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EPBCS Deployment Considerations [Part 1]

Implementing a new financial planning suite introduces unfamiliar technologies and tools, and often significant changes to the planning processes as well. A solid change program is needed to ensure all stakeholders are engaged and capable of a smooth transition. Change management starts with executive sponsorship, but other key components are user training, communication plans, governance and change control, and a sustaining support plan. These are the pillars supporting a successful deployment. In Part 1 of this blog post I will cover change management and training, as well as upgrades and maintenance.

Change Management
Standing up Oracle EPBCS instances can be done in a matter of hours; going live will almost certainly require a change management program. Change management should begin early and cover all aspects of training, solution design, development, testing, and rollout. Typical activities include:

  • Product demonstrations
  • Solution prototypes
  • Conference room pilots
  • Townhalls
  • User training
  • Administration and user guides

Education and Training
The EPBCS homepage includes an “Academy” cluster which leads to product documentation and pre-recorded videos on many aspects of the service. Videos are minutes in duration and are included with EPBCS at no extra cost. They are accessible by all users.

Oracle - Guide to Oracle Cloud: 5 Steps to Ensure a Successful Move to the Cloud
Guide to Oracle Cloud: 5 Steps to Ensure a Successful Move to the Cloud

Explore key considerations, integrating the cloud with legacy applications and challenges of current cloud implementations.

Get the Guide

In September 2016, Oracle introduced the Oracle Planning and Budgeting Cloud Learning Subscription to provide a deeper dive into the core features of PBCS. The paid subscription is an online-only “bootcamp” for anyone seeking to ramp up on Oracle Planning and Budgeting
Cloud (PBCS). Oracle updates the learning subscription for new features and product enhancements as they become available.

Much like the Oracle University Live Virtual Class (LVC) for Hyperion Planning, the PBCS learning subscription helps users gain a solid foundation in the Oracle Planning and Budgeting Cloud technology, architecture, features, functionality, and business processes. The lectures cover creating applications, configuring components, integrating with other Oracle Cloud and on-premises applications, testing, and maintenance.

Upgrades and Maintenance
One of the biggest drawbacks of Oracle on-premises software has been the difficulty of sustaining the application over time. Common challenges have ranged from instability caused by Windows hotfixes, lack of cross-platform operability, difficult patch and roll back
process, and the effort required to perform release upgrades.

Oracle’s EPM Cloud platform turns these hardware/software challenges into a moot point. Upgrades to EPBCS are performed monthly and labeled YYYY.MM. Upgrades are announced via email to all EPBCS administrators on record, and a PDF attachment is included describing what’s new.

In practice, upgrades are applied by Oracle to a customer’s Development instance on the first Friday of the month. Customers have two weeks to perform regression testing. By default, Oracle will apply the upgrade to the Production instance on the third Friday of the month, unless instructed by the customer to postpone.

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Tony Coffman

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