Oracle Hyperion Data Relationship Management

Rahul Kamath from Oracle kindly did an analyst briefing recently for Hub Designs, to fill us in on the details and progress of Oracle Hyperion Data Relationship Management, or DRM as it’s widely called.

Rahul is the Director of Product Management at Oracle for DRM. I’ve known him for several years, since my days at D&B managing its strategic alliance with Oracle.

Oracle’s Hyperion DRM product evolved from Oracle’s acquisition of Hyperion, and in turn from a product called Razza that Hyperion acquired in 2005. Hyperion DRM manages and streamlines the process of synchronizing master data changes among complex hierarchical structures across enterprise systems.

It is primarily used in “financial master data management” (MDM) and “analytical MDM”. Oracle’s target customer for DRM is the largest, most complex companies.

Hyperion DRM is particularly useful when a company has to manage multiple financial systems. I talked to a potential client today that was using DRM to bring together, map and consolidate 20 different general ledger systems. They went live in May 2010, and were able to reduce the number of different GLs from 35 down to 20, which significantly streamlined their financial processes and dramatically reduced the amount of manual work involved in consolidating their results every month.

One thing that was interesting, according to Rahul, is that 40% of DRM’s customer base is in the financial services industry, with large customers such as Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, and Wells Fargo.

Also, 30% of DRM customers have some SAP financials in their enterprise architectures.

Another big industry vertical is oil & gas, with customers such as Halliburton and Baker Hughes. This shouldn’t be surprising, I suppose, as the oil & gas industry has some of the most complex reporting requirements I have ever come across in my career.

DRM can be used for more than just financial hierarchy management, too.  Lockheed Martin is using it as an enterprise-wide Supplier Hub, so that all new suppliers that are onboarded are brought on through DRM.

In the high tech industry, companies like Dell, Google, NetApp, Symantec, Logitech and Xerox are all customers as well. Overall, Oracle has over 230 customers for DRM worldwide across all industries.

Oracle released a new version in May 2010 that is now browser-based and can run in-memory on the server, dramatically increasing performance. It handles Unicode and multi-byte characters, and runs in 64 bits, allowing essentially unlimited size models.

The MDM data model provides for inheritance and derived attribution, and has a strong versioning model, including “what if” analysis for potential changes.

Oracle’s customers seem to be using Hyperion DRM to react to an increasingly complex business environment, where they have to integrate and management dozens of general ledgers and other financial systems with corporate consolidation tools, business intelligence platforms, data warehouses, budgeting systems, multi-dimensional databases, allocation systems, etc.

DRM allows them to manage hierarchies, dimensions, business rules, mappings, and validations, and it enforces referential integrity across all subscribing systems and hierarchies, while maintaining historical versions for comparative reporting and analysis, and tracking all hierarchy and attribute changes with a full-featured audit log.

I understand from talking with several Oracle MDM salespeople in the field that Hyperion DRM is proving to be very popular with customers, and that there is a lot of interest in it from companies with heterogeneous IT environments as a way to “bring order to chaos”. In a way, it has been a bit of a sleeper product within Oracle’s MDM portfolio, but it looks like it’s finally being recognized as the solid piece of technology that it really is. And in Rahul Kamath, Oracle has put one of their best product managers on the job of managing its future.

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