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Hyperion Upgrade – Don’t try this at home!

Upgrading from one version of Oracle Hyperion Financial Management to a more recent version is a big job and takes extensive planning as well as in-depth technical knowledge to accomplish. Can one do it oneself? I suppose so, but it will take time and a lot of reading before you should tackle a project like that. It would help if you had previous experience doing Hyperion upgrades. It would also be much easier if you had a team of Hyperion experts working for you. Not part of your budget? Keep reading. To illustrate the complexity of performing a Hyperion Upgrade, consider the following scenario: Let’s say you need to upgrade from Hyperion Release 9.2.1 up to Release 9.3.3. To borrow an old axiom we’ve all heard before – ‘you can’t get there from here.’ If you must have Release 9.3.3, you must start from Release 9.3.1. But, coming from version 9.2.1, how do you get to 9.3.1? This is a common situation that many organizations face, and often have older versions because they lack the resources to perform all the necessary steps. Oracle provides extensive System Release Guides for each new release that describe the steps or processes that must be followed before you can move to the desired release. The example we are considering is upgrading 9.2.1 to 9.3.1 and then 9.3.1 to 9.3.3, so we must start with the various components that make up our 9.2.1 release. There are about a dozen different modules that make up 9.2.1, but for this example we are focusing on Hyperion Financial Management (HFM). Our version of HFM will include the following components: Data Quality Management, Reporting, SmartView for Office, Essbase, Planning, and Oracle Data Integrator (ODI).Each of these components will have to be evaluated to determine how they should be upgraded and mapped to Release 9.3.1 before we can move the HFM functionality forward. Yes, this is a tedious and time consuming process; and yes, it would be great to have experience with the process before attempting it. The Hyperion Upgrade steps must followed a second time to then upgrade from 9.3.1 to 9.3.3.

Alternatives to DIY Upgrades

Performing a Hyperion Upgrade is definitely not for amateurs; it is not even for experienced IT professionals if they don’t have substantial technical experience with Hyperion. Most Hyperion upgrades are more like a complete reinstallation of the software, but with more complexities to consider since you will be dealing with a live, production system. So what alternatives does one have to perform an upgrade? Three come to mind immediately. First, you can call a certified Oracle Hyperion consulting organization. Second, you can, if you are brave, attempt the upgrade yourself. Third, you can hand your Hyperion application over to a qualified third-party hosting service and let them take care of all that for you. This post is about the benefits and advantages of working with a qualified hosting partner that will oversee your Hyperion environment, including – help, guidance and support with upgrades. To handle the complexities of Hyperion, you need a partner that provides an enterprise-class infrastructure along with the services necessary to manage the entire landscape. The daily services needed to maintain a healthy Hyperion environment include: • scheduled backups, • patching, • monitoring, • alarming, • disaster recovery, • high availability systems, • and access to experts. You may not need every service your hosting partner has to offer, but if they provide an ‘a-la-carte’ portfolio of services from which to choose, you can select the ones that meet your needs at a predictable and reasonable cost.

Hyperion Hosting in a Private Cloud

Additionally, with cloud computing established now as a reliable, secure, and affordable medium for Hyperion, the future is bright for those companies wanting to take advantage of this growing service. Oracle recently released a major upgrade of its Hyperion suite – the second major release since being acquired by Oracle in 2007. Oracle’s latest release is Hyperion 11.1.2.1. Although this is a multiple dot release, which typically means that it is a minor upgrade; this new Enterprise Performance version has a lot of new functionality, features and modules that make it a major release. The decision to upgrade often rests on the analysis of three significant categories: infrastructure, support and functionality. Of course support, or the lack thereof, is also a major consideration and motivation pushing companies to upgrade. Some organizations believe that sticking with an older version saves time and money because they believe ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix-it’. However, with software the opposite is often the case. Since older software has fewer and fewer fixes or enhancements coming out from the manufacturer, the older version are usually underperforming and lacking needed features. Not to mention they are often very delicate and can crash at any time.

Improved Functionality

This brings us to the last category, and that is functionality. This category offers the most compelling reasons to upgrade. The promise of new capabilities, more flexibility, and better reliability makes it easier to develop a business case, especially if the company thinks the upgraded system will help them outperform the competition. According to Juan Porter, President of TopDown Consulting, the most noteworthy features in Hyperion 11.1.2.2 are as follows: • Greater detail with custom or configurable dimensions • User interface updates which offer a richer, Web 2.1 experience • Automated account reconciliations with the new Account Reconciliation Manager • Cohesive and flexible planning that includes Predictive Planning and Project Planning Module. • Packaged Dashboard add dynamic reporting capabilities and on-the-go access to data

Hosting Hyperion with a Capable Partner

This newest release of Hyperion is a major step beyond earlier version, but upgrading to this version will be complex.  If you are currently supporting Hyperion yourself with internal resources, perhaps it is time to consider the tremendous benefits that are available through qualified managed hosting partners. If you have been running Hyperion in-house, upgrading to release 11 may be an opportune time to outsource Hyperion into a managed hosting environment. Adopting a managed hosting model enables your in-house IT department to focus on strategy rather than infrastructure and address pressing business challenges rather than jumping over technical roadblocks.