Argos Project Overview

Background Information

Middlebury has been using Oracle’s Hyperion Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) reporting system for roughly 17 years. Historically report writing and development responsibilities have been split between functional areas and the Administrative Systems group in ITS. Due to licensing restrictions in the Hyperion EPM 11 system we have been limited to a total of 25 report writers across the institution. These 25 functional and technical report writers together have formed the EPM Reporting Group which meets on a monthly basis to discuss and resolve common reporting challenges.

In 2014, Oracle announced that Premiere Support for Hyperion EPM would end in April 2015, and that Extended Support would end in May 1, 2018. In collaboration with the EPM Reporting group ITS conducted research regarding possible replacements for the Hyperion EPM 11 system. Throughout 2014-15, ITS staff reviewed product offers from various vendors, consulted with colleagues at peer schools and CLAC institutions, and met with consultants of Gartner Research regarding enterprise reporting systems and Business Intelligence/Analytics platforms. After some research, ITS identified 4 options to replace Hyperion EPM - Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition (OBIEE), IBM Cognos, Evisions Argos, and a combination of IBM Cognos (for institutional and executive reporting) and Evisions Argos (for daily transactional reporting).

ITS led demos of the OBIEE and the Evisions Argos products in 2014 and early 2015. Evaluations were stopped in early 2015 due to the formation of a Data Governance Strategy team and strong interest in exploring a modern ERP product that had built-in transactional reporting. It was initially thought that the Banner ERP system might be replaced before the end of support for Hyperion EPM 11 and therefore a new reporting system implementation might not be necessary.

When it became clear that the conversation around an ERP replacement would be a longer-term project, the Data Governance Strategy team endorsed the purchase and usage of Evisions Argos to replace Hyperion EPM in late 2015. The selection of Evisions Argos was motivated by the desire to empower end-users with better access to data and to reduce the cost of transactional reporting at Middlebury. Additionally Argos was considered an inexpensive way to introduce modern BI/Analytics capabilities to Middlebury in order to facilitate data driven decision making.

Related: Argos Implementation

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