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EPM system and role of EPM consultant

ERP and EPM are the buzz words in IT industry and most of the people in IT, not working on Oracle, SAP like product suits wants to hear more whenever they get a chance.

As a part of Oracle EPM community when we are asked about which technology (JAVA, Mainframe, .NET etc.) are you from and when we replied that we are oracle EPM consultant the next question is what is EPM and what type of consultant(most buzzed word) you are? Do you also involved in coding or you are part of strategy/consultant team or its purely part of an IT work.

So to explain these queries, first we need to understand EPM & EPM systems and then roles and responsibilities of EPM consultants.

EPM is Enterprise Performance Management which company implement as part of their IT information system which helps organizations to have better performance. It also helps management to better manage and achieve organizational goals such as Mission, Vision, execution of defined objectives and their quantitative analysis. Below are the various benefits related to use of EPM tools:

  1. It helps in improving financial planning, budgeting and forecasting and reduces manual excel work and hence reduce risk related to manual intervention.

  2. Reduced time and efforts and hence better resource utilization and profitability

  3. Faster and more reliable deliverables

EPM system is part of information technology system of an organization which helps in managing their business cycles by inclining their business goals and long term objectives to detailed and improved latest planning, budgeting and forecasting data. It also improve the reporting and analysis processes to track performances of various departments. It also helps in improving the business close cycles by enhancing the methodologies, standardizing the processes and related artifacts and automating few of the close cycle related activities.

ERP system is Enterprise Resource Planning system which helps organization in streamlining, standardizing and automating high volume transactional business data. So ERP system is not helpful in managing the business process. EPM system use ERP system as their base to see the data relevant for higher management. So we can say that EPM system is implemented on and above ERP system. Few example of ERP system is PeopleSoft, Oracle Financials, SAP ERP systems etc. Example of EPM systems are Oracle Hyperion suits related products, IBM Cognos etc.

Role of EPM Consultant:

EPM consultant work starts with identifying the existing system of financial planning and consolidation and also to gather the pain points in existing system. Post this EPM consultant analyses the as-Is systems, do the GAP analysis and suggest the EPM system best fitted for the organization. They also customize the EPM product based on the requirement and based on existing systems of the organizations.

During requirement gathering stage they consult related department heads and business user for requirement gathering to know the hierarchal structure (Metadata) and format to convert transactional data into input for their EPM system. Post requirement gathering stage, they do the design of to-be system in consultation with architect. Post this stage they also involved with the coding/development stage to let developer understand the requirement correctly. Once system is developed, we deploy it into development / quality environment. As consultant has better understanding of actual requirement gathered so it's better if consultant perform the functional testing.

Text Box: •	Functional design of the system related to all the artifacts needed for the Hyperion system such as 
ü	Mapping and integration between various Hyperion systems, 
ü	Design of metadata, data, rules, web forms etc. 
•	They work with Architect to design the system
Text Box: •	Analyses the as-Is systems, 
•	Do the GAP analysis,
•	suggest the EPM system best fitted for the organization
•	Do the functional requirement gathering with respect of artifacts of Hyperion system




Text Box: •	Involved with the coding/development stage to let developer understand the requirement correctly. Text Box: •	As consultant has better understanding of actual requirement gathered so it's better if consultant perform the functional testing.

Once all above stages get completed we move to application go live with migrating the application to production environment with support of all development and testing team. Post go live, EPM consultant role is over as technical team take the lead and support the system in warranty period as well as in future.

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