A slow system meant long wait times for reports
In 2011, Shutterfly decided to replace its existing Cognos deployment with Oracle Hyperion to improve business predictability and streamline its budgeting and planning process. The new implementation focused on planning for revenues, workforce, OpEx and Capitalized R&D. The initial Hyperion deployment was implemented quickly, and by a vendor who lacked the ability to help Shutterfly reconfigure its processes and data requirements to take full advantage of what Oracle Hyperion had to offer.
The way the Oracle Hyperion platform was implemented proved to be cumbersome and wasn’t robust enough to function well on a quarter-by-quarter basis. Shutterfly had essentially forced the requirements and processes of the previous system into the new tool and it quickly became clear that they needed to re-implement Hyperion.
“There were many pain points to review during our initial design sessions with Archetype,” said Shutterfly’s Senior Hyperion Developer.
- The system was too slow, and Shutterfly spent too much time waiting for reports.
- Web forms took at least five minutes to save
- Aggregations weren’t timely — requiring several hours, and sometimes overnight to complete
- Modules needed simplification and dimensions needed to be streamlined because there was too much unnecessary data
To ensure this deployment fully met Shutterfly’s needs, Archetype and the Shutterfly project team began with a series of planning sessions working side by side on a complete review of the system. From these sessions, Archetype was able to lay out a plan to create efficiencies and a better experience for end users, such as:
- Significantly reduce the amount of data coming into the workforce planning module. The granular data being entered into the system didn’t fit Shutterfly’s high-level forecasting needs. Including only high-level data allowed reporting in nearly real time, rather than processing for hours or more.
- Implement a new way to calculate capitalized R&D for contractors and employees. Like the previous workforce planning module, the capitalized R&D process was too detailed, included too much employee and vendor information, and required many complex calculations.
- Streamline the employee and vendor dimensions and include hierarchies to improve usability and performance.
Archetype shepherded a major change in how Shutterfly uses data in its Oracle Hyperion system, removing excess data and process, leaving a lean and efficient system that has improved forecasting and saves the company time. Some of the benefits of the new deployment include:
- Budget owners are happy because they can more easily enter their inputs into the system.
- Data copies reduced from two hours to 10 minutes.
- There is now one web form each for employees and vendors, down from seven total forms.
- Calculations previously requiring hours are now available in seconds (as soon as a user hits “save”).
- The Shutterfly team has increased confidence in using the tools.
“Archetype made great contributions in helping us implement best practices, dramatically increase the system’s performance, simplifying the user experience,” said Ravindra Sunku, corporate apps director at Shutterfly. “Working under the tight deadline of having the system updates completed in time for the Q4 forecast, Archetype was able to get tremendous amounts of work done quickly, meeting all deadlines and delivering excellent work.”
Following this project, Archetype continued its work with Shutterfly, first with putting its 2013 budget in place, and implemented upgrades to the platform so Shutterfly could bring two additional product lines—Tiny Prints and Wedding Paper Divas—onto Hyperion as well.