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TM1 vs Essbase Comparison Of Advantages & Disadvantages

TM1 vs EssbaseMy company is looking at TM1 from IBM and comparing it to Essbase (which we have). What are some of the key advantages/disadvantages of the two products?


(Partner & Principal Consultant) |


If you already have Essbase, I am not sure why you need TM/1.

I have worked with both TM/1 (old vesion) and Essbase - from my experience there is nothing in TM/1 that you can't do with Essbase.

May be you can share what exactly are the issues that you face with Essbase that makes you consider TM/1.

Topic Expert
Patrick Dunne
Title: Chief Financial Officer
Company: Milk Source
(Chief Financial Officer, Milk Source) |

We use Essbase and have not found any limitations. Is there anything that TM1 is touted to do that Essbase can't? I looked at this a long time ago and went with Essbase. I am curious if you do find any true advantages of TM1.

(Consultant) |

There's a few reasons to go with TM1 over Essbase:

1) Real-time calculation: No more worrying about what calc scripts need to be written or managed - TM1 does all calculations as requested, in real-time. If Essbase ever got dynamic-calc-and-store to actually work, it would look like TM1.

2) Ease of maintenance: In TM1, when the dimension is updated, all cubes that use that dimension are automatically updated. Coupled with the real-time calculation, this is painless. In Essbase, you'd have to add them to each cube, and if it's a dense dimension, it forces a cube restructure. In one application I managed, this took about 36 hours.

3) User interfaces: With Essbase, you need to build all of these on top; there's usually VBA involved. With TM1 you get all the same power as Essbase on Excel, but also web interfaces, Cognos Insight desktop, Contributor for planning/workflows, and Performance Modeler for easy modeling of TM1 applications.

4) Cubes vs Models: Essbase builds cubes; TM1 builds models - real-time cross-cube calculations, coupled with real-time calculation, means that users can easily look at "what-if" scenarios (TM1 also has personal sandboxes for this), as well as minimise data input (e.g. exchange rates). Throw in a super-easy modeling tool (Performance Modeler), and you've got yourself an application very quickly. Cognos Insight can also be used as a rapid prototyping tool, which can then be brought into Performance Modeler.

5) Ownership: Essbase fits in with the Oracle ethos of centralising everything in IT, TM1 fits with the Cognos ethos of self-service. Essbase is not an application that sits well with business ownership; conversely, TM1 sits just as well within IT.

Overall, I'd say that Essbase hasn't come along as far as TM1 has in the last 10 years. It's a great piece of software, but the turning point for TM1 was the emergence of cheap RAM - its in-memory capabilities, coupled with ease of use, do leave Essbase behind.

Ralph Baxter
Title: CEO
Company: ClusterSeven
LinkedIn Profile
(CEO, ClusterSeven) |

One assumes that the reason you are looking at updating your systems is that you have problems in terms of speed of close, audit/regulatory issues etc. Usually these are symptoms of changes in the business environment since the last major systems update and manifested in the creation of many operational spreadsheets.

I would therefore recommend that you seek to understand why these spreadsheets have originated within your business over previous years. This will put you in a good position to evaluate future alternatives against their ability to manage the inevitable business changes down the road.

Harold D. Tamayo
Title: Vice President of Finance
Company: MHA Inc., a Roper Technologies Company
LinkedIn Profile
(Vice President of Finance, MHA Inc., a Roper Technologies Company) |

I have worked with both systems and it really depends on your need. Both systems addressed the same reporting requirements. However, in my experience, TM1 has a lot more flexibility and easily you can train your analyst to do your maintenance and build cubes. I have implemented TM1 at a local and global level and it has been one of the best tools I have come to use from an ease and usability stand point.

(Solutions Architect) |

I work for a large Company that owns both Hyperion:Essbase and Cognos:TM1 OLAP capabilities. Can someone please share a few scenarios where you would consider using TM1 over Essbase?


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