Once again, a Enterprise performance Management platform is taking over the EPM market, namely OneStream XF. Often, this new solution is mentioned in the same breath as the XF Market Place. Why is the XF Market Place one of the key differentiators that distinguishes OneStream from other solutions that are currently available? And how can you use this ‘store’ to good use? In a series of blogs, our experienced EPM consultant Marc Roest delves into the details of Market Place solutions. And, as you may expect from the software independent club that we are, he’ll tell you the truth about his experiences. First, let’s dive into the XF Market Place itself!
What makes OneStream XF so different?
Earlier generations of EPM solutions are powerful because they allowed an experienced user or consultant to customize the way the system is operated by including the possibility to write scripts. Within the standard functionality of the tool, you are able to adjust the product to your wishes. However, the scripting available was limited and only accessible from specific parts of the tool. The guys at OneStream took a different approach. They actually build the entire platform in Microsoft VB.Net, an accessible object-oriented programming language that is not that hard to learn. If you know how to write a macro in Excel, you’re halfway there.
But then the first question arises: If the system is so open, you’ll probably need a lot of consultants or there will be a high risk that it will become a real mess? To prevent this, OneStream invented the XF Market Place. This is an online ‘store’, where you can download apps just as you do on your mobile phone. These apps work seamlessly within the OneStream platform. To give you an example of the possibilities of the platform, the OneStream XF Market Place itself is completely built within OneStream and accessible online for customers and partners.
Why is the XF Market Place helpful?
This ‘store’ enables you to pick and choose exactly those apps that will help you to streamline your financial processes. Whether it’s IFRS16, people planning or standard administrator utilities, you can download an app with the required functionality.
To be honest, the XF Market Place is one of the features I really like about OneStream XF. Having worked with EPM solutions for many years, both as a consultant and as a user, I have learned to value being able to choose those options that are just right for your situation.
How does the OneStream XF Market Place work?
This is extremely easy, comparable with downloading apps on your smart phone. After logging into the Market Place (https://xfmarketplace.com/OneStreamWeb/OneStreamXF.aspx), you can choose to go to Software, where you can download the latest release of the OneStream software, documentation, reference material (containing sample applications) and standard (system) reports.
To access the Market Place, go to Store where you find the various solutions available. These are sorted by most downloaded and latest updates. The apps can also be found via the search button on the right or the solution category pull down menu.
When accessing a solution there are always 3 tabs available:
- Overview: showing a short description about the selected Market Place solution.
- Screen Shots: containing one or more pictures showing the Market Place solution.
- Setup Instructions: documenting the details about setting up (and using) the selected solution.
A note of warning: it is best to download the documentation when you start using a Market Place solution, because the documentation is updated with version updates. Therefore, downloading the document ensures that your documentation applies to the version of the solution that you are using.
Choose your level of Market Place apps
When you look into the Market Place solutions currently available, I like to distinguish them into 3 levels:
- Plug and play: Solution can be downloaded and installed by an admin and will run instantly with a maximum of 1 hour of configuration.
- Admin configurable: Solution can be downloaded and installed by an admin and will run with a maximum of 8 hours of configuration.
- Minimum viable product: Solution needs to be configured by a consultant and/ or needs significant adjustments in the scripts.
These levels enable you to weigh the amount of configuration needed to implement the solution against the features this solution will bring you. Thus, making it easier to decide which app suits your needs best. Also, it makes it easier to plan the amount of consultancy needed.
In the past, the Market Place contained solutions created by OneStream developers that were available for free to customers and partners of OneStream. The market is currently being opened to a selected number of partners. I expect that the number of partners will grow in the near future, leading to a rapid grow in the number of available solutions. The question is, will the apps continue to be free of charge? The current statement by OneStream is that all applications made available by OneStream will remain free. It is, however, not yet clear how and whether partner solutions will be charged to customers or not.
To get an overview of all currently available Market Place solutions there is a report containing a short description for each solution. This can be accessed from the Market Place via Reporting in the Links menu. This will open the latest solution details report.
Let’s discover the OneStream Market Place together
As you can see, there’s quite a lot to discover about the Market Place. This blog is only the beginning. In a series of blogs, we’ll delve into the details together. And during our Finext OneStream event we’ll share our experiences as well. This event will take place in the autumn of 2019. Registration will open soon, please let me know if you’d like to receive more information about this event.
Why another OneStream blog?
I have worked with EPM software for many years. Both as a consultant and as a customer. My focus used to be Hyperion, starting with Hyperion Enterprise, HAL, Essbase and later FDM and HFM. I always gathered a lot of knowledge from the various blogs available online. Both as a starter and in the end as an experienced technical consultant I could find new knowledge online.
At the moment, there are a few blogs available about OneStream, but personally I think most of them are a bit ‘commercially tinted’. As I am fairly new to OneStream but have a lot of experience with EPM software solutions, I thought this would be a good time to begin a ‘start-level’ blog that will eventually become more technical. The main objective is to share knowledge and experience about the possibilities within the OneStream platform, with a focus on the OneStream XF Market Place.
Any questions or suggestions for a Market Place solution you would like to read about? Don’t hesitate to contact me!
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