What is Managed Application Hosting?

Posted by Deborah Jelley

Oct 25, 2017 9:48:39 AM

The Benefits of Managed Application Hosting (MAH)

What is Managed Application Hosting (MAH) and why would you want to consider using MAH for your Oracle Hyperion products?

Managed Hosting: Managed hosting is an IT provisioning model in which a service provider leases dedicated servers and associated hardware to a single client. The equipment is at the hosting provider's facility or at a subcontracted facility, such as Amazon Web Services, and managed there by the service provider. Managed hosting differs from other dedicated hosting in that the service provider administers the hardware, operating systems and system software. The client usually has administrative access but as a rule rarely uses it, instead interacting with the leased system through a Web-based interface. Typically, the hosting provider is responsible for setting up and configuring hardware, installing and configuring software, technical support, patch management, system maintenance, monitoring and updates.

Managed Application Hosting (MAH): Managed Application Hosting (MAH) offers all the features of managed hosting BUT also includes technical support and administration for the application you’ve chosen to host. When you want to use the cloud to host your application, and you already have on-premise versions of Hyperion Financial Management (HFM), Hyperion Planning, or other Hyperion applications, you can migrate them to a private cloud and also realize the benefits of Managed Application Hosting services. Typically, you will agree on a fee for the hosting and support service, but you still own the software. By moving your application to a managed application hosting service, you gain all the advantages of not having to run and manage your in-house servers anymore, as well as regular access to experienced Hyperion consultants to help you manage your Hyperion applications. All in all, it’s a win-win for you and your business. 

Both of the approaches above are "public" cloud options. What's more, Oracle has public cloud options which include Oracle FCCS and PBCS, however you may want to consider a "private" cloud hosting environment for managed application hosting.

Why Move Your Oracle EPM Environment to Managed Application Hosting?

Below I’d like to offer some business reasons why MAH for Oracle Hyperion products is something you should strongly consider: 

  1. Support. Support and upgrade services is probably the primary advantage of MAH.  When you sign up with a MAH service like Strafford Technology, you will receive full support for your end-users as well as co-administration access to the application.  This is big.  Too many times companies, typically due to churn, have knowledge gaps within their finance team on how to administer their Hyperion applications.  The designated in-house administrator may be able to handle day to day functions, but when called upon to change a business rule or a calculation, or even write a more complicated report integrating several data sources, having a nimble, responsive group of Hyperion consultants available to assist and provide on the spot training or execution is a huge time-saver.  When selecting a MAH provider, we recommend you make sure that have the internal support resources and references to support your application environment.

  2. 80/20 Rule. Free up your Hyperion Administrator and other users to analyze financial reports and act on the data, instead of spending 80% of their time managing the Hyperion environment. 

    Finance is moving to the cloud, with over 50% of companies already using SaaS solutions.
    - Gartner: Critical CFO Technology Needs, 2015 Gartner FEI Study, 8/15

  3. On-call, Experienced Support Resources. What happens if your team needs to restore partial (or all) data from a few weeks back that had inadvertently been corrupted or destroyed?  With a dedicated support team on your account, they can act quickly and restore your data.  Crisis averted…  Phew! 

  4. Secure, Isolated and Private Data. You can rest knowing that your data is completely secure, isolated and does not co-exist with others on any hardware, software or from within an application level.  Since you will have your own account on your hosting providers servers, in many cases they rely on the security of Amazon servers, you will have no worries that your sensitive data is an accidental click away from a security breach.  Furthermore, sensitive data, like employee HR information, can be isolated during the data transfer process into the Hyperion environment without having this data being exposed to other employees. 

  5. SOX Compliance and Direct Integration with Source Systems. Integration of reporting platforms directly with source ERP/GL systems has become a more important SOX compliance requirement from both a process and security standpoint. As a matter of fact, Strafford’s MAH environment is directly connected to your network and behind its firewall, direct connections to PeopleSoft, SAP, Oracle and other GL systems is commonplace.  Text feeds often do not provide sufficient integrity to satisfy that type of compliance.

  6. Capitalization of Cloud Computing Arrangement (CCA) Fees Possible. In 2015, the FASB ASC (Financial Accounting Standards Board Accounting Standards Codification) reviewed and provided an update to the accounting guidelines around accounting for internal-use software capitalization - effective December 15, 2016 for both public and non-public companies.  Certain restrictions apply, but if you meet the following provisions of US GAAP guidelines around fees paid in a cloud computing arrangement (CCA), then you may be able to capitalize some of them during redevelopment / migration and upgrade of your application to a managed application hosting service such as Strafford.
    • Under the new standard, fees paid by a customer in a CCA will be within the scope of the internal-use software guidance if both of the following criteria are met:
      • The customer has the contractual right to take possession of the software at any time during the CCA period without significant penalty.

        The standard provides some guidance on how to interpret the term “significant penalty.” The ability to take delivery of the underlying software without significant cost and to use that software separately without a significant reduction in value would indicate there is not a significant penalty. Determining whether taking possession of the software will result in significant penalty will require judgment.

      • It is feasible for the customer to run the software on its own hardware (or to contract with another party to host the software).

These are just some of the key business reasons why you should seriously consider moving your Oracle Hyperion environment to a managed application hosting service provider.

Let Strafford Tell You More

We know you don’t want to feel all alone in the world while administering your Oracle EPM applications, so please do not hesitate to contact us for an in-depth conversation on how we can assist you and your financial organization. We have helped hundreds of businesses just like yours improve their financial close process, sharing and access to important information, and accuracy of data.

Let Us Tell You More About MAH >>

Topics: Cloud Hosting, Oracle PBCS, Oracle FCCS, Managed Services, Managed Application Services (MAH)