AstraZeneca (US, Canada, MedImmune) Improves Insight, Analytics, and Reporting, Enterprisewide, with Unified Planning on a Single Platform

AstraZeneca (US, Canada, MedImmune) Improves Insight, Analytics, and Reporting, Enterprisewide, with Unified Planning on a Single Platform

AstraZeneca is a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business with a primary focus on the discovery, development, and commercialization of prescription medicines for gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, neuroscience, respiratory and inflammation, oncology and infectious disease. AstraZeneca operates in more than 100 countries, and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide.

Between 2009 and 2011, AstraZeneca (US, Canada, MedImmune) (may be referred to as the “entities” from this point forward) consolidated onto a centralized, enterprise resource planning (ERP) hub to unify and standardize the entities under one chart of accounts, close cycles, and reporting capabilities. This consolidation—called the North America Transaction Processing project—facilitated alignment from an actual reporting perspective, but it left a large gap related to budgeting and forecasting, as each entity had separate systems, processes, and procedures for these functions.

The entities needed to consolidate, integrate, and standardize all planning, forecasting, and reporting functionalities into one central system from the previously disparate systems used by the entities to enable an enterprisewide view of planning data across all three North American entities. This had the additional benefit of allowing the new system to be supported by a center of excellence and utilizing fewer Hyperion administrator resources across the business. Additionally, the company needed to develop more efficient reporting capabilities to better meet company requirements for analytics.

AstraZeneca (US, Canada, MedImmune)implemented Oracle Hyperion Planning to provide a centralized reporting source for planning data and to adhere to the standard ERP chart of accounts while catering to the unique forecasting needs of each entity—such as gross margin, expenses, headcount, and working capital—in a multicurrency environment.

With the implementation, the entities gained a sophisticated solution that consists of separate applications for various planning and reporting functions by entity, and a unique profit and loss planning functionality. The architecture’s design provides flexibility for each entity to conduct calculations and forecasting processes that are specific to its business, while maintaining consistent master data across all applications for integrated enterprisewide planning.




A word from AstraZeneca (US, Canada, MedImmune)

  • “The architecture of Oracle Hyperion Planning, as it relates to our business, is truly unique and innovative. With the solution, we’ve been able to drive insight at an extremely high level, while enabling more detailed reporting and analysis to run our day-to-day operations with greater efficiency.” – Kara McNulty, Director – AstraZeneca US Brand Finance

  • Implement the business-critical Oracle Hyperion Planning solution while MedImmune underwent a simultaneous migration onto the parent company’s ERP system
  • Align the entities onto one common planning and reporting platform to allow for one North American view of all planning data
  • Incorporated two year’s worth of actuals and forecast data from a legacy system into the new solution in a six-month development timeframe
  • Configure data integration from numerous feeds related to master data, headcount, and sales data to comply with forecasting and reporting requirements
  • Accelerate data consolidation to shorten data cycle times and support an increased focus on analytics
  • Streamline reporting and planning to increase efficiencies at an entity and global level and create a standardized, unified North American view of pharmaceutical business operations


Oracle Product and Services

  • Implemented—with the assistance of Oracle Consulting—Oracle Hyperion Planning to achieve a centralized planning, budgeting, and forecasting solution and provide an in-depth, enterprisewide view of all North American pharmaceutical business operations
  • Integrated Oracle Hyperion Planning with the already established ERP solution to ensure the accurate, efficient, and streamlined flow of data between the two systems
  • Consolidated and aggregated data—on a nightly basis—across the three entities, with average aggregation time taking 15 minutes to two hours, to improve insights via a more real-time, comprehensive view of pharmaceutical business data
  • Achieved more efficient, accurate, finance-controlled processes for aggregating data, with the ability to store more than 10 years of planning data in the system—five years more than previous storage capabilities
  • Adhered to the standard chart of accounts and one central reporting source for planning data while providing the flexibility for each entity to meet its unique forecasting needs
  • Reduced manual reporting efforts via the integrated Oracle Hyperion Planning interface, with the expectation of reducing reporting and planning time by 10%, enterprisewide
  • Achieved immediate forecasting and reporting capabilities, as the solution automates data refreshes and updates every four minutes, eliminating the need to wait for daily aggregation when on-demand reports are needed
  • Improved financial analysis and planning, with more real-time, comprehensive data comparisons to actuals, gaining the ability for comparisons between progress achieved with the budget and to better track pharmaceutical sales, leading to more sophisticated business decisions
  • Create customized and ad hoc reporting templates, leading to significant improvements in analytics, forecasting, and financial planning
  • Completed the implementation within the six-month timeframe, including configuring all legacy data appropriately and incorporating it into the new solution

Why Oracle

The entities chose Oracle Hyperion Planning due to the solution’s ability to scale to support large, complex data volumes, as well as its reputation as an industry leader in enterprise planning and reporting solutions.

“We are extremely confident in Oracle’s ability to manage the large volume of data created by our unique business functions,” said Karen Smith – senior director, operations/G&A finance

 “In addition, Oracle Consulting put a real focus on addressing our business needs. It worked really hard to match Oracle’s technical solution to our unique needs, rather than the other way around.”

Implementation Process

AstraZeneca worked with Oracle Consulting to focus on matching the configuration of Oracle Hyperion Planning to the company’s specific business needs. The company went through approximately six weeks of prototyping, presenting results to the chief financial officers of each operating entity throughout the process. From there, the entities worked with program managers to capture solution requirements, then to design, configure, and build, while incorporating changes into each development iteration. The company went through three iterations before configuring the final solution.