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Natalie Delemar and I – as with so many others in the performance management space – first met Elizabeth Ferrell at a conference, in this case ODTUG’s Kscope. Elizabeth’s path to her current job, focus, and professional interests evinces the typical path from school, to finance, not-at-all-usual hobby, and now to our beloved performance management community.But to characterize Elizabeth as typical is to do her an injustice or perhaps just inaccuracy on Yr. Obt.  Svt.’s part.  As evidence of that (beyond of course this EPM Conversation episode) is to have a read of Elizabeth’s thoughtful article on the state of your – ours – work satisfaction and what we do with that. Her episode is just as thoughtful.Join us, won’t you?
As Everyone Knows, But Hardly Anyone Actually DoesOne of my fondest recollections of Kscope (umm, one year or another, they all blend together after a while) is sitting in on Kumar’s introduction of Exalytics (remember that Wave Of The Future?).  As Kumar dived deeper and deeper into the hardware behind Essbase-on-Exalytics, he prefaced each increasingly (exponentially?) complex computer engineering concept and detail with, “As everyone knows…”.  If only.  I sure didn’t. Key to Kumar’s personality is this liberality of intellectual comradeship:  he thinks that surely whatever a given  insanely complex topic might be is easily understood by the average geek.   This (possibly insanely optimistic) generosity of intellectual spirit informs this podcast as Kumar takes us (and you, Gentle Listener) through his journey from theoretician to developer to advocate to Vice President of Engineering  while working at Informix, Oracle, and now Workday.Cubes, Cubes, CubesBeyond the interesting personal history (and you have to catch Kumar’s glory days in the NCAA and yes, really; we in the performance management space are polymaths), he gives one of the most passionate, cogent, and comprehensive arguments of the cube as the ideal for planning and budgeting.  I’ve worked with non-cube forecasting tools and while they certainly have their uses, calculations that are trivial in a cube can be hard graft otherwise.  Listen to Kumar and be convinced.Join us, won't you?
Riding a rocket to the heavensOneStream’s rise has been meteoric:  from a startup in a very small office in the not-particularly-well-known-tech-incubator Rochester, Michigan, to international powerhouse in the performance management space in less than a decade.  Peter Fugere has been there from almost the very beginning and has an insider’s perspective on what makes OneStream tick, the product’s genesis, current initiatives (Peter is involved in more than one), and its exciting future.  From consolidations to planning to relational to analytics to machine learning to the certification program to the recently announced OneCommunity to OneStream Press, it’s all there in just an hour.  Rocket ship as sobriquet is scarcely sufficient and this episode reflects that break neck speed and excitement.Join us, won't you?
We’re all wired to see patternsWe live in patterns:  seasonal, political, historical, and even atomic.  Many live a life blithely unaware of them, which is to their disadvantage, for understanding those patterns is key to what makes us human, drives culture and society, and informs economics.  We happy few in the performance management world figuratively live and die by the patterns in data.  If careful observation of clients, customers, and conferences is an accurate guide, we are largely cut from the same professional and educational cloth.  This is not always true.  Those of us who come from outside that pattern have different perspectives, values, and insights.  Jodi Hill is one such outlier.Her path to a job in business strategy is atypical and is driven by its unconventionality:  from Army translator to accountant to consultant to strategist is surely out of our norm.  So too is an educational journey from the Defense Language Institute to a BS in accounting to multiple Masters in predictive analytics, public policy, and health economics.  No matter how diverse this may seem at first glance, it is held together by the thread of transforming data into information by seeing, interpreting, and understanding patterns.  I’ve met a fair few people in our field and have never come across anyone with quite Jodi’s background.  It is refreshing and makes her episode a memorable one.Join us, won't you?
Data, data everywhere, and none of it in the right place or in the right formatPerformance cannot be managed (see what I did there?) without data.  And yet data –because it is in the wrong format, because it is in the wrong place, because it is poorly defined, because we don’t have the ability or the resources or the time to transform it into what our systems need – is ever a challenge.  Data is, quite simply put, hard.  FinTech Innovations aims to alleviate that challenge and make data easy.See a problem, fix a problemThe performance management world is small (which suggests that alas this podcast’s audience will necessarily follow suit unless we figure out how to break out – we’re working on it):  I’ve known Matthias for at least a decade although when I first met him he was (I think – it was a while ago) an independent consultant.How did Matthias go from that most independent (and arguably isolated) place to software entrepreneur?  What made him leave HFM and FDMEE (apologies to all of you bass players out there – just listen and you’ll understand) behind and focus solely on the manifold problems that are data?  Why would someone leave the relatively stable world of consulting for risky entrepreneurship?  You, Loyal Listener, have but to listen to know.How did he solve it?  With ICE Cloud.Before/after/during the podcast, have a look at ICE Cloud.  Whether you’re a customer of Oracle, OneStream, AnaPlan, Blackline, Workivia, or one of the other players in the performance management space or if your firm uses Oracle, SAP, Microsoft Dynamics, or NetSuite, ICE Cloud can talk to all of them and in the cloud.  ICE Cloud is a complete end-to-end data integration tool, almost completely graphical.  It’s pretty astounding and lets functional (aka normal not supergeeks although they too can profit from the tool) people own data.Schedule a demo, learn more about the product, understand the platform, and even get a free PoC.  It’s all but a click away.  I encourage you to explore ICE Cloud.    And oh yeah, one other other thingI continue to be fascinated by the music/math/logic connection.  Think of the people you know in this field that practice music.  It’s everywhere and Matthias is no exception although most of us haven’t made to a show like Das Supertalent.  You’ll have to listen till the end of the show to hear him in action.  He is quite good.Hear the conversationWe hope you like the episode as much as we do.  If you do enjoy it, please give us a good rating on the provider of your choice as it both bathes our ever-needy egos and also – and rather more importantly – allows listeners just like you to more easily find EPM Conversations. Join us, won’t you?
From Enterprise administrator to CEO, from market disruptor to Magic Quadrant visionaryWe at EPM (or should that be CPM?) Conversations are – unsurprisingly – pleased beyond belief to have OneStream Software CEO Tom Shea as our very special guest.  We think you'll be pleased as well.OneStream is in the moment and of the future. How did that happen? Who made that happen? What is its genesis? Where is OneStream right now and where will it be in the future? Why is it such a success? This podcast answers all and throws in more than a few surprises.OneStream as a rocket shipCertainly its rise has been meteoric. What has enabled OneStream to evolve so quickly from an industry insurgent to a market visionary? I could opine (those of you who have had the misfortune to cross Yr. Obt. Svt.’s path have long known that I have many opinions, performance management and otherwise, some of which are even correct) on why that is but ultimately that’s just a geek’s take on a force somewhat larger than him.Better instead to listen to the man himself as he takes us all on a journey from CPA to CEO in a frank and forthright manner. You’ve not likely heard a CEO speak like this before – this conversation is essential if you want to understand what makes OneStream tick.Hear the conversation00:00 - 02:00 Introductions02:00 - 15:05 Tom’s Career Path to OneStream15:05 - 19:35 The “One Platform” Concept19:35 - 23:00 What Is OneStream?23:00 - 25:30 New Features for Planning Processes25:30 - 28:45 OneStream Customer Community and Growth28:45 - 33:30 Changing from Being a Bootstrapped Company to a Large Company33:30 - 35:40 Development of a Community35:40 - 40:40 Analytics, Consolidation vs Aggregation and Architecture in OneStream40:40 - 42:25 Working with Public Sector Clients42:25 - 47:30 Roadmap for Machine Learning47:30 - 52:10 Roadmap for Analytics52:10 - 53:20 UpStream, OneStream, and The Fish53:20 - 61:50 Set-Based Languages and OneStream Block Language61:50 - End OutroductionsWe hope you like the episode as much as we do. If you do enjoy it, please give us a good rating on the provider of your choice as it both bathes our ever-needy egos and also – and rather more importantly – allows listeners just like you to more easily find EPM Conversations.Join us, won’t you?
Not EPM, not CPM, but analytics of a marketing kindThis podcast is dipping its collective and metaphorical toe outside of the warm and cozy confines of performance management with a conversation with a guest whose job, passion, and personal interest is understanding the relationship of human behavior with business through the lens of marketing analytics. Join us, won’t you, on this fascinating conversation with Kevin Lawrence that is most definitely not within the scope of traditional EPM but most definitely within the scope of your interest.The journey to marketing and analyticsKevin’s had an interesting path, one that isn’t really the norm in our fascinating (ahem) EPM world: from the arts to nonprofits to the Fortune 100 to Find The Loose Brick.Numbers without an understanding of the nexus of business and people are meaningless. Kevin’s professional life has deeply informed how he and his clients understand how you and I interact with corporations and their products, services, and oh yeah: each other.The past actually is prologueFor you wee lads and lassies who weren’t around to witness the change in tools and corporate culture and customers (us) and of course analytic tools and how they are used has changed the introduction to this podcast will be informing.  You’ve never had it so good.For those of us who were, the evolution analytics path mirrors our own beloved performance management products.Regardless of our experience, the need to understand how companies and their customers interact has remained exactly the same.The present and the future of marketing analytics are in Kevin's professional purview and should be for you as well.Fascinating stuff and well worth the listen (I encourage you to enjoy both the video and the podcast but not at the same time) if you want to expand your horizons beyond the finance side of a business.Hear the conversationStart – 6:40 Intros and start of Kevin’s career6:40 – 18:40 Development of 1990s analytic tools18:40 – 28:20 Moving from non-profit to large corporate and then to independent28:20 – 31:30 Selling the value “analytics” before the industry really existed31:30 – 34:00 Today’s tools, Google suite34:00 – 40:20 Connection to EPM40:20 – 44:00 Is there a Finance and Marketing divide?44:00 – 46:00 Demonstrating dollar value of marketing46:00 – 52:05 Does marketing analytics always require big, expensive tools?52:05 – 60:50 Why are there FOSS or low-cost tools in Analytics but not EPM?60:50 – 64:30 Do low-cost tools support large corporate data requirements?64:30 – 76:30 Will EPM move as fast as Analytics?76:30 – 84:45 What’s in the next 5-10 years for Marketing Analytics?84:45 – End OutroWe hope you like the episode as much as we do. If you do enjoy it, please give us a good rating on the provider of your choice as it both bathes our ever-needy egos and also – and rather more importantly – allows listeners to more easily find us.Join us, won’t you?
Hah!  EPM doesn’t get a lot of polymaths, does it.  Yet Mike is exactly one of those.A polymath is, “a person of great and varied learning” although Mike is too modest to agree with that description.  If you but listen to this conversation, you (and he) will see that it is a fair characterization.But wait, there’s moreIn addition to Yr. Obt. Svt., this conversation also has Natalie Delemar as our guest host and regular John Booth.  This varying cast of characters is what I hope is the (or at least a) future of EPM Conversations.  Tim, Celvin, John, and I are wonderful (ahem) hosts but there’s much, much, much more to EPM than us, cf. our guests and Natalie. I’ve known (at least I was at the same conference although as I really and truly worked 100 hours that week in addition to presenting and working a booth so if I did meet Mike I have no recollection of it) Mike since Kscope 2009 in Carmel.What I didn’t know was how much Mike has done:  Atari 600xl owner, COMPUTE! magazine subscriber,   English school teacher, roofing product computer operator/developer, operations management, Hyperion course writer, Essbase consultant, Planning consultant, Essbase PM, Big 4 consultant, startup analytics evangelist, Big 4 (but a different one) leader, and I’m sure a few more roles I’ve missed.  What is crucial to understand and what is central to what Mike does and cares about is making sense of data, i.e. analytics.  Hear the conversation Start - 2:55 Introduction 02:55 - 14:56 How Mike Started with Analytics and EPM14:56 - 25:41 EPM vs Analytics25:41 - 28:05 Adoption of Tools in Different Organizational Functions28:05 - 36:04 Tools That Can Merge Financial and Operational Datasets36:04 - 43:44 What EPM Technologists Should Know About Analytics43:44 - 53:30 The Medium Term Future of Analytics53:30 - End Outroduction We hope you like the episode as much as we do.  If you do enjoy it, please give us a good rating on the provider of your choice as it both bathes our ever-needy egos and also – and rather more importantly – allows listeners to more easily find us.Join us, won’t you?
Different? You want different? Music? Humor? Freestyle Rapping? Maybe something related to EPM?Maybe.  Actually, yes, quite a bit really.  You read that right: EPM Conversations has a number of firsts in this podcast:A conversation with the artist and performer Chris Turner.A freestyle rap about EPM. Really. We have the best and simultaneously the only rap on this subject extant. I look forward to others contributing to this genre. And then a rap battle. It’s the obvious move.A podcast where your hosts are largely unable to form coherent sentences or at least keep up with the guest. We tried but we’re not that facile with language as you’ll hear when Chris covers EPM in all of its glory as well as the episode itself.A note before we get into the content of this conversation: if you are of a timid and retiring nature, easily offended at adult language and commentary, then I fear this isn’t for you.   This is absolutely a case of letting one’s work speak for itself. Check out his YouTube channel as a first stop.And yes, he’s English. Do yourself a favor and watch the rap-battle-that-I-hope-will-one-day-come-to-EPM-may-that-day-be-soon between Chris and Thomas Toles. Poor Canadians – they’re even practically British but that doesn’t help them much. Funny stuff, especially the bit at the end that drives home what makes the Special Relationship well, special.Done? Something else, eh? How much time did you not do your job? Guilty as charged I imagine. That’s what art does – and wordplay and music are most definitely art.  After that came the reason you listen to EPM Conversations – a conversation with all of your hosts and Chris. Chris has a very different take on data and how he crafts his product. Yes, quite outside of the typical EPM topic but there is that grain of what we do in what he does. Look for more of this in future episodes.  Oh sure, don't listen to the podcast -- we do in fact have the audio as part of the episode.Regardless, if you want to watch just Chris, click right here.We hope you like the episode as much as we do.  If you do enjoy it, please give us a good rating on the provider of your choice as it both bathes our ever-needy egos and also – and rather more importantly – allows listeners to more easily find us. Join us, won’t you?
What could be better than the Three EPM Conversations Cohosts?What whole number is greater than three?  Four, totes obvs.  And here we are, with Yr. Obt. Svt., Celvin Kattookaran, Tim German, and now John Booth.John and I did the very first EPM-in-the-cloud presentation at Kscope11:  EPM 11.1.2.something-or-other running on AWS.  John did all of the heavy lifting and I did…something.  No matter, he still talks to me as you will gather below if you but listen.John has been a writer in the Developing Essbase Applications books, is an ACE Director alumni, a contributor to the late and lamented Essbase Network54 message board, a frequent conference presenter, and always has a provocative and interesting viewpoint on the state of the industry, the value of performance management applications, and where on earth the Earth is heading.  Heady stuff, no?That’s quite an introduction and one that is well deserved.  I am very happy to share that John will be a regular cohost on EPM Conversations.With that, this episode’s précis:Start - 8:10 Introductions8:10 - 11:00 Running Hyperion on Lesser-Used Operating Systems11:00 - 13:15 Whatever Happened To Exalytics?13:15 - 22:55 Specialization in Infrastructure22:55 - 25:20 Is Software Supporting Fewer Operating Systems A Problem?25:20 - 28:00 Is On-Premises Software Going Away Altogether?28:00 - 31:00 Whatever Happened To Infrastructure Consultants?31:00 - 37:15 Industry Diversification in Tools (especially Integration)37:15 - 45:00 Does Toolset Diversification Call for More Technically Adept Practitioners?45:00 - 50:45 Doing Integration with “Real” Programming Languages50:45 - 52:30 John’s Future in EPM Consulting52:30 - 63:30 How are People Forming Professional Connections in COVID Times?63:30 - 66:45 Virtual Conference Structures66:45 - End Outroduction Yes, long, but lots of goodness are contained within and it will give you a taste of the ever-evolving aka we-cannot-make-up-our-minds direction of the podcast.We hope you like the episode as much as we do.  If you do enjoy it, please give us a good rating on the provider of your choice as it both bathes our ever-needy egos and also – and rather more importantly – allows listeners to more easily find us. Join us, won’t you?
One out of three ain’t badWe were lucky enough to land Abhi Nerurkar, one of the three co-founders of EPMware, a software company specializing in Master Data Management (MDM) and Workflow, for our very first vendor conversation.A note: we didn’t speak with Abhi’s partners, Tony Kiratsous and Deven Shah, as we’re simply not set up/not experienced enough to manage a six way conversation. We have to work on that but I hope that Deven and Tony understand/are deeply appreciative of not being bored to death/annoyed beyond endurance by the chaos I fear such a large group would produce.Just what don’t you know about software development? Well, if you’re like us: everything.We – you, me, Tim, Celvin, The Man in the Moon (probably not) == we all use software as part of our job, else why listen to this podcast? But do we know anything about writing, managing, and selling-software on a commercial basis? Unless you work for a vendor and are at the coal face at that, I can answer this one for you: no, not at all. It’s fascinating. Listen for the term “wireframe” and be as astonished as Abhi was when he first came across the term. It isn’t what you think.More than just software: peopleA market opportunity, a gamble, and a result: empty words without the human context behind it. I don’t think any of us (Celvin, Tim, or Yr. Obt. Svt.) have the guts (well, at least I don’t) to make that leap. Abhi and his partners did. It’s a fascinating and informative conversation.Join us, won’t you?
Second part of Episode 2.Here is the agenda00:45 - 06:40 The Changing State of the EPM (Vendor) Market06:40 - 17:20 What’s the technical profile of people getting into the various EPM tools now? Developers, Administrators and Groovy.17:20 - 22:32 Why has Oracle incorporated so much customizability via Groovy? History of Groovy in Oracle EPM.22:32 - 34:25 How long will Essbase stay the Engine for Oracle Planning?34:25 - 40:26 ODTUG Board Experience and Growth from the Professional Community40:26 - End Summary / Conclusion
Intro and outroFor once your author aka Yr. Obt. Svt. is keeping it short and sweet. Enjoy it, as its brevity may be akin to Halley’s Comet and happen again in 2061.Natalie Delemar, Essbase Lady, Madame President (emerita) of ODTUG, dynamic personality, and friend to all of us in the EPM space (but especially to me), is our guest. There was so much history, so much interest, so much conversation that we simply couldn’t do it all in one episode. Also, one wonders if a two hour podcast would actually be listened to.There’s a lot of good content, hence the splitting of into two episodes. Natalie has strong opinions and a forthright way of putting them in the best of all possible ways. Would you want a simpering milquetoast of a guest? Why? Natalie is funny, warm, and kind – all of that comes through in the podcast. Please join us in welcoming her.Here’s the agenda:0:00 – 5:20 – preamble, how we all met5:20 – 8:25 – drive and why Natalie Does What She Does8:25 – 14:40 – WIT and advice to women in tech, being an African American woman in tech, mentorship, and the importance of a professional network14:40 – 16:30 – Advice on career progression16:30 – 22:10 – Working for Big Four firms22:10 – 26:50 – Advice for people who want to get involved in community without employer incentives26:50 – 28:55 – Relationships between boutique firms and the Big Four and where technical work actually gets done28:55 – 36:10 – Changes in the consulting market recently: layoffs, mergers, and new software vendors36:10 – 39:25 – Selling the value of EPM, especially on “insight”39:25 – End – Predictive analytics and adoption in different areas of business and reluctance in Finance/FP&AJoin us, won’t you?
IntroductionWe (Tim, Celvin, and Yr. Obt. Svt.) are thrilled to announce our new endeavor:  EPM Conversations.  If you’ve made it to this page you are about to experience the joy that is the three of us – and many more of our fellows in the EPM/CPM world.WhatWhat is EPM Conversations?  It’s a forum for you to hear your peers as they discuss why, what, and how they exist and thrive in our little corner of the software world.   You will hear opinion, advocacy, a fair amount of skepticism when it’s deserved, and always a keen curiosity.  What you will not hear is any negativity from the interviewers or the interviewees.  This isn’t gotcha journalism but a collegial place to share ideas.  NB – every guest has final say over content to preclude personal embarrassment/potential unemployment/likely lawsuits.   You are not going to hear one of us (Tim and I personally think this will be Celvin and we will do our utmost to dissuade him from reading Groovy or VB.NET or MDX aloud) go on and on about detailed code and (beyond the basics) techniques but we will always cover the considerations, approaches, and philosophy that make us who we are in the EPM world.WhoWho will you hear?  People just like you:  customers, consultants, software companies, and even people who just might drive you in a new professional direction (never fear, this is not NSFW and definitely all about W).  We currently have 12 guests who were foolish gracious enough to agree to be our guests.WhyWhy will you listen to EPM Conversations?  You’ll listen and care because we’re going to bring the human – the connection, really –  that a blog or a book or an article can never really convey.  Think about why technical conferences are so valuable:  yes, of course, technical content is key but so are the people you meet, people that you’d never even hear of within your formal job.  EPM Conversations will bring home to you the person behind the name, the presentations, the message boards. WhenWhen will you hear new podcasts?  Look for new content every three weeks or so. WhereWell, right here.  We’re also on Apple Podcasts and Google Play.Join us, won’t you?
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