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Extensible Dimensionality – The Differentiator

Corporate Performance Management vendors come in two flavors: those that offer multiple products and sell them as an “integrated” solution, and those that tout a “unified” product but really require multiple applications. Oracle®/Hyperion® is a good example of the multi-product vendor, while SAP Business Objects Planning and ConsolidationsTM/OutlookSoft® is a good example of the unified vendor. Who’s right? Or are they both wrong?

Hyperion built separate systems for consolidations (Hyperion Financial ManagementTM) and budgeting (Hyperion PlanningTM) for a really good reason. Actuals are sacred! The thought of anyone messing with the system at the wrong time by changing metadata, interrupting consolidations, or impacting actuals to accommodate a budgeting process would be unheard of.

OutlookSoft introduced a “unified” system where actuals and budget were all in one product. However, actuals are still sacred and they have no ability to maintain unique metadata between actual and budget in the same system. Because actuals are sacred, the vast majority of organizations are forced to build multiple applications for consolidations and budgeting. Ultimately they both suffered for the same reason. Deploying multiple products or building multiple applications forces additional integrations, validations and reconciliations between applications in order to compare actual vs. budget. These processes are complex, time-consuming, extremely costly, and contain so many moving parts that errors are unavoidable.

OneStream XF’s Extensible DimensionalityTM attacks this business problem on two fronts. First, any business unit can produce statutory consolidations and management reporting at different levels of detail than their corporate office requires, without affecting the sanctity of actual consolidations. Second, these same business units can budget/plan at unique and relevant levels of detail than the corporate budget requires, again, in the same application and without affecting the sanctity of actual consolidations.

In other words, Extensible Dimensionality allows for a standard corporate chart of accounts and dimensions that can be extended both for actuals, to allow for more detailed management reporting, and then again for budget, to allow for a more relevant budgeting process, all in the same application. Because our corporate structure always remains intact, there is no concern when a business unit extends an account or dimension (e.g. product, customer or region) because corporate actuals are never impacted.

The other benefit of Extensible Dimensionality is that actual and budget always compare. Because the corporate standard chart of accounts and dimensions are not changed when business users extend these dimensions for their unique needs, these extended accounts and dimensions always roll up to the standard. This means that there is never a need to integrate, validate, or reconcile data or metadata between products or applications to compare actual vs. budget. We have effectively eliminated 90% of the complexities of a CPM implementation and deployment while delivering a system that is easier to learn, use and maintain.

xd-diagram An example of how Extensible Dimensionality can be used by business units to extend a single account’s definition, yet still roll back up to the corporate standard.


Craig Colby

Craig was a founder of UpStream Software in January of 2000 and an original founder of OneStream Software. Craig has a Finance education and background, however, his passion is communicating value to customers. The key to delivering 100% customer success starts with effectively setting expectations with regards to the product, solutions, support and services. He has a passion for working with financial applications that combine ease of ownership, maintenance and use with the power to solve any complexity. Craig is committed to an organizational culture that makes it easy for customers and partners to do business with OneStream. He knows if you do business with OneStream, you will receive the attention and support you need to deliver success.