Our DNA is in business performance management," states Jeff Rodek, chairman and chief executive officer of Hyperion. "We help companies gain insight into both their operational and financial information. Hyperion customers are able to use that insight to better understand their performance and to plan for even better performance in the future," says Rodek. He adds, "It is the incredible insight that we can provide companies that really sets us apart, and we've been doing this for years with thousands of customers."
Hyperion defines business performance management (BPM) as software, services and processes that enable organizations to translate strategies into plans, monitor execution and provide insight to improve financial and operational performance. Executives throughout the world are quickly realizing the necessity for BPM to monitor overall corporate performance to ensure regulatory compliance to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, Basel II and others; to provide accountability across all departments within the organization; and to rationalize future capital expenditures. Rodek credits Hyperion's leadership in business performance management to innovation, domain leadership, customer focus, integrity and passion. These are also the five traits that Rodek says best describe the company; and the best way to gain a true understanding of the company, its people and its products, is through a lens of each of these five powerful characteristics.
Innovation at Hyperion has a long and proud history. "A key driving force behind the Hyperion personality is innovation," emphasizes Rodek, and the company boasts many technology "firsts" including:
First BI platform to support integrated business performance management solutions. (2003)
First compliance-ready business performance management solutions. (2003)
First performance standard for business performance management. (2003)
First Web services-based OLAP/spreadsheet integration. (2002)
First OLAP server to support parallel load/calculate. (2001)
First truly thin- client budgeting and planning application. (2000)
First truly thin-client financial consolidation and reporting application. (2000)
First OLAP server for Linux. (2000)
First OLAP server to support thousands of concurrent users in APB-1 Benchmark. (1997)
First Web-based financial reporting solution. (1997)
First OLAP technology with World Wide Web support. (1996)
First OLAP vendor to publish open API. (1995)
"We want to create a culture of leadership at Hyperion. We talk about our mission in terms of defining and leading the business performance management category and creating unprecedented value," said Rodek. "For instance, our domain leadership has been and will continue to be all about BPM, and our core products reflect that positioning. I think it is very important for customers to know that we have a vision, understand our mission and stick to our knitting. We believe in the power of BPM so much that we work hard to make it very easy for our customers to get started with it. For example, one of the beautiful things about our BPM solutions is that a customer can start anywhere. If planning is the biggest need right now, we can help move a company from annual budgeting and spreadsheets into quarterly or monthly planning. If reporting is their hot button whether it is the Sarbanes-Oxley Act or just the desire of management or the board to have more frequent or richer reporting we can work with a company there. If it's customer profitability or product profitability, we can start there. But the beauty of having a suite of solutions is that we can, at any time down the road, provide a full suite of BPM whether it is purchased all at one time or started on an individual project basis. That's our sweet spot. Additionally, we are open and cross- platform. It doesn't matter what's underneath what we do we'll consolidate from anywhere," he adds.
"Part of our view of leadership is about helping our customers be leaders, too. Many are more challenged today with the economy, with geopolitical and other uncertainty than at any other point in their careers. They're finding that BPM allows them to understand and gain incredible insight into their business. Functionalities of BPM include planning, product profitability, customer profitability, geographic profitability, reporting, planning, modeling, analysis and goal setting linking in an interoperable way both packaged and tailored applications. BPM really supports the management processes that occur in any company, starting with goal setting," emphasizes Rodek. "It is the consolidating software that sits on top of and pulls information from all of the transactional systems companies have invested in over the years accounting systems, HR systems, call centers, sales forecasts, sales force automation and marketing automation. All of these investments need to be leveraged to provide a really high return on investment, and one of the attributes of BPM is a very quick payback from a very modest investment by leveraging a company's investment in these previous systems," states Rodek.
Hyperion has historically embraced customer needs as the driver for product development. Rodek elaborates, saying, "We constantly raise the bar in customer satisfaction by listening to our customers. Early on, we saw the need to be able to serve both the packaged application side and the tailored application side of the solutions needed by companies to address their pain points. We could not be a leading provider of BPM without both," he adds.
With the knowledge that all large corporations have heterogeneous systems, Hyperion's Business Performance Management suite is data-source agnostic and can be implemented in whole or in part. "Our customers don't have to throw things out to bring in the power of BPM. If they have 12 ledger systems, that's fine. If they have multiple database vendors, that's fine. If they have an HR system from one company, an SFA system from another and a GL from two companies, our Business Performance Management suite will pull from all of those transactional systems or out of those process automation systems to provide power and insight into the business," explains Rodek.
"The beauty of BPM is that it not only provides insight into the financial information, but also into the operational information that ends up driving a company. We're just on the front edge of an increasing movement to the BPM solutions that can help boards do their jobs, that can help shareholders get the information they need, that can help management not just senior management, but all management be held accountable for better performance and provide better, clearer, faster information about their business model so people can truly measure how a company is doing," states Rodek.
With all the new rules on disclosure processes that now impact companies and the signoffs being required by CFOs and CEOs of large public companies, Hyperion is experiencing increased BPM demand from companies that want to expand accountability throughout the company, thereby enabling different division heads or stakeholders within these companies to sign off on their applicable part of the business as it moves up the chain. Obviously, in these cases, the single version of the truth made possible by BPM is invaluable. As Rodek notes, "If everybody is just signing off on spreadsheets, that doesn't impart much confidence in the integrity of the data."
Just like Hyperion's innovation and domain expertise, the company's emphasis on customer satisfaction also has a long history. "In my due diligence about customer satisfaction before joining Hyperion, I was very encouraged. Talking with people formally and informally, I learned that Hyperion customers really use our products," says Rodek. "If you attend one of our user conferences, you would see that our users are very enthusiastic. Whether you look at the application side of the business or the Essbase side of the business, we've created heroes who have done great things with our products in countless organizations. Hearing customers talk about the successes they've had with Hyperion products is very exciting for our whole team."
Commenting on the trait of integrity, Rodek proclaims, "We've got great people, very committed people with integrity who are very focused on customers. We are what we sell."
Rodek says the company has earned a reputation for integrity by how it handles itself with customers and other stakeholders. "Our customers are very enthusiastic about our products," said Rodek. "It's because we've made them heroes within their companies through the ways they've been able to use our products. They know they can count on us, and we've implemented many programs for soliciting their feedback."
Rodek notes that Hyperion practices what it preaches. Hyperion consistently provides quarterly reports that exceed GAAP requirements, including a cash flow statement concurrent with its earnings announcement something just 46 percent of the Fortune 500 do as well as a fact sheet with a two-year history so investors can make apples-to-apples comparisons.
According to Rodek, "We believe that to be credible in helping our customers improve their integrity and accountability, we have to lead by example."
Football fans especially those who follow the Ohio State Buckeyes have undoubtedly heard Woody Hayes' often quoted phrase: "You win with people." Jeff Rodek, an OSU graduate, heartily agrees, stating, "We have been able to bring in tremendous talent and retain the great talent we had. Everyone is very team-oriented, and we've built Hyperion into a very strong company that's not only defining, but also leading in this very exciting category of BPM. We truly believe in BPM it is a worthwhile endeavor that will help thousands, if not tens of thousands, of companies around the world perform better, and helping our customers win and win bigger and faster is definitely a good thing! We know," explains Rodek, "that having one version of the truth can provide insight into a business for both financial and operational performance and provide it any time, anywhere. We are passionate about business performance management!"
Rodek succinctly sums up the Hyperion success story in one powerful statement: "As a software company, success has to start with your people and the intellectual property that they have. Add to that a very strong focus on customers and bring your domain knowledge to the market. At Hyperion, the result of that accomplishment is what sets us apart from the competition."
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