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Friday, March 12, 2010

What skill set should a Hyperion EPM Administrator have? Part I

Working with clients in today’s environment of streamlined resources, one of the areas often overlooked in an EPM implementation is the candidate who is going to fill the role of System Administrator for an organization. There is a direct correlation between the level of success an EPM project has and the candidate fulfilling this all important role.

I’ve been associated with projects where the Administrator has had a less than enthusiastic attitude toward this responsibility; thinking that this is just one more area of responsibility being piled on them. I always try to encourage and communicate that this is an incredible opportunity for them to learn/master a new technology on the job. In addition, the skill set they can acquire through “knowledge-transfer” with the project consultants is invaluable. The portability of this knowledge with future employers is also a benefit that administrators don’t always seem to grasp, as there is a constant need for seasoned Hyperion administrators in the marketplace. Clients consistently inquire as to whether we can assist them in recruiting experienced Hyperion Administrators based on our network of contacts.

Some of the skills from an implementation perspective that we as a project team like to see in an Administrator is a willingness to embrace the technology that’s being implemented Successful Administrators are the ones who jump in to the “deep-end” of the pool with the consulting team and understand that there may be some hiccups along the way, but ultimately the organization will be in a significantly better place once the project has gone “Live”. A consistent theme to those who are resistant to change is how their current legacy systems can handle can adequately handle the organizations requirements, however when questioned a little deeper about the limitations and issues of their current system and how that platform can position the organization for future growth, that’s when the realization of the shortcomings of the current are truly recognized.

The ability to effectively communicate is another critical skill that a successful Administrator must have because they will need to have the ability to speak to different audiences. Success administrators need to be able to communicate with their peers as users and often times users from different parts of the organization outside the familiar confines of the Finance area. In addition, successful Administrators need the ability to effectively communicate with Manager, Director, Vice President level employees. The Administrator must also be able to effectively communicate with the IT group as they will be the liaison between the business side and the technical side of the organizations. Each of these groups has their own “language” and vested interest in the organization which must be recognized by the Administrator in order to be successful.

Much of skill set that successful Administrators need is technical in nature but too often the “people” side is under emphasized. Overall, a good attitude with the ability to effectively communicate at various levels within the organization as well as the technical aptitude to learn a new technology are the ingredients for a successful administrator.

In Part II, we’ll discuss some of the more technical skills that a Hyperion Administrator should either have or acquire in order to be an effective and successful administrator.