Let’s not forget that it also sent Natalie’s kids to college

We (your EPM Conversations hosts) owe a lot – a financial kind of debt as well as a professional one – to Shankar and Hyperion/Oracle on premises /PBCS/EPBCS/EPM Cloud Planning. Seriously, I first set eyes on what was then Hyperion Planning Desktop (which alas I cannot find a screenshot of but know it’s out there somewhere), I thought, “Cameron, you idiot, this is the future” and so it has been through (gulp) decades of work. Never, our Performance Management audience, look askance at a sure thing.

Part of that product’s success has been Shankar Viswanathan’s careful stewardship of a product that grew from an application wrapper around Essbase (and a horrific and quickly abandoned Win32 app that was supposed to be the workspace of users of All Things Hyperion and yes, Shankar, I really do hope you didn’t create that) to a complete EPM cloud platform. At its core, planning and budgeting hasn’t at it’s core really changed all that much (ZBB came and went, driver based planning is still here, and yes AI/ML now has its turn in the Wheel of Planning Fortune) but what we still call Planning certainly has. Of course Shankar didn’t write each line of code nor did he define and design every bit and bob of UI, but it’s easy to see his steady hand in Planning’s evolution through the lens of customer success.


Each and every one of EPM Conversations’ guests is a joy for they are enthusiastic, open, thoughtful, visionary, and just about everything one might hope for in a colleague and a friend. Shankar is all of things and yet he is different.

By that I mean Shankar is quiet in the physical sense. We struggled with Shankar’s voice until we (we = Celvin) realized that is simply how Shankar talks; he is well worth listening to and the volume button on your phone isn’t that hard to use. Sometimes how we think is reflected in how we speak: introspection, consideration, reasoning, and sensitivity don’t need to be shouted to be understood. Shankar is well worth a listen.

Maybe the most interesting part

All of what I wrote about Shankar’s professional interests hold true for his personal ones.

There’s a wide range in all three areas of historical men, literature, and movies: E.O. Wilson, , Gandhi, and Steve Jobs for the historical figures, in reading, Ayn Rand as a teenager, to E.F. Schumacher’s Small is Beautiful, John Kenneth Galbraith’s The Anatomy of Power, and Fritjof Capra’s The Tao of Physics, and finally a varied palette of movies in Shawshank Redemption, The Bang Bang Club, and Heat.

This is, in case you’ve not been able to tell, one of my favorite episodes.

Join us, won’t you?

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