Operational Transfer Pricing in Oracle EPM: The OTP Journey Continues – Leveraging Oracle EPM Planning
Our journey is close to its end! When we started our blog series together, we introduced Operational Transfer Pricing (OTP) and some of the key challenges. We then navigated our way through the complex calculation requirements and how they can be modeled in PCMCS by first investigating key dimensional structures and then building Rule Sets and Rules. Finally, we looked at how we can deliver on the Reporting expectations of OTP. In this blog, we are going to look at one of the “supporting” applications that we introduced in our first blog, Oracle EPM Planning.
Why Oracle EPM Planning?
For those who aren’t familiar, Oracle EPM Planning provides a friendly, structured set of processes to help organizations easily build and maintain plans in the Oracle EPM Cloud platform. With that said, we aren’t going to use Oracle EPM Planning in the way that you are most likely expecting. Although we can and do use EPM Planning as a source of plan data, we can also deploy EPM Planning applications within our OTP solutions to work around difficult, and sometimes key, OTP requirements. PCMCS is an incredibly powerful tool with incredible calculation management and execution functionality, but it does have its limitations (for now, at least). Fortunately, with Oracle’s Enterprise licensing, we can utilize Oracle EPM Planning to deliver on the following functionality:
- Create Web Forms – using Oracle EPM Planning, we can create data input forms that can be leveraged to assist large organizations in the capture of input data required by the OTP process in a controlled and secure manner. Through this mechanism, we can not only ensure that users input data at the correct intersection but can track who has entered data and, just as importantly, who has not. We can also use these forms for review and sign-off purposes as a control for the PCMCS calculations.
- Create WorkFlows – with Work Flows in Oracle EPM Planning, we can facilitate user navigation of the required actions. This includes, inputting, reviewing, and approving input data required by the OTP process and then in the review and finalization of the charges prior to posting of journals to the General Ledger(s).
- Essbase BSO applications – in certain scenarios, having access to a BSO application(s), with its associated calculation functionality, is beneficial in delivering difficult custom logic that, for example, can be required by data entry and journal preparation.
- Dashboards! – Oracle recently released new Dashboards onto the EPM Platform that can be utilized within an Oracle EPM Planning application. In addition, Oracle Analytics can connect directly to Oracle EPM Planning applications to make truly amazing interactive dashboards. These dashboards can be leveraged to further enhance OTP reporting capabilities.
Oracle EPM Planning and PCMCS, Better Together!
Although it can come across as strange having separate applications for data input and review (Oracle EPM Planning), and the management and execution of OTP calculations (PCMCS), it is appropriate with how these tasks are executed and their respective user bases are defined. If we think back to our original blog, we identified a high-level five-step process for our OTP solution:
When we take a small step back from the above process it becomes clear that the users who are responsible for the inputting of source data (step 1 and 2) and reviewing, publishing, and invoicing the results (step 5) are often different users than those who are responsible for the execution of the OTP calculations (step 3 and 4). This is especially true in large, multinational organizations.
It, therefore, can make sense for us to have an application dedicated to a large but specific group of users for data entry and reporting purposes in Oracle EPM Planning (the steps high lighted in green) and a dedicated application for a smaller group of users who are going to be maintaining and executing the OTP calculations in PCMCS (the steps highlighted in blue). This separation ensures that we are utilizing the Oracle EPM applications for their best strengths, while, at the same time, giving users access to what they care most about.
In this blog, we introduced how Oracle EPM Planning can be leveraged to take our OTP Solution to truly deliver a world-class solution. Although PCMCS is an amazing tool, introducing Oracle EPM Planning into our solution provides us with the following high-level benefits:
- Separation of user communities responsible for entering and reviewing data (Oracle EPM Planning) and executing calculations (PCMCS).
- A mechanism for controlled and secure distributed data input through Oracle EPM Planning Webforms and Workflow.
- A mechanism for the review and approval of invoice amounts prior to the journal preparation process.
- A mechanism for dispute resolution should invoice amounts be challenged.
- Advanced reporting capabilities with little or no downtime due to the process of calculations in the solution.
In the next and final blog of this series, we are going to look into the integration side of our solution, specifically Enterprise Data Management Cloud Service (EDMCS) for dimension metadata integration and management, and EPM Integration Agent and Cloud Data Management (CDM) for data integration.
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