05 2021 Is Blog Replacing Oracle Discoverer The Smart Way Blog

Replacing Oracle Discoverer: The Smart Way

Sticking with Discoverer is no longer viable

Oracle Discoverer is an old product. It’s no longer supported by Oracle, meaning no critical bug fixes and no product updates. If you are still using Discoverer, you are on your own. However, fear of the unknown has left many companies afraid to implement a new reporting tool, yet the risk of staying with Discoverer increases day by day:

  • Discoverer extended support ended June 2017
  • Oracle 11g extended support ended December 2020
  • Java Applets support has ended on all modern browsers
    • Chrome: September 2015
    • FireFox: September 2018
    • Edge: never supported
  • Internet Explorer 11 on Windows 10 support will end June 2022

It’s time to move away from Discoverer

The longer you delay your move away from Discoverer, the greater the risk you’ll be left high and dry.

But we know you’ve likely got thousands of Discos lying around, so where do you start?

You really have two options: Oracle’s recommended approach of moving to OBIEE or switching to a purpose-built, third-party reporting solution.

Don’t get locked into slow OBIEE development cycles

Oracle recommends that Discoverer users migrate to Oracle Business Intelligence Foundation Suite. This includes OBIEE, a strategic BI tool that provides a web platform with attractive dashboards suitable for C-level needs. While it has many advantages, it’s not built to be a transactional reporting tool for day-to-day ad hoc analysis or easy drilling into data details. It requires a data warehouse and businesses must typically plan 6-12 months ahead to develop the structure of the reports they anticipate, which is difficult for dynamic businesses when reporting needs change daily.

Also, implementation is costly and lengthy, often requiring consultants to build new reports or convert Discoverer reports to OBIEE. Another expense is for the ongoing expertise needed to create OBIEE reports once the application is installed, as it requires a specific skill set. Some companies who have purchased OBIEE abandon it for less costly, alternative third-party reporting tools that promise autonomy for average users to create their own reports.

Don’t splash out on another reporting straightjacket

When assessing third-party reporting solutions, be careful you don’t end up swapping out one set of 1990s-style reports for another. For the telltale signs you are heading down that route, watch out for vendors who:

  • Boast about converting thousands of Discoverers in 40-50 days. That doesn’t sound very fast and seems like it could be expensive. And, why would you want to convert all those old reports when you know there are masses of duplication and most reports haven’t been used for years? At the end of the day, you end up with the same old reports, same old, inefficient SQL, just running in a different tool. This feels like a lot of wasted effort, for very little added value.

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  • Cite their library of 1,000+ pre-built E-Business Suite templates. They have one for every permutation of columns you could ever dream about. But how do you find the one you want? It’s like looking for a needle in a haystack. So, is having so many templates really something to shout about or is this just masking an inflexible product?

The problem with lift and shift

Back in 2014, The Lab Consulting wrote in CFO.com about the waste that exists in management reporting. Their analysis highlighted that the average annual production cost of each report that finance teams maintain is around $8,000.

So, given the sheer number of Discoverer reports you likely have today, you can see that while a lift and shift approach may sound like an easy way to solve the Discoverer replacement challenge, the reality is it’s hugely inefficient. That’s because lift and shift doesn’t just carry across a bunch of unused, underutilized, or low value reports, it also carries over a huge amount of unnecessary, hidden costs.

There is a smarter way to replace Discoverer. A way that doesn’t just move a problem from one tool to another. A way that gives business users the flexible reporting they need while reducing the burden on IT to manage those reports. A way that takes no longer than a lift and shift project. Meet Hubble.

Hubble offers modern, flexible reporting to meet today’s business needs

Hubble is different. It offers a thoughtfully curated library of 140+ pre-built report templates, and Hubble is flexible and intuitive, so business users can customize templates by adding their own filters or extra columns in seconds, with no coding or technical knowledge required. That means far fewer reports to manage, while business users are empowered to access the exact information they need, whenever they need it.

Out-of-the-box templates covering:
Accounts Payable
Accounts Receivable
Cash Management
Fixed Assets
General Ledger
Human Resources
Inventory
Payroll
Projects
Purchase Order Processing
Subledger Accounting

The result is:

  • Fast implementation
  • Fewer reports to manage
  • Self-service for business users
  • Lower total cost of ownership
  • Less work for IT

Five steps to replace your Discoverer Reports with Hubble

Replacing your Discoverer reports offers a real opportunity to simplify and streamline the number of reports you need to manage, reduce your IT costs, and provide business users with more modern reporting capabilities. And, there is a well-defined process to help you along that road. Here’s a step-by-step checklist that existing Hubble customers have followed to successfully replace their Discoverer reports:

  1. Assess current Discoverer report usage
    A project to simply migrate reports like-for-like may not be the best answer. Over the years, your organization will have built up a library of reports, many of which are now redundant. This is an opportunity to identify—using an automated process—which reports are truly important and used most often by your user community.
  2. Identify and eradicate duplication
    Many organizations that have not centrally controlled their report development suffer from a proliferation of reports that are exact duplicates or vary from each other only marginally (e.g., manual report bursting). A review of existing reports and improved report design can eradicate the problem.
  3. Challenge business requirements
    Speak to the users themselves to understand how the reports are used, how they subsequently interact with the data, and which reports are critical. However, be prepared to challenge their requirements. ”Because we have always done it that way” is not a justification for rolling Discoverer reports forward. Then, compare the users’ experience to the data you have gathered in the first step. Also, look for similar or overlapping requirements so that multiple reports can be consolidated into one.

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  1. Map report shortlist to Hubble templates
    After completing steps one to three, customers typically find they only need to migrate 10-20 percent of their Discoverer reports to Hubble. So, the next step is to take your shortlist of Discover reports that are still regularly used, identify which EBS modules they run against, and either pick the equivalent Hubble report from the library of 140+ templates or reuse the Discoverer report SQL using a Hubble VirtualView. Customize the report, if necessary, which takes moments, then publish to your users. Because Hubble uses your existing EBS security, you can be confident users will only see data that they are authorized to access through their Oracle credentials.
  2. Deploy modern, flexible web reports to users
    You can now provide business users with fully interactive reports, in a modern web environment, where they can easily customize their information by applying their own filters, adding extra columns, and drilling down into lower levels of detail to answer their follow-up questions (no need to switch to a separate report). Then you can take advantage of other time-saving features including alerts, notifications, commentary, and approval workflows.

Hubble offers everything you have with Discoverer and more

After your successful migration from Discoverer to Hubble, here is how your familiar Discoverer components will carry across to Hubble:

Discoverer Component Hubble Equivalent
EUL  Repository
Business Area  Module
  • Folder
  • Template
  • Item Classes
  • Metadata
  • Joins
  • Template
Workbook/Sheet Report
  • Calculations
  • Calculations
  • Columns
  • Columns
  • Conditions
  • Filters
  • Format Mask
  • Formatting
  • Page Items
  • Filters
  • Security
  • Security
  • Sort
  • Sort
  • Subtotals/Totals
  • Subtotals/Totals

Purpose built to handle all your EBS reporting needs

Hubble puts business users in control of reporting. Out of the box, Hubble understands your users, responsibilities, security, FlexFields, and much more. Designed for use by finance and business users to reduce the load on IT, Hubble lets you start with pre-built templates or create your own reports and dashboards in minutes and run them in seconds. Drill into supporting information in real time to get the answers you need.

  • Reporting and visual analysis
    Connect to any EBS module in real time and create inquiries, reports, and dashboards without IT involvement. Summarize masses of data into easy-to-consume visualizations and dashboards, with the ability to drill down to transaction level. Handle EBS reporting challenges with ease, including as-of reporting and custom aging buckets to analyze payables and receivables.
    Hubble P&l Report On Surface Pro
  • Report Distribution
    Automate the distribution of reports and dashboards by email to internal and external users in order to share a single version of the truth with a wider audience of decision makers.

Hubble customers are reaping the benefits today … Ready to join them?

Hubble customers have already replaced their Oracle Discoverer reports, with business users enjoying faster, more efficient reporting, and IT having less on their plate:

ACCA
  • Replaced all FSG and Discoverer reports with Hubble
  • 80% time saving on creating reports
  • Users can access and display info in the way they want it
  • Year-end consolidation reduced from one to two days to one to two hours
  • Reconciliation reduced from half a day to half an hour

 

“Hubble delivers significant benefits to the team, helping us understand key spend metrics.”

 

– Paul Slowey, Finance Systems Accountant

Cairn Energy
  • Replaced all Discoverer Reports with Hubble
  • Seen 10 times performance improvements
  • Reduced month-end close cycle
“Hubble is at least 10 times faster than Discoverer for the same reports…has allowed more focus on analysis and process improvement, and has supported a four-day improvement in our month-end close cycle.

– Julie Niven, Oracle Service Delivery Manager

 

FM Conway
  • Replaced all Discoverer Reports with Hubble
  • Installed, up and running, and trained in a couple of days
  • Created 13 new reports in one day
  • Answers that previously took days, now take minutes
“Our executives see how Hubble, working so well with our ERP, is the underpinning of the business transformation process – it’s a solid foundation and contributor for further business growth.

 

 

– Ed Lynott, Director of IT

 

Ladbrokes
  • Complex data in over 20 ledgers and support 17 currencies, all with different tax rules
  • Replaced all FSG and Discoverer reports with Hubble
  • Seen up to 20 times performance improvement
  • Reduced reliance on IT to create reports
“Hubble Reporting has contributed significantly to the efficiency and accuracy of the monthly financial close processes, saving at least two-man days at month end.

We have found Hubble to be up to 20 times faster than Discoverer, which we were using previously.”

 

– Daniel Weiss, Financial Controller Shared Services

 

PA Housing
  • Replaced all FSG and Discoverer reports in-house
  • Increased visibility into the business overnight
  • Hubble paid for itself several times over within the first year
“Overnight, the level of visibility substantially increased for the whole business – from the board level all the way to the users… everybody in the business now sees Oracle in a better light.”

 

– Balwant Basran, Head of Treasury & Business Planning

 

Shannon Group
  • Replaced all Discoverer reports
  • Month-end reporting went from two days down to only half a day
  • Budget reports are now available on demand
  • Interface reconciliation reports reduced from half a day to minutes
“With Hubble, we have complete control over our numbers, and the confidence that comes from having a single, centralized location for all our key information.”

 

– Collette Walsh, Shared Service Centre Manager

 

 

Ready to Migrate Your Discoverer Reports?

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