11 years ago, UpStream Software changed the face of data integration with its simple, yet powerful user friendly data transformation tool known as UpStream WebLink. Two acquisitions and over a decade later, and the former niche product of Upstream WebLink has morphed into a world class data integration option known as Financial Data Quality Management (FDM) & Enterprise Resource Planning Integrator (ERPi).
While FDM and its capabilities are well known, the introduction of the ERPi module has revolutionized how organizations approach data integration with their Oracle EPM suite of products. So what exactly is ERPi? I’m glad you asked.
At a 50,000 foot level, ERPi is a new product in the Fusion edition (126.96.36.199+) of the EPM suite that allows data to be sourced directly from Oracle eBusiness Suite (eBS) and PeopleSoft ERP systems using the powerful and proven technology of Oracle Data Integrator (ODI). No complex SQL queries to write, no FTP process to move flat files – ERPi hooks directly into the source system, retrieves the data, transforms to the EPM dimensionality and then loads to the EPM application. From an end user perspective, this entire process is controlled from the familiar Oracle/Hyperion Workspace (or FDM – more on this in a moment) webpage.
While this alone could easily have one saying “Ooh and Aah”, the truly amazing feature that ERPi provides is the ability to drill through from the Oracle EPM application (or even a report!) back to the transactional detail within the ERP system. Gone are the days of seeing a number and wondering what makes up that amount. With ERPi, a user right clicks and drills down to the details in the ledger. Want to see the journal details that make up the trial balance amount? No problem, double click the balance and the ledger displays the detail. I want to highlight that this entire process is self contained. As a user, I log into 1 system – there is no need to look at a number on a report, open up the ERP system, run a transaction/function to try to find the balances that comprise the value displaying on the report. With ERPi, data investigation is seamless.
So if all of this is available through Workspace, the next question is, where/how does FDM fit into this new integration process? FDM can be used in conjunction with ERPi to further leverage the capabilities that make FDM valuable to the data integration process. The following out of the box functionality of FDM can further enhance the ERPi data integration process to:
Finally, while the ERPi process can be automated using JAVA, this requires a bit more programming experience. The FDM batch loader provides an elegant, proven, out of the box automation solution for data integration.
As noted above, ERPi is currently enabled for the Oracle eBS & PeopleSoft ERP systems. JD Edwards is currently on the roadmap as is SAP R3 & ECC. The goal is to continue to extend to more ledgers and sources. If this technology is something that would benefit your organization (I can’t honestly think of any reason why it wouldn’t), I strongly encourage you to explore its usage and value add in your organization.