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Three Things You Might Not Know About EDM

Published April 7 2022
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Well, spring is underway, summer is rapidly approaching, and here at Alithya, we just started our new fiscal year on April 1. Perhaps I’m being a bit sentimental, but all of this makes me want to reflect on my favorite EPM Cloud product - Oracle Enterprise Data Management (EDM) – and how far the product has evolved since its initial release in early 2018.

To that end, in this blog, I’d like to focus on three things you might not know about EDM (or perhaps knew but forgot about, or maybe heard but didn’t believe). So here we go!

EDM Integrates with Non-Oracle Applications

While EDM integrates nicely with Oracle EPM and ERP Cloud products (e.g., Cloud GL, Financial Consolidation & Close, Freeform and Enterprise Planning) thanks to the out-of-the-box application adapters, that doesn’t mean that is all EDM can do. By using the Universal Adapter, EDM can integrate with practically any non-Oracle system as well.

The Universal Adapter can be thought of as a free form palette from which you can paint a variety of colorful solutions. Specify the application parameters (dimensions and attributes), seed the dimensions from other EDM applications, external systems, or files, and you can quickly be up and running. Key EDM features such as approval policies, collaboration, and subscriptions work with Universal Adapter applications just like they do Packaged Adapter applications. At Alithya, we have used Universal applications to integrate EDM with systems such as SAP, PeopleSoft, and Workday, and with relational data stores such as staging databases and data warehouses.

Additionally:

  • With Extracts, you can create customized exports of master data structures in the format the target application requires. Multiple file formats are available along with filtering, custom header/footer records, run-time parameters, and pivoting.
  • In some cases, last-mile integration will be required for the target application to consume the EDM content, but with extracts, EDM can now produce output that is very close to what the target requires.

With Global Connections, you can land the content from your Universal application to EPM Cloud, ERP Cloud, or Oracle Object Storage (or local file if needed).

EDM Integrates with On-Premise Applications

Along a similar vein, EDM not only integrates with Cloud applications, but with on-premise targets as well. At Alithya, we have been able to integrate EDM with local staging databases and data warehouses, on-premise ERPs, and on-premise Hyperion applications such as HFM, Essbase, and Planning (and even DRM!).

Why is this important? Because ground-to-cloud conversions often occur in phases where a set of on-premise applications must be actively maintained while another set of on-premise applications is being lifted to the Cloud. EDM can support both concurrently to ensure integrity, consistency, and alignment of master data structures while providing the data governance controls and auditability across all master data changes.

EDM Supports Two Types of Implementation Patterns

EDM utilizes a decentralized, application-centric, and purpose-built architecture which means EDM is designed to have multiple applications (e.g., “containers”), each of which is specifically configured for the target application it supports and nothing else. This nicely aligns with what Oracle refers to as a “data first” strategy that is so important for organizations to embrace in these uncertain times by providing more agile and flexible reporting based on the characteristics of each application.

But within this architecture, two implementation patterns emerge that are both effective: peer-to-peer and master-deployment.

Peer-to-Peer

With this type of implementation pattern, an EDM deployment will include several purpose-built applications that operate in a peer-to-peer network approach. There is no single master application and the “data first” strategy is supported. However, a specific EDM application can also be designated the “lead” or primary application for a given dimension, while the other applications listen to and subscribe to changes made in the primary application. For another dimension, a different EDM application might be the primary.

Think of it was an interconnected set of parts, which are organized to interact with each other in an intelligent fashion. This approach works very effectively by leveraging the decentralized and purpose-built aspects of EDM, while still allowing sharing of changes to common hierarchies and other master data structures for consistency.

Master Deployment

A second type of implementation pattern, that also works very well, is a “master” application approach. A single master application is designated as the centralized source of changes. The vast majority of master data changes, along with data governance controls and workflow, occur here. Purpose-built deployment applications still exist but subscribe to changes made to the master so that common hierarchy changes are consistently shared. Application-specific changes (e.g., updates to an alternate hierarchy or target-specific attributes) occur in the deployment applications, along with any data governance and enrichment workflow (if required).

This “hub and spoke” approach is effective when needing to establish a centralized, data governance engine in EDM, with deployment applications hanging off the hub and receiving only the master data changes they care about.

Note:  What is interesting is that EDM can operate effectively with a variation of this pattern for situations where the ERP is the “system of record”, not EDM. If master data changes (e.g., changes to your GL chart of account segment values) originate in your ERP, they can be loaded into EDM in some type of staging and/or master application. Additional workflow and enrichment can then occur in EDM, along with subscriptions to synchronize common changes, so that EDM becomes the master data hub from that point forward.

Summary

That’s all for this edition, and I hope this either reminds you of the capabilities of EDM or perhaps sparks an idea of how EDM can be further utilized in your current cloud initiatives. There is not always a single “right” answer as you move forward in your cloud journey, but with the flexibility EDM offers along with a trusted advisor like Alithya, we can help make your journey a better one!  Until next time...

For comments, questions, or suggestions for future topics, please reach out to us at infosolutions@alithya.com.  Visit our blog regularly for new posts about Cloud updates and other Oracle Cloud Services such as Planning and Budgeting, Financial Consolidation, Account Reconciliation, and Enterprise Data Management.  Follow Alithya on social media for the latest information about EPM, ERP, HCM, and Analytics solutions to meet your business needs.