kscope17logo-pngmJoin TopDown, our thought leaders, and your peers at ODTUG Kscope17 in San Antonio, Texas, June 25-29, 2017.

This year TopDown is presenting nine sessions, three with clients, on EPM topics ranging from case studies, project management, hybrid cloud approaches, transitioning to the cloud, and “how to” get the most out of your solution. We will post dates and times for these sessions as soon as they are available.

If you’re planning to attend, visit us at Booth #605 for kettle corn and to write on our interactive booth.

We look forward to saying hello in San Antonio.

TopDown Sessions

This year, our team will be presenting the below nine sessions.

Extreme Calc Manager
Ludovic De Paz and Ron Moore

Calc Manager is at the center of Oracle’s EPM suite. It’s the place to develop logic for Essbase, HFM, and Planning on-premise or in the Cloud. It’s chock full of advanced features and it’s quite a task to master all of them. That’s where we come in. Join Ludovic De Paz, TopDown Consulting Senior Manager, and Ron Moore, TopDown Consulting Solutions Architect, for a deep dive into some of the more advanced features of Calc Manager.We will focus on features that save time and/or allow developers to do things they otherwise couldn’t do and explore:

  • how to take advantage of Calc Manager’s modular nature to develop rules and rule sets quickly and benefit from reusability
  • all types of variables and some advanced variable tricks
  • how to troubleshoot using the debugger, error messages and logs (especially with the Cloud)
  • how to use Custom Defined Templates to adapt your rules to different outlines and applications
  • how to use Custom Defined Functions

This session promises to satisfy the most geeky of you and with several real life stories and demos you will be able to take your Business Rules to the next level.

View Abstract Jun 26, 2017
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Session 3
Elevating Your Workforce Planning Solution to the Cloud
Nick Blazosky and Juan Porter

Thinking about elevating your organization’s Workforce Planning Solution? Want to see a detailed demo of the capabilities of the latest version Oracle Enterprise Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service (EPBCS) SWP (Strategic Workforce Planning) and Workforce planning modules? What has changed since the days of deployment in on-premise and how can you be leveraging the enhanced functionality for your organization? Learn the differences between an on-premise deployment and strategies for getting you to the Cloud in no time. The demo will have a unique San Antonio twist to get you in the spirit of being in the heart of South Texas. Join seasoned WFP architects and KSCOPE speakers Ludovic De Paz and San Antonio native Nicholas Blazosky for this informative deep dive into the newly enhanced word of Workforce.
View Abstract Jun 26, 2017
4:45 pm – 5:45 pm
Session 5
Handling Textual Data in Planning and Essbase—A Starbucks Case Study
Juan Porter and Rhonda Brigham (Starbucks)

Handling text data in a Hyperion Planning application is relatively easy and straightforward. Planning metadata is stored in a relational database. This textual information is accessible via web forms, HFR, and Smart View out-of-the-box. On the other hand, managing and reporting on text data is not quite as simple in the Essbase technology. Essbase handles dates and smart lists but can’t handles freeform text values. The situation is further complicated by the fact that your smart lists need to be synchronized between Planning and Essbase for the data transfer to be accurate. In this session, Juan Porter, TopDown Consulting, and Rhonda Brigham, Starbucks, will discuss how they used a creative approach to get text data in three different forms–smart lists, dates and freeform text data–to flow from Planning to Essbase. They will discuss the overall project goals, technologies, POCs, and the reason for choosing the solution they did, including design and results.
View Abstract Jun 27, 2017
8:30 am – 9:30 am
Session 6
Case Study: How Suez slashed cycle times and improved
service levels with Hybrid Aggregation

Ron Moore and Brian Brockaway (Suez)

Suez owns and operates 16 water and waste utilities and operates 90 municipal water and waste water systems. They had a very large Planning cube and aggregations could take three hours or more. They had to choose carefully which aggregations they did and when. Administration was arduous. This put severe limits on what Suez could do to improve service levels to users.Suez partnered with TopDown Consulting to optimize the application. TopDown performed a series of tests on more than a dozen optimization techniques. The results provided two good options. FixParralel could reduce aggregation times to about 20 minutes. And even though Suez was on, the application appeared to be a good candidate for Hybrid Aggregation which would eliminate the aggregation.

In this session Brian Brockway, Manager – IT Applications and Support at Suez and Ron Moore, Solution Architect at TopDown Consulting will describe:

  • the tests performed to identify the best optimization options
  • the steps to determine if the cube was a candidate for Hybrid Aggregation
  • the tradeoffs between FixParallel and Hybrid Aggregation and how Suez decided which option to pursue
  • the step by step process (including code samples) of converting the cube to hybrid, including cross-dimensional operators, time balances, MDX WITH clauses and other challenges
  • how Suez addressed the effects of some of Hybrid’s disadvantages

Finally, we will describe how Hybrid transformed service levels for users and list the benefits of the conversion.

View Abstract Jun 27, 2017
8:30 am – 9:30 am
Session 6
DRG – Creating Workflows in DRM
Steve Davis

Data Governance continues to be a big topic. Regardless of the company size, at some point, a growing organization decides to implement workflow in order to capture the changes that you need to make to the master data. This is where DRG comes in. In this session, Steve Davis, DRM and DRG expert, will show you how to create collaborative workflows in DRG. He will look at workflow models, requests, paths, tags, and worklists, tasks, models, filters and users. He will show you how to–

  • Create models and tasks
  • Build workflow objects
  • Auto number your new accounts and create validations on the workflow
  • Assign security to the users and to the hierarchies
  • Separate duties and do conditional workflows
  • Filter Nodes
  • And more…

The session will include real-world examples as well as tips, tricks, and best practices for working collaboratively with DRG to make sure all users have the necessary change management and data quality remediation workflows to do effectively do their jobs. NOTE: Attendees should have a good understanding of DRM. They should understand what workflow is and how it is used.

View Abstract Jun 27, 2017
4:45 pm – 5:45 pm
Session 10
EPM Data Integration
Hybrid Cloud – A Solution for a Business Problem
Paul Hoch and Steve Davis

Moving EPM applications to the Cloud is the most significant market direction to date. The reality is that finance and IT teams don’t move as fast as the applications, which means companies need a solution that accommodates a mix of on-premise and Cloud EPM applications (Hybrid Cloud). That solution is Hybrid Cloud.A Hybrid Cloud implementation is not without its challenges, and because of this, companies find themselves asking: “What is the right the right approach and how do I make sure all my applications are seamlessly integrated?” In this session, Paul Hoch and Steve Davis, TopDown Consulting Principal Architects, will answer this question. They will discuss–

  • How Cloud offers compelling value to EPM owners–e.g., beyond the obvious economic benefits
  • How to successful do a Hybrid implementation–i.e., strategy for companies to combine on-premise and Cloud-based EPM systems
  • Review implementation considerations to ensure a powerful “hybrid” deployment
  • Integration and how it is critical to success
  • Common pitfalls and how to avoid them
  • Common scenarios where there is synergy for a “hybrid” deployment
  • Real-world examples of companies that are using a Hybrid approach–what’s working and what isn’t
    And more…

This session is useful for anyone considering a Hybrid approach or those already with a hybrid approach.

View Abstract Jun 28, 2017
8:30 am – 9:30 am
Session 11
EPM Business Content
Agile/Scrum, A New Way to Manage Your Project Development and Delivery
Michael Smith

Scrum, one form of Agile software development, has been used successfully at Starbucks on many projects. Scrum and Agile Software Development are topics that continue to be discussed but very few people can actually put their real world experiences on display like we can. This session will look at the process from the initial design discussions through the development of the product backlog and on into the bi-weekly sprints for development. The key roles will be discussed which include the Scrum Master, Product Owner, and team members (developers). Some tools will be discussed as well. Our team has found ways to adapt our past experiences successfully into Scrum and make it successful. It’s not all roses, we will also share our challenges with Scrum and how we have overcome them.
View Abstract Jun 28, 2017
11:15 am – 12:15 pm
Session 13
EPM Business Content
Extreme Essbase Calcs : What-if, Goal Seeking and Sensitivity Analysis
Ron Moore and Ludovic De Paz

Doing what-if isn’t new. As long as I can remember everyone talked about it and the goal-seeking functionality using LOOP has been around for decades. But do most of our calculations use causal drivers or are they “type it in and agg it up” type databases. And how much what-if-ing can you really do if the database takes an hour to aggregate?Today more and more companies are using driver-based designs and recent improvements such as Hybrid Aggregation, new calculation functions and bigger hardware mean that there are new possibilities. Profit opportunities don’t usually follow simple linear patterns. Well-designed driver-based models capture complex patterns and help identify risks and opportunities that would otherwise be missed. Goal-seeking can significantly reduce the time it takes to set and distribute targets. Sensitivity analysis can help set priorities by identifying the most important drivers. It can also help compare a range of options to identify sweet spots.

First we will examine the business logic behind some useful what-if calculations that help uncover financial dynamics that make a difference in business results. Then we will examine the outline and business rule considerations and options. Then we will dig into the code.
We will show examples of outlines and business rule code for:

  • Pushing down top-side budget adjustments
  • Driver based what-if calculations
  • Goal-seeking for target setting
  • Prioritization and range comparison with sensitivity analysis

Last we will show some examples of using these techniques in real world applications.

View Abstract Jun 28, 2017
1:45 pm – 2:45 pm
Session 14
How to Get the Most Out of Essbase in the Cloud
Paul Hoch and Ludovic De Paz

Essbase in the Cloud has been eagerly anticipated and now that it is finally here we will explore how Essbase in the Cloud can replace, enhance or serve the same role as your current on-premise Essbase environment. This session is a thorough look at Essbase in the Cloud, including a look at the differences between on-premise Essbase and the Cloud offering, what you’re getting and what you’re giving up, best practices for working with Essbase in the Cloud, particularly if you are running a Hybrid EPM Solution plus tips and tricks for how to make the most of Essbase in the Cloud. This session will also include a review of features like calculations, currency conversions, sandboxes, and other key things you need to know to get started. It will also include real-world examples. You will leave with a solid understanding on how to work with Essbase in the Cloud so that you can start taking advantage of all it has to offer.

View Abstract Jun 28, 2017
4:15 pm – 5:15 pm
Session 16

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