REVIEWER: Bret Furtwengler, vice president of financial systems for Fifth Third Bank.

BACKGROUND:  Fifth Third Bank, a Fortune 500 company and diversified financial services company, headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, has been providing quality financial products and services to its customers for 145 years. One of the largest banks in the U.S. by asset size and market capitalization, and with more than 20,000 employees, Fifth Third Bank operates four main businesses including Retail, Commercial, Investment Advisors and Fifth Third Processing Solutions. 

PLATFORMS: Hyperion Planning runs on a multitiered Wintel environment.

PROBLEM SOLVED: With historical acquisition activity placing a burden on existing systems and anticipated acquisition activity raising the alarm, Fifth Third turned to Hyperion to provide the technology infrastructure to support the company's business growth.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Hyperion provided Fifth Third Bank with the foundation to manage, not simply measure, business performance as demonstrated by improved profitability with greater visibility and insight into all business segments. Fifth Third was able to improve reporting and planning processes, eliminating 1,200 spreadsheets, while giving accountability to officers due to data transparency. The company was also able to shift focus from discussing data errors to taking action. Ultimately, Hyperion provided a platform to easily accommodate growth and manage change, and implemented a foundation for true business performance management.

STRENGTHS: Hyperion Planning supports centralized administration with decentralized data entry. Thus, Fifth Third is able to support monitoring, managing and holding people accountable to business plans at the banking center and officer level, yet have a centrally administered framework to capture this data. Hyperion Planning provides a data input and security environment that supports different models - different affiliates utilized different data entry models to develop the detail plans. This was accomplished without any customization to the product - Fifth Third utilized the Planning tool as delivered, taking advantage of business rules, Web forms and Hyperion Essbase outlines.

WEAKNESSES: The version of Hyperion Planning that Fifth Third is running (v3.5) has a somewhat klugdy user interface. This has been resolved in the latest release (v4.0).

SELECTION CRITERIA: Each possible vendor was carefully evaluated based on general requirements developed from end users and administrator input. The few remaining vendors held two-day sessions including full-day demonstrations and hands-on training workshops as well as participated in client site visits and reference checks. Hyperion's business performance management vision and suite of products was in sync with Fifth Third Bank's strategic and technology goals for scaling the business.

DELIVERABLES: Hyperion provides reporting and consolidation applications for internal management reporting and external SEC and regulatory reporting. Additionally, Fifth Third's retail and commercial scorecards now provide key metrics and comparisons at affiliate, banking center and officer levels. Hyperion Planning replaced Fifth Third's detail planning spreadsheet process for retail line of business. Finally, Hyperion provides consistent master data across Hyperion, SAP, Oracle, DB2 and other systems.

VENDOR SUPPORT: Fifth Third has a dedicated support account manager from Hyperion who ensures we are connected to the right support staff within the Hyperion organization. One of the best parts about working with the Hyperion Solutions organization has been their willingness to listen to their customers. Fifth Third has had many opportunities to meet with the developers of the various products and provide feedback. Many of the changes/enhancements we identified have already been incorporated into point releases and product releases.

DOCUMENTATION: The software installation guide could have been more robust. However, Hyperion worked closely with us to ensure a successful loading of the product. Each component of Hyperion Planning is fairly well documented in the administrator guides. Fifth Third created its own set of customized documentation to support the planning/forecasting processes.

Hyperion Planning
Hyperion Solutions Corporation
5450 Great America Parkway
Santa Clara, CA 95054
(408) 588-8000

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