Comparing Oracle On-Premises and Cloud Profitability and Cost Management Solutions: PCMCS versus HPC

As we mentioned in our previous blog entry, “How to Profit from Using Oracle Profitability and Cost Management Cloud Service (PCMCS),” Oracle announced the development of Profitability and Cost Management Cloud Service (PCMCS) during Oracle OpenWorld in September 2016 as the software-as-a-service (SaaS) replacement for its on-premises Oracle Hyperion Profitability and Cost Management (HPCM) solution. Since then, PCMCS has become a great tool to analyze costs, revenue and profitability.

We often receive questions about the similarities and differences between PCMCS and HPCM, and the intent of this blog post is to provide a high-level response to these inquiries.

Front-End and Visualization Differences

When you log into the PCMCS cloud solution, the first thing you notice will be the simplified interface, which is now standard in all the other Oracle EPM Cloud offerings:

Compared with the on-premises HPCM Workspace, PCMCS offers the more modern interface:

PCMCS also provides improved analysis functionality in the “Intelligence” cluster, including Analysis Views; Scatter Analyses; Profit Curves; Trace Allocations; and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).  The image below includes an example of the “Trace Allocations” functionality:

In addition, PCMCS supports graphical reporting and dashboards to more easily analyze corporate performance:

Finally, PCMCS integrates with Financial Reporting Web Studio for improved financial and managerial reporting and analysis.

Database Design Differences

At first glance, HPCM offer some unique capabilities in terms of application types and modeling that aren’t available in the cloud…but these aren’t a big deal when you get into the details.

For example, HPCM provides a “Standard Profitability” application type, which is used for highly complex allocation models, especially where indirect costs play a major role. HPCM leverages the Essbase calculation (BSO) and reporting (ASO) database models to do this. HPCM also offers a “Detailed Profitability” application type, which is used in the case where allocation logic is straightforward, but the metadata and data are huge. This application type provides a single allocation process to analyze profit and cost. Since it is an on-premises application, customers control the server side. They, therefore, have the flexibility to create multiple applications.

From a cloud perspective, PCMCS provides a “Management Ledger” application type, which combines the “Standard” and “Detailed” application types. It is used for medium allocation complexity, and high metadata and data granularity allocation models. In reality, this allocation process supports the whole planning and budgeting process, so a single allocation application (which could be perceived as a shortcoming initially) is efficient enough to achieve most business requirements.

General Oracle Cloud Considerations

PCMCS is a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution. Obviously, this means it doesn’t require any infrastructure investment and Oracle takes care of the server and patching service for customers; however, Oracle sets some basic limitations for EPM Cloud applications. For PCMCS, these include the following items, which we don’t believe present any issues based on our experience at Performance Architects with implementing the solution.

First, PCMCS offers a Test and Production environment per service instance, with each environment providing 150GB of storage and space for one application.

Second, PCMCS maintains these dimensionality limits:

  1. 14 dimensions in total

  2. 1 to 4 POV dimensions (Period, Year, Scenario, and Version)

  3. 1 to 11 business dimensions (such as Account, Entity, Product, etc.)

  4. 2 system dimensions (Balance and Rule dimensions)

  5. Each dimension can have maximum 100k members

  6. Each attribute dimension can have maximum 500 members

  7. Each application can have maximum 300k members

Third, PCMCS maintains these rules limits:

  1. Each application can have maximum 5000 rules

  2. Each application can have maximum of 10 billion potential cells of the source range

  3. Each application can have maximum 1 trillion potential cells of destination

  4. 1GB maximum file size per upload

On the other hand, PCMCS comes with some benefits as an Oracle EPM Cloud solution, which include:

  1. Integrates with Data Management Cloud Service (DMCS) for enhanced data integration and governance

  2. Provides application management and metadata loads

  3. Offers simple calculation execution

  4. Integrates with EPM Automate for better system administration

I hope you enjoyed this comparison of PCMCS and HPCM. Please feel free to email us here if you are interested in learning more or if you would like to see a PCMCS implementation case study.

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