This is, for most people, their one opportunity each year to really talk to the people responsible for development to see what's about to be released, what's in beta, and what's a twinkle in the eye of Oracle EPM product management.

The Sunday "Oracle EPM Developer's Symposium" goes well beyond PowerPoint slides. The day is organized by my long-time friend and Oracle Sr. Director, Al Marciante, and he will make sure that see actual product in development.

The day is also designed to be interactive. Part of why the Product Managers are coming is to hear what you think about what they have in mind. For Sunday, all the Hyperion attendees get together in one really large room. Monday through Thursday, the attendees break out into several tracks.

5 Tracks for the Hyperion Attendees
There are five major tracks that you'll find interesting:
  • Essbase. There is an entire track devoted to Essbase content and each day is themed to a different aspect of Essbase. Some of the days include Aggregate Storage (ASO), Essbase Utilities, Essbase Under the Covers, and Advanced Essbase. There will be no conference (including OpenWorld) in 2010 with more Essbase sessions.
  • Hyperion Applications. One of the comments from last year was that there weren't enough presentations on Hyperion Planning and HFM, so this year, we devoted an entire track to them. This track also has sessions on some of the lesser known products like Life Cycle Management, EPM Architect, Hyperion Strategic Finance, Integrated Operational Planning, and FDM. We also devoted time slots to some of the modules that haven't even been released yet (but will by Kaleidoscope 2010) like Disclosure Management and Financial Close.
  • Hyperion Hands-On-Labs. There will be a series of 3+ hour hands-on labs to give you real-world experience in Hyperion. Some of the classes include Essbase Studio and Integrating OBIEE with Essbase. If you learn more by doing than hearing, this is the track to park yourself in. There will be plenty of power outlets, don't worry.
  • BI, DW, and Hyperion Reporting Tools. As we all know, some of our favorite products are being phased out in favor of some OBIEE products like Answers, Dashboards, and Publisher. If you want to learn more about the Oracle Business Intelligence side of things, then this would be the place to find it. For what it's worth, I'm not the content chair for this track, but the awesome Mark Rittman is, so I know it will be good (or I'll eviscerate him on my blog ;-).
  • Hardcore Hyperion. One of the things people liked at previous Kaleidoscopes was the advanced/guru/hardcore content that conferences tended to omit. Even the late/great Hyperion Solutions conference had stopped doing sessions for the true Hyperion expert. We've expanded these "Top Gun" presentations into an entire track in 2010 and it's not just Hardcore Essbase. In addition to Essbase, there are entire days devoted to advanced HFM, Planning, and even Smart View. If you don't go to classes on Hyperion anymore because there's nothing you don't already know for your chosen product, come to this track. It's where I plan on spending most of my time, so pull up a chair next to me. I'm usually in the back row near the power outlets.
Business Users are Welcome Too
The number one request from last year was that add even more Hyperion Planning and Hyperion Financial Management content. Apparently, the Planning and HFM users, developers, and admins were not finding a home at any other conference. We've solved this by adding an entire Hyperion Apps track and also devoting days in the Hardcore Hyperion track (see above).

The other request was for more beginner and intermediate level content. In 2008, we only had Essbase content and it went great (though it did tend to skew to the more advanced users). In 2009, we added some content on the other applications (like Hyperion Planning) but again, we tended to skew to the intermediate to advanced users. Our theory was that beginner and business users would be going to the Collaborate conference.

Well, with the scarcity of Hyperion content at Collaborate 2010, we felt that we had to provide a home to those more functional users (with non-technical backgrounds). To that end, we added beginner, intermediate, business, and functional content to both the Essbase and Hyperion Apps tracks. This way if you miss one of the OAUG EPM Connection conferences (or you want more than 2-days of information), you'll be quite satisfied with Kaleidoscope.

For those of you still wanting the guru content, never fear. We didn't want you to think that we were going all soft, so that's why we spun out or guru-level technical content into its own Hardcore Hyperion track.

See the Agenda Visually
Gary Crisci, President of the ODTUG Hyperion SIG, was kind enough the put the agenda into a Google Doc. Hopefully, Gary will keep this updated so that if speakers don't accept their invites or sessions get added, you'll be able to get an updated agenda.

You should also visit This will not only have the most recent list of accepted presentations, it's also where you'd go to register. They're already accepting registrations if you have some budget money left and only a couple of days left in 2009 to spend it. I'm signed up to deliver either 3 or 4 presentations at Kaleidoscope (mostly in the Hardcore Hyperion track), so I'll definitely see you there.

On a vaguely related note, for those of you who played it at Kaleidscope 2009 and for those of you feeling bad that you missed out, there will be multiple midnight sessions of Werewolf. For what it's worth, my name is Edward Roske and I'm a villager. Gary on the other hand? Obviously a werewolf.

December 22, 2009

Collaborate 2010 - OAUG Presentations

The next Collaborate conference is April 18-22, 2010 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. This is a joint conference of three large Oracle user groups: OAUG, IOUG, and Quest.

There were some people (I was one of them) who were wondering if Collaborate would be the successor to the Hyperion Solutions conference just with a lot of other Oracle products thrown in. The Hyperion attendance fell from 2008 to 2009, so it wasn't surprising when the Collaborate organizers decided to cut the Hyperion/EPM presentations at Collaborate 2010.

While IOUG historically has some Essbase and OBIEE presentations (and in 2009, Quest had a couple of general EPM sessions), the main Oracle EPM/Hyperion/Essbase group at Collaborate is OAUG since they inherited the mantle of the old HUGs (Hyperion User Groups). Everyone was curious as to how many presentations OAUG would allot to Hyperion in 2010.

Looks Like About 35 Sessions from OAUG
Not including the ones from IOUG and Quest (because it's way too hard to figure out from their sites which ones are Oracle EPM specific), OAUG has approximately 35 sessions devoted to Oracle EPM (Hyperion and Essbase). I got this number by going to the OAUG Presentation Search and selecting "Hyperion EPM" (which doesn't make a lot of sense product naming wise, but whatever). It gave me the following list:
  1. "How Workforce Planning and Oracle Data Integrator restored sanity" by AdvancedEPM Consulting, Inc.
  2. "Sub Ledger Accounting in Release 12 Technical Perspective" by AST Corporation
  3. "Creating a Hyperion Planning Solution with Full PeopleSoft Integration in Under 90 days" by Berlin Packaging
  4. "Soaring through Economic Turbulence with Oracle's Strategic Finance and Crystal Ball" by Blue Stone International, LLC
  5. "Product Cost Modeling Using Oracle Business Intelligence and Hyperion Planning" by Calix Networks, Inc.
  6. "Becoming The Cube Whisperer" by Catholic Health Initiatives
  7. "Implementation of Hyperion EPM Systems Integrated to Oracle EBS" by Coherent, Inc.
  8. "Consolidate Oracle EBS, Hyperion EPM and other Apps onto one set of hardware by virtulization" by Cricket Communications
  9. "Integrated Business Planning" by Emerson
  10. "Hyperion Financial Management(HFM): Design Considerations in HFM for External & Management Reporting" by Hess Corporation
  11. "Using the Hyperion Financial Management (HFM) API to Create Custom Solutions" by Interpublic Group of Companies
  12. "Best Practices in Consolidations" by interRel Consulting
  13. "Introduction to Hyperion Financial Management and FDM" by interRel Consulting
  14. "Finding Profitability in 8 Weeks: An Introduction to Hyperion Profitability & Cost Managemen" by interRel Consulting
  15. "Using Essbase Outside of Finance: Challenging Requirements for Performance Accountability" by interRel Consulting
  16. "Oracle Hyperion Smart View For Office New Features & Integration Points" by Kerdock Consulting
  17. "Revenue Planning: When is detail it appropriate and how will it impact my Planning implementation" by Kerdock Consulting
  18. "What's New for Version 11: Hyperion Financial Management" by Kerdock Consulting
  19. "Hyperion Planning for Higher Ed: Business Considerations at Rice University" by Kerdock Consulting
  20. "Advanced Financial Master Data Management with Oracle Hyperion Data Relationship Management" by Key Performance Ideas, Inc.
  21. "Cash Flow Reporting Within Hyperion Financial Management" by Laureate Education Inc
  22. "Leveraging Your Hyperion Investment for Non-Financial Operations" by Linium
  23. "Enterprise to Hyperion Financial Management: Improving efficiencies and reporting at TSYS" by MarketSphere Consulting
  24. "Security in Hyperion Fusion 11" by MindStream Analytics
  25. "Be "Productive Day One and Ensure User Adoption with Oracle User Productivity Kit and Oracle Tutor" by Oracle
  26. "Oracle's Strategy and Roadmap for Oracle's Hyperion Performance Management Applications" by Oracle
  27. "Integrating Risk and Compliance Strategies The Latest in Oracle GRC Applications" by Oracle
  28. "Introduction to Hyperion Enterprise Planning Solutions" by Oracle Corp Inc., Boston
  29. "Integrated Operational Planning - Bridging The Gaps Between Finance, Operations, And Sales" by P3 Solutions
  30. "Key Success Criteria for Oracle Hyperion Planning and Oracle HFM Integration" by Ranzal
  31. "Mission Critical! Implementing Highly Available Global Oracle-Hyperion EPM Installations." by The Hackett Group
  32. "Strategies for Helping Government Agencies Optimize Oracle BI Tools and Processes" by The IRUS Group, Inc.
  33. "Optimally Leverage your Oracle Hyperion Investment" by TUSC
  34. "Essbase Tuning & Optimization at USADrug" by USADrug
  35. "Financial Reconciliation to Reporting (RTR) Town Hall Meeting" by VeriSign Inc
Now the reason I'm saying that there are "about 35 sessions" is that some of the ones listed don't really seem like EPM presentations (like #2, #25, and #35 above). Keep checking because I'm sure they'll reclass everything correctly at some point.

There is a major scarcity of Essbase presentations. There are two that mention Essbase in the title and judging by the abstract, #6 is also an Essbase presentation. That means OAUG will have just 3 Essbase presentations. Of course, you can't really expect all the products to be covered well with only 35 presentation slots.

I also find it really interesting that Oracle was only given 3 presentations and that's 3 if you include #25 above which really isn't related to EPM. That puts interRel in the peculiar spot of having more Oracle EPM presentations than Oracle does. If anyone from Oracle would like to co-present one of the interRel ones with us, send me an e-mail and I'll be happy to split the presenting workload with you.

Should I Bother Going?
It's quite clear that Collaborate is no longer trying to be a national conference for Hyperion. Even once you add in the content from IOUG and Quest, it's clear that Collaborate seems to be aiming to provide just enough Hyperion content so that people going to Collaborate for other products can feel happy if they also own Hyperion. If you are primarily interested in learning about Hyperion, skip Collaborate in 2010 and go to either one of the regional OAUG EPM Connection conferences or the national ODTUG Kaleidoscope conference. It's not worth it to spend between $1,385 and $2,125 on Collaborate for this little content.

Is there any reason to go to Collaborate 2010 if you only care about Hyperion and Oracle EPM? Well, it is in Vegas, and for some of us, that's the only reason we need.

A Word to Hyperion Vendors
And some free advice to Hyperion-centric consulting firms: if your company primarily does Oracle EPM, I'd save the money you were going to spend on a Collaborate booth and exhibit at Kaleidoscope and EPM Connection. There just won't be enough Hyperion attendees to make the ROI worth it to have a major presence at Collaborate. Ignore this advice if you want, but don't complain when the majority of the Hyperion attendees at Collaborate are other Hyperion partners who made the same mistake.

December 19, 2009

EPM Connection New Jersey - Update

This is an update to my posting from last month on the first of the EPM Connection regional conferences (also known by the easy to remember name "OAUG Connection Point - Enterprise Performance Management" regional conferences). It looks like this conference will definitely be

February 23-24, 2010 at the Hyatt Regency
The dates are definite now (there was some slight confusion before). It's definitely Feb. 23-24 in Jersey City, NJ. The host hotel is the Hyatt Regency in Jersey City. Right now, rooms are blocked at the conference rate for $139/night until the room block is filled. To find more about the conference lodging, visit

Educational Content
Some of the sessions are already approved and posted on the EPM Connection website. (No, I'm not one of the pre-approved speakers, Mom.) Here is the presentation list as of December 19, 2009:
  • "Upgrading HFM to Fusion 11.x — Introduction to New Functionality and Upgrade Considerations" by Rob Cybulski from Finit
  • Converting from Hyperion Enterprise to HFM: Design Considerations and Best Practices" by Rob Cybulski from Finit
  • "Global insurer, Marsh and McLennan, moves Long-Range Strategic Plan to Hyperion Strategic Finance from spreadsheet models" by Tom Gibbons from Marsh & McLennan with Hanyul Lee from Bluestone
  • "I Know How to Spell HSF … Now What? The Hyperion Product You Never Realized You Always Needed and Probably Already Own" by Jay Laabs from Bluestone
  • "Oracle EPM 11 system administration — under the covers!" by Eric Helmer from Hackett
  • "Achieving a Common Goal: Creating an Oracle EPM Center of Excellence" by Laura Gregor from Pearson
  • Validating Your Financial Information Using Financial Data Quality Management (FDM)" by Laura Gregor from Pearson
It's interesting to note that of the 7 presentations selected so far, 2 are on HFM, 2 are on HSF, 1 is on FDM, 1 is high-level on EPM, and 1 is very techie-level on EPM. What we don't see are any presentations on Hyperion Planning or Essbase, the two best selling Oracle EPM products. I'm somewhat surprised they didn't preselect any in these categories.

There will eventually be 35+ presentations (not sure if this includes the vendor presentations or not) so I'm guessing this is just a temporary scheduling quirk. The deadline for abstract submission was December 15, and when the rest of the presentations are selected, we'll have a better idea of the product coverage of the conference.

With the exception of Eric's (which really doesn't seem to fit with the above sessions), all of the above also seem to be very introductory presentations. Again, I'm not sure if this is a temporary quirk or if it's the aim of the conference to have more beginner-level content.

We only have 2 months to the conference, and since the schedule's not posted yet, time is rapidly running out for people to determine if they want to go and then register to do so. To help make it easier to get approval in this short time frame, the nice people at OAUG have made the cost of the conference an affordable $495 (if you register by February 16). After that date, the rate goes up to $595 for what is basically an on-site registration rate.

You'll notice that the rate of $495 doesn't go up until a week before the conference. In my opinion, this is bad for the conference organizers, because they really won't have any idea of the expected conference attendance until a week or two before the conference. People will procrastinate until February, because they really don't have any incentive to sign up early.

Because people will be signing up at nearly the last moment, I expect attendance numbers to be minimal until February. Correspondingly, don't be surprised if the conference organizers get spooked when they see those very low pre-enrollment numbers and start doing things like offering discounts. Note that I have no actual knowledge that this will happen (I'm no longer involved with the OAUG Hyperion SIG), it makes logical sense.

If you want to be a kind soul and sign up now to give them a better idea of their conference size, stop procrastinating and visit this link:

More Information
If you want to stay abreast about the conference, bookmark the following link:

They seem to be updating it very regularly. It's actually changed since the beginning of this week, so make sure you check it frequently. Assuming I get a presentation selected, I will be at "EPM Connection NJ," so if you're going, I'll see you there.