Planful recently sponsored some high-level research in our category, Enterprise Performance Management (EPM), so we could understand the effectiveness of our marketing.
We wanted actionable feedback, so we did it the right way, hired an independent research company Radius Global Market Research and recruited the correct audience. We are always interested in what Oracle Hyperion users think because they represent a large percentage of our potential market, so we asked a few questions of respondents that currently use Oracle Hyperion. What struck me was their perceived need to stick with Oracle Hyperion despite the pain it causes them. In this blog I’ll share why these Oracle Hyperion customers are in such despair and how they can overcome it. If you are interested in a summary of the research, you can find it here.
The research was an online survey of over 400 respondents—accounting and finance executives who are involved in the purchase decision of financial solutions for their organization. Over 50% were the final decision maker. They came from industries that ranged from technology and manufacturing to healthcare and non-profit. Approximately 40% were from companies with $1 billion or more in revenue. The findings highlight some dramatic issues and dynamics within Oracle Hyperion’s business. At the high level, the most interesting finding was that 20–30% of Oracle Hyperion users plan to switch and move away from their current Hyperion solution. That is a large number of customers, but after going through the rest results, however, I was surprised the number wasn’t even higher.
I can tell you from the marketing side of things that Oracle Hyperion is doing very well. Their audience is aware of who they are and what they do. This is not surprising but is still a marketer’s dream. The results show it is not the marketing, but the product that is behind the 20–30% switching number. Oracle Hyperion ranked below the EPM category average for the requirements and characteristics that users deemed important, like value, ability to upgrade, customer service and ease of use. This pain impacted Hyperion’s satisfaction levels and willingness of their customers to recommend Hyperion’s products to their peers, otherwise known as their Net Promoter score.
While these numbers may be shocking to many, I was left wondering why more Oracle Hyperion users are not looking to move. If I were a current Oracle Hyperion user and felt the product was under-delivering on key needs to the point that I wouldn’t even recommend it to a colleague, I would be doing everything possible to find a better alternative. This is especially true when we are talking about ongoing expenditures of hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars. Then it hit me. These users feel trapped. Oracle Hyperion has been handling planning, consolidation and reporting for finance and accounting for years. The marketing numbers show most are aware of who Oracle Hyperion is and, for better or worse, people like to buy from companies they know. Buying something from someone new feels more risky. Part of the issue is ignorance of alternatives. The same research survey also showed that many Hyperion users were largely unaware of the other brands in the space, both in the cloud and on-premises. While buying from the “devil you know” feels safe, in technology it can be a risky move. This is especially true when the market leader is falling behind and forcing their customers to pay for disappointment.
I’ll finish with a recommendation for those currently using Oracle Hyperion, albeit a biased one. If the numbers I just shared ring true to you, you are not alone. If you feel Oracle is not delivering on your needs, evaluate the alternatives. They are out there. Planful is one among a small group of cloud EPM vendors that is successfully migrating Oracle Hyperion customers to a better solution. Basically, we’re doing to Oracle Hyperion what Salesforce.com did to Siebel and continues to do to Oracle today in CRM. Based on my conversations with our customers that have made the move, product requirement, and my knowledge of the industry, I am confident Planful is the best fit for current Oracle Hyperion customers looking to make the move. I will share reasons it is true, but I will save that for a later post.
Let me know if you agree or why you don’t.