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  1. Satyabrata Basu
    Dear Prakash,

    First thank you for the very useful blog. Also, congratulations to your new assignment !! All the best !

    I was wondering whether SAP has any future roadmap on Outlooksoft and integratyion of Netweaver BI and also approximate timeline when they are going to be available. Also, if such roadmap and future path for evolution exists whether they can be shared at this point ?

    Thank you with kind regards…

    Satya.

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    1. Prakash Darji Post author
      Hey Satya,

      These are all very good questions. We have a lot of ideas in mind, but they haven’t approved for external communication yet. As soon as we get stuff ready for external communication, we’ll let you know. We’re planning on launching a CPM Page on SDN in the September/October time frame. I’m hoping to have our roadmap posted on the CPM page at that time, but I’ll post it to a blog as soon as we’re good to go. The initial thoughts are next year (2008) sometime, we’ll have a version that integrates with NetWeaver BI, but I can’t divulge more details than that yet. I’ll show the evolution in more detail in the roadmap when we’re good to share.

      Thanks for your interest!
      Prakash

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      1. Satyabrata Basu
        Hi Prakash,

        Thank you for your answer. My company is currently implementing Outlooksoft for Consolidated Group reporting (the implementation started before SAP acquired outlooksoft) and at the same time we are running SAP BI 7.0 for Operational and Analytical reporting. So, it would be really interesting for us to know the clear roadmap as I would imagine the customers running outlooksoft and SAP BI would greatly benefit from the improved Interfacing between two product.

        I would look forward to your next blog

        Cheers !!

        Satya.

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        1. Prakash Darji Post author
          Hey Satya,

          I’d actually like to talk to you about your implementation and what your plans are for moving data back and forth between your Outlooksoft and NetWeaver systems. I’ve written a guide on moving data back and forth within the current version, but I’d be interested in seeing what you guys are planning and doing today, as my guide is only partially done. If you’re interested in talking, please send me an email at prakash.darji@sap.com and I’ll setup some time for us to talk.

          Cheers,
          Prakash

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  2. NICOLA IMBRIOSCIA
    Thanks Prakash,

    as you know IP is one of the main drivers for BI7 upgrade and/or new BI7 implementation. All our customers that have already done the upgrade are a quite bit lost in choosing a tool for their planning project (we just finished to validate IP Vs BPs!). Your blog gives an interesting point of view, but customers would like to know as soon how and when BPC will really work. Best part of them has very technical detailed questions to validate their actual roadmap and we (I guess not just in my company) don’t have actually all the answers.

    I hope you will be able to help us soon.

    Congratulations for your new job!!!

    Best regards,

    Nicola

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    1. Prakash Darji Post author
      Hey Nicola,

      I agree that customers are trying to choose which planning option best suits their needs right now. That is what I was trying to get into with the blog, but I agree, some more technical detailed questions will need to be answered. I’m working on a very detailed FAQ that I’m planning on posting shortly. We’re in the process of setting up a CPM page on SDN where we can post this info. On this page, I’m actually posting a good 20 minute long video that shows the capabilities of SAP BPC. Also, I’ll post similar capabilities from BI-IP so people can compare. If there’s any specific question you need answered immediately, feel free to post it here, and I’ll do my best.

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  3. Daisy Woodhams - DAWO
    I’m gathering that BPC would allow business users define their planning requirements including planning cubes, layouts, etc.  However, would this include enhanced master data.  Although we have several large SAP installs and a single BI instance, there is master data that is not stored in R/3 but is required for planning/reporting.  This data was frequently maintained in local planning systems.  These systems are slowly being replaced and BI-IP has been considered.  However, although BI planning is fine, the real-time reporting of this departmental master data is difficult for BI (many users & change runs).  Will BPC help with this?
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    1. Prakash Darji Post author
      This is actually one of the sweet spots of BPC 5.0. You can have master data and maintain it directly within your BPC system. If you have multiple application sets within BPC, each one has it’s own master data. Meaning if you want specific master data that’s different for two different departments, this is easy to do in BPC 5.0. If you want one general set, you can build multiple cubes within one app set as the master data is shared by application set. Also, it can be maintained from the admin console by users by directly updating an excel spreadsheet!
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      1. Daisy Woodhams - DAWO
        Prakash:

        This is really good news as BI master data maintenance gets hit with change runs and locking.  So, if the department can maintain local master data which can still link to the base BI master data and read BI cubes — this will be a great tool for us.

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    1. Prakash Darji Post author
      Hey Daisy,

      This is actually a longer question that I or my colleague Ryan will address in another blog shortly. The short answer is that SEM Management Cockpit and Balanced Scorecard are being replaced by SAP Strategy Management (Pilot). These products will no longer be developed. SEM-BPS became BW-BPS which was replaced by BI-IP (no further development in older BPS functionality). SEM-BCS is still still being developed but the plans are eventually to consolidate everything under one homogenous CPM sweet. The new blog will explain this in a lot more detail so stay tuned…

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      1. Daisy Woodhams - DAWO
        Prakash:
        Thank you as I guessed this was the direction.  We have several projects looming early next year (1qtr or so) and we were considering SEM. This puts a slightly different spin on the toolset.
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      2. Lokesh Nandula
        Hi Prakash….whatz the future for SAP SEM consultants? We have just started working on IP and now confused whether our career is at stake. Whatz the plan on SEM product development. Will IP and BCS will continue?

        regards,

        Lokesh Nandula

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        1. Prakash Darji Post author
          Hey Lokesh,

          I wouldn’t worry about your career in the CPM space. This is a very hot topic that lots of customers are looking at implemeneting solutions for.

          Also, Ryan wreote a blog about SAP SEM here: What is CPM and what is happening with SEM and BI Integrated Planning?

          This blogs talks more about SEM solutions and their future. IP is the engine and is continuing. BCS will also be further developed. See Ryan’s blog for more details.

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  4. Srinath Gampa
    I am having knowledge of sem-bps, bi-ip, cpm (Balanced Score Card / Management Cockpit / Value Driver Tree / Strategy Maps / Risk Management etc.) I want to know about BPC in detail by running the product demo so that I can get clear idea and compare two products very easily. Is it possible to work on bpc product ? It was explained that bpc is for end users and it will be very much useful for retail (eg: Mobile etc.)
    please provide the link for bpc product demo.

    srinath

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  5. Kris Bornauw
    Hi Prakash,

    I went to a SAP explication about this topic, and they stated that IP will be the tool that will be further developed using outlooksoft interfacing and useful tools. If a company have to decide now it is recommended to install IP because later on it will be possible to upgrade to the new planning tool including outlooksoft technology. But if you choose for outlooksoft you will need to re-implement because there will likely be no upgrade tool in the future for outlooksoft users.
    Is this correct?

    Secondly I have a question about a feature from BPS that I’m missing in IP but can not be missed. That is the calculate data locally in the layout flag. It replaces all copy and distribution functions and save a lot of time. Every time I use this function no one uses Hyperion, Cognos again because it is so fast and flexible that it boosts the implementation. Is there any thoughts on redeveloping it in IP?

    Kind regards,
    Kris Bornauw

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    1. Prakash Darji Post author
      BI-IP will be the engine going forward. The future plans of SAP BPC (formerly Outlooksoft) will be applications sitting on top of BI-IP (the planning engine). If you implement BI-IP today, and build your own custom applications on top of BI-IP, to leverage the BPC functionality, you may need to migrate these applications to BPC specific applications, even though it is using the BI-IP engine, as the there is additional metadata for SAP BPC. If you implement SAP BPC now, there will be migration & upgrade paths available to the BPC 7.0 which will be based on NW BI and the future version after that which will utilize the BI-IP Framework.

      As for the calculate delta locally flag, I’ll followup with my BI-IP colleagues about that.

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      1. Hi Prakash,

        Our client is considering the immediate implementation of BPC 5.0. In the light of this, please can you address the following queries:

        1. SAP has committed to providing BPC/BW integration next year. Considering this, do you recommend that we begin with a BPC 5.1 implementation now or do you recommend that we wait until this integration is provided in version BPC 7.0.?

        2. Even though we are still deciding which planning tool is ideal, we intend to begin immediately with the BW data modeling process. Is it reasonable to assume that the eventual decision to implement BPC will NOT have a significant impact on the data model from a functional or technical perspective? Obviously, we do not wish to build a data model that will be incompatible with BPC or that will place limitations on BPC functionality.  

        Thanks in advance,
        Kind regards,
        Ross

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        1. Prakash Darji Post author
          Hey Ross,

          Hope all is well.

          1. I’ve always been a fan of letting business needs drive software use, and not software platforms drive business decisions. That being said, it all depends on how flexibile your company is on platform adoption. We plan on providing the NetWeaver based version in rampup in Q2 2008. BPC is usually a very fast implementation time. So unfortunately, I have to say it depends. If you need the benefits of BPC now, I would use the BPC 5.x platform, and we’ll provide some back migration utilities to the BPC 7.x platform when it is available.

          2. This is not a reasonable assumption. The goal of BPC is to provide users to build/change cubes and load data into their models and all these cubes are generated from the BPC Admin Console, not from RSA1. They will technically be cubes created in the NetWeaver BI environment but they will be isolated from the EDW as they are built for and by uesrs. Therefore, the data models will have some differences. Ryan’s blog goes into this in a bit more detail:
          What is CPM and what is happening with SEM and BI Integrated Planning?

          Hope that helps.
          Cheers,
          Prakash

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          1. Thanks Prakash,

            This is helpful. I will read Ryan’s blog and the CPM forum for more.

            Keep well,
            Ross

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  6. Andrew Antonikov
    Hi Prakash,

    Thanks for your blog – really interesting!

    But still I have some questions:
    1. As far as I understood BPC is very flexible for end users and allow them to create their own cubes, load data, plan, create reports etc. Then what is the typical scope of the project for implementing BPC? what is the consultants role in this project? What are the typical tasks for cunsultants on a BPC projects?
    2. I’m interested in R/3-BW-BPC linkage. Let’s say I have to create an environment for Cost Center planning. I’d like actuals to be in BW for management reporting (it’s already done) and I’d like to be able to plan in BPC using actuals from BW as reference data. Also I’d like to replicate planned data back to BW info-cubes to be able to use standard retraction functionality so that plan data finally go back to R/3 – this is a client requrement. The question is how can I replicate info-cube structure from BW to BPC? Is it done at an info-cube level or at a table level and thus I should understand info-cube structure at a table level? What tools should I use to replicate structure of an info-cube from BW to BPC? What tools should I use to load transactional and master data from BW to BPC for actuals and from BPC to BW for plan data? Can there be any technical problems if BW uses Oracle/Unicode database and BPC uses MS SQL?

    Thanks in advance,

    Kind regards,
    Andrew.

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      1. Prakash Darji Post author
        Hey Andrew,

        Great questions…

        1. Consultants are there for a few different purporses:
          – Optimize the system
          – Functional or Strategic expertise
          – Consolidations expertise

        2. There will be a how-to guide released in the upcoming weeks on integration of data (both master data and transactional data) between BPC and SAP BI as well as ERP.

        Cheers,
        Prakash

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        1. Andrew Antonikov
          Prakash,

          Thanks for your answers! Will wait for “how-to…” doc – it should be very interesting! Please, let us know when it’ll be released!

          Kind regards,
          Andrew.

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        2. Andy Lloyd
          I will be talking to a client who is live on BPC 5.x on Friday 10/26 about improving their current file-based technique of moving data into and out of BPC. An estimated publish date of the How-to guide on the integration of data between BPC, BI and ERP would be of great help in that discussion.
          Can you give me a date?
          Thanks for your help.
          Best Regards,
          Andy
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  7. Bill Jarvis
    This is a great Blog!

    I’m just catching up on the OutlookSoft Aquisition when the Business Objects Aquisition is announced.  I know it’s really early and that the underlying strategy is “Independently Operatated”; but I see this new aquisition announcement as MAJOR opportunity/challenge for BPC.  How would you advise customers in the middle of or planning for IP / BPC Initiatives?

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    1. Prakash Darji Post author
      SAP legally cannot disclose anything about the Business Objects acquisition until the deal closes. The current SAP plans in relation to the Outlooksoft acquisition and integration remain unchanged as of today.
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  8. Peter Jones
    Hi Prakash,
    thanks for the great information. quick question. I have had numerous customers asking about the functionality that BPS has to have an excel spreadsheet available on the WEB. Is this coming in any future SP or version?? or is there some javascript that we can use in the WAD to be able to get an excel ss on the web as in BPS. thanks, Pete
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  9. Manishkumar Jain
    Hi Prakash,

    Thanks a lot for the info. It is very useful. Some questions –

    1 ) SEM tool provides –
    – Tight internal control and compliance with SOA and other governances. 
    – Audit trail (document number, tracking) in legal consolidation
    – Tightly integrated with BW, in turn SAP ERP systems

    Is Outlooksoft (BPC) capable of providing above features ? As you specified earlier, with outlooksoft the end user(super user) will have more power to create cube, change data  etc.. How this new tool- BPC & SSM stands in terms of above features of SEM ?

    2 ) Licensing
    I believe SEM tools comes free without any licensing cost.

    Is there going to be separate licensing cost for BPC and Strategy Management tools ? What would be the licensing policies, if any ?

    Regards,

    MJ

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    1. Prakash Darji Post author
      Hey Manish,

      1. BPC 5.x doesn’t offer this tight integration with SAP ERP and BW today. Next year, we are releasing BPC 7.x which will be built on NW and will have tight integration with ERP and NW BI. Also, both BPC 5.x and 7.x have detailed auditing.

      Obviously, within SEM, typical business users wouldn’t create cubes. They would need to know what line item dimensions, high cardinality, and all sorts of other technical jargon to be able to do this. Within BPC, this is abstracted away from the user.

      2. For all licensing, contact your Account Rep. In short, BPC as well as SSM are not free.

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  10. Vlad Selsky
    Hi Prakash,
    We are doing an initial SAP implementation with HCM, Netweaver 7, and BPC go-live scheduled for May 2008. No intention to implement BI any time soon. I want to make sure I understand: you will shortly post to this blog a guide that will articulate how we can set up an interface between SAP (eg, HR master data…headcount, salary, etc) and BPC? Is there a scheduled date for this guide?

    Thanks, Vlad

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    1. Scott Cairncross
      Hi Vlad,

      What Prakash was referring to is a guide which I am currently writing that addresses loading master data into BPC via NetWeaver BI.

      So in short the answer to you question is yes, that the guide will articulate how to set up an interface between SAP and BPC but via NW BI using Open Hub and outlining other potential options as well.

      Regarding the scheduled date. I am hoping to finish with this no later than the week of Thanksgiving.

      Thanks,
      Scott

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    2. Scott Cairncross
      Hi Vlad,

      What Prakash was referring to is a guide which I am currently writing that addresses loading master data into BPC via NetWeaver BI.

      So in short the answer to you question is yes, that the guide will articulate how to set up an interface between SAP and BPC but via NW BI using Open Hub and outlining other potential options as well.

      Regarding the scheduled date. I am hoping to finish with this no later than the week of Thanksgiving.

      Thanks,
      Scott

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  11. John Scarritt
    We are considering implementing an HR Headcount planning/budgetting solution using SAP BI-IP and BPS.  We know what hardware and configuration the BI part will take.  What is necessary for the BPC part and how is the path to production (Dev, QA, Prod) maintained between the two?
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    1. Prakash Darji Post author
      Hey Martin,

      I’m a product manager working on BPC 7.x, so of course you should use BPC 🙂

      As I said earlier, it really comes down to your requirements, but if you haven’t implemented, you should definitely evaluate the BPC functionatilty… I do agree with Bryan.

      Cheers,
      Prakash

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  12. Shailesh Unny
    Hi Prakash,

    Would you be reposting this blog after clarifying the misinterpreted points? This is a very critical decision for many clients (Implement BI-IP today versus wait for a more integrated BPC tool).
    Any infomation which would help making this choice would be very helpful.

    Thanks
    Shailesh

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    1. Prakash Darji Post author
      I cannot. The best way to get answers on this is engage SAP’s marketing team for information on BI-IP vs BPC evaluations.

      Sorry I don’t have better answers on this, but there was a lot of debate before I pulled this and there were different points confusing different customers. The best way to get information is with a direct dialog with our SAP representatives.

      Cheers,
      Prakash

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      1. Parul Virmani
        Hi Prakash,
        I was interested in finding out the current state of affairs in the world of BPC and it’s integration with BI IP and other planning tools SAP has. Any updated you have will be highly appreciated!
        Thanks.
        -Parul
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  13. Randall Woyicki
    Prakash,

    My organization wants to use BI-IP to do top-down planning.  Can you direct me to a roadmap for SAP’s recommended approach to using BI-IP for top-down planning?

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  14. Michael Svolos
    Hi,
    I have seen in several presentations that the 7.0 release this year will be integrated with BI.  Does this mean that BPC will use the existing BI master data and cubes?  I have heard conflicting information on this and a clarification would be helpful.
    Thanks,
    Mike.
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    1. Prakash Darji Post author
      It will use BI Master data and BI cubes. However, it will do this in an isolated namespace /CPMB/ and will not utilizing objects that aren’t in this namespace. This is to keep BPC Administrators from touching the EDW.
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  15. heba hamouda
    Hi Prakash,

    i need to know urgently how can i customize BPC?

    Which language supported in BPC Customization?

    Which Platform i can use in BPC Customization?

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  16. S B
    HI Prakash,

    I have a requirement of Integrating outlooksoft with portal. Is there a way I can achive this. I require an SSO between outlook soft and portal.

    PLz suggest

    Thanks

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  17. Pierre-Yves Lesage
    Hi Prakash,

    my client is considering replacing an existing application with BPC.
    There is one issue that needs to be solved before going ahead: Does BPC support retraction of planned data into SAP ECC?

    This is a required functionality that was supported by BPS and I would assume that there are plans to port such functionality to BPC.

    Please let me know,

    Thanks,

    Pierre-Yves

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      1. SAPEPM con
        Hi Prakash,

        Currently we are evaluating BCS, BPC and BOBJ for implementing consolidation for a client. Could you suggest where can I find the details on features of BPC consolidation?

        Best Regards,
        SSC

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  18. Darshan Makim
    Hi Prakash,

    I am interested to have training on Outlooksoft BPC for customizing it. Could you please advise me that which course should I take for ot from SAP?

    Thanks in advance.

    Regards,

    Darshan

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      1. Community User
        Hello Parkash,

        Do you have any documentation on how to do sizing on BPC. All I found is the SEM-BCS document but I don’t think it is correct for BPC.

        Thanks,
        -GR-

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  19. Daniel Pinto
    Hi,

    I want to know if i can to use the principles of SAP BPC for SAP APO?
    The part of planning and strategy of business seen in BPC, can it apply in the supply chain management?

    Thanks,

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    1. Sandeep Garg
      This is hard to answer accurately at such a generic level. Can you please provide some more details and scope of what exactly do you have in mind?

      SAP APO is meant to do many things related to core supply chain management. Most of those things require knoweldge of supply chain data model, supply chain processes and the typical algorithms used to create supply chain plans. “Planning and strategy” in supply chain world can be very different than the “planning and strategy” in BPC semantics. However there are areas of overlap in the sense that you can do certain specific things in either one in a similar way. For example some simple consensus, collaborative demand management process can be enabled in either BPC or in APO. But there are tons of things for which you cannot port your knowledge directly.

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      1. Daniel Pinto
        Hello!

        Thanks for answer.
        My question was about possibility to use the principles of BPC , like planning and strategy, in APO.
        I’ll start soon a BPC implementation and I would apply the knowledge about planning and strategy of BPC, with my knowledge about logistic, for otimization of supply chain.

        Thanks,

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      2. Daniel Pinto
        Hello!

        Thanks for answer.
        My question was about possibility to use the principles of BPC , like planning and strategy, in APO.
        I’ll start soon a BPC implementation and I would apply the knowledge about planning and strategy of BPC, with my knowledge about logistic, for otimization of supply chain.

        Thanks,

        (0) 

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