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Author's profile photo Pratyush Panda


As we are about to say good bye to FY 2015 and welcome FY 2016, I would like to    re-iterate EPM’s journey for Year 2015 and how EPM’s market share will change in future years. Based on EPM’s road map, I have I have tried to identify knowledge gap that EPM consultants will face.

2015 – Year that was

  In FY 2015, EPM space has been through a roller coaster ride. With advent of 10.1 Classic and Embedded Model, release of IBP (Simple Finance), BI-IP/PAK, SAP Clouds for Analytics and BW 7.5, EPM has come a long way. By Looking at the product timeline below, it is clearly visible that SAP has improved its release frequency throwing a lot on EPM consultants to catch up in a year.


With all these releases, SAP on one hand is addressing market demand but on the other hand, SAP is putting a lot of pressure on EPM consultants to get acquainted with. Here in this article, I call them as “Fields of Play (FOP)”.


Consultants needs to spend time learning these new FOP even if the requirement is not eminent. Some of them are closely related like BPC10.1, Analysis for Office, BW 7.5 etc. but there are others like Fiori, Predictive Analytics which are not related but may be required in near future. Similarly, EPM Addin and Analysis for office 2.1 may have some similarities but again AO is new for EPM consultants. BW 7.5 was introduced with much more advanced features including features like ADSO, Composite provider, Hadoop Integration etc.

In 2015, In addition to enhancements in Embedded BPC, SAP came up with sFIN 2.0 and IBP which opens up altogether a new avenue for EPM consultants. Since Simple Finance provides integrated business planning directly off of the same transnational database as ECC, enabling real-time planning and actual-plan comparison with drill-down to line item detail. This is probably, SAP’s biggest bet in decades. Quoting Mr. Hasso Platter “If this doesn’t work, we’re dead. Flat-out dead. It’s that simple”. This makes lot of sense and one need not be Nostradamus to predict future of BPC. So what does it mean for EPM consultants? What are these new fields of play and the knowledge gap current EPM consultants have.

EPM Market Share- Current Vs Future

Let’s look at how the current EPM market is spread across. Based on some basic assumptions, I have put down EPM market share as below


Majority of SAP EPM market is concentrated around BPC classic as this is the most comprehensive product in the market addressing both planning, consolidation and reporting needs. However, market is slowly moving towards BPC 10.1 Embedded. Even though Embedded 10.1 is fairly new (Planning only), lot of traction is going on in this space. Based on current road map of SAP, BPC Embedded will have all features of BPC classic (including consolidation, business rules etc.) in FY 2016. We are already looking at some sap notes talking about the consolidation features in BPC 10.1 Embedded. SAP note 2218893 and 2218894 confirms this assumption. Based on these notes it looks like with next release BPC 10.1 Embedded will have basic consolidation features. This takes away the biggest disadvantage of BPC 10.1 Embedded w.r.t Classic.

Secondly, I have put IBP into early adaptors section because this where the future is. IBP has got huge potential as explained in many blogs. It’s needless to say that SAP is heavily investing in IBP and some point of time, BPC Embedded and IBP will converge.

Last, I have put Predictive analytics and BPC into innovators. A consolidated product with integrated features of predictive analytics is few years out but consultants needs to be prepared for these new technologies to have the “First Mover Advantage”. 

For years 2016-2017, the EPM market share will shift towards Embedded and sFIN 2.0 and trend will follow the same pattern going forward.


EPM Knowledge Gap

Based on predicted EPM market share, majority of EPM consultants needs to get trained in these technologies. Current knowledge gap looks as below:



Technical Background

EPM Consultant’s Knowledge Gap

SAP BPC 10.1 Classic


  1. BPC Configuration,
  2. Script Logic,
  3. EPM Reports
  1. Integrated Planning
  2. Bex
  3. Analysis for Office
  4. ABAP
  5. Forecasting Model using PAL
sFIN 2.0

Embedded      ( Planning & Consolidation) in sFIN

  1. Integrated Planning
  2. Bex
  3. Analysis for Office
  4. ABAP
  1. sFIN
  2. ECC Functional
  3. sFIN data Sources, Tables
  4. BPC Embedded
  5. Fiori
  6. Forecasting Model using PAL

BPC 1.0

  1. IP
  2. Visual Composer
  1. BPC
Predictive Analytics

Integrated with BPC

  1. Predictive Analytics
  1. R
  2. Statistics
  3. Visualization
EPM Addin

Analysis for Office

  1. EPM Addin
  1. Analysis for Office
  2. Lumira


  1. UX
  1. Fiori 2.0


To conclude, there are new Fields of Play that consultants needs to gain access to. With Embedded, IP, Bex, ABAP will come back into BPC design. sFIN 2.0 will force EPM consultants to get acquainted with ECC functionality to design and develop IBP solutions. This will also give opportunity to traditional ECC functional consultants to learn and implement IBP. Last, EPM consultants with knowledge of predictive, analytics will have definite edge over others. Analytics is next big thing.



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      Author's profile photo Edward Masarri
      Edward Masarri

      Nice, comprehensive article.

      SAP is introducing new products, like Apple introduces new Iphone models 🙂

      This would give, prospective customers the flexibility to choose from a range solutions that SAP could offer for planning and consolidation, though it could be tough for consultants to keep themselves up to date with the new product line.

      Quick Questions

      Will IBP have the capabilities of consolidation in future?

      Where does native sql programming for hana fit in the big picture.

      What about BPC MS versions? Do they have a need to upgrade their skills too 🙂


      Author's profile photo Pratyush Panda
      Pratyush Panda
      Blog Post Author


      Sorry for being late. To answers your question:

      1.Will IBP have the capabilities of consolidation in future?

      Yes, i assume that's where it is going. Embedded 10.1 is now already armed with consolidations. It's wait and watch before IBP gets it

      2.Where does native sql programming for hana fit in the big picture

      HANA is now center for all SAP products. You cannot avoid it. Irrespective of which product you choose to implement,you need to understand HANA. Embedded 10.1( or BI-IP PAK) already have these features incorporated

      3. What about BPC MS versions? Do they have a need to upgrade their skills too 🙂

      This is dying a slow death. I would not invest lot of time in MS version. Again, this is my personal view and may not be always correct


      Author's profile photo Asad Ahmed
      Asad Ahmed

      Hi Panda,

      Great Article.

      So as per your conclusion sFin is the future and will takeover BPC very soon?



      Author's profile photo Pratyush Panda
      Pratyush Panda
      Blog Post Author


      Yes that's what its going. SAP is heavily investing in S/4  and there will lot of push from SAP on this direction


      Author's profile photo Niranjan Chaitanya
      Niranjan Chaitanya

      Hi Panda,

      Nice Artilce.

      Currently SAP has BPS (dying slowly), BW-IP(will be out of market), BPC 10.1 Classic n Embedded, sFin2.0 IBP.

      I feel sFin IBP if is going to be future then why SAP want to promote Embedded with consolidation. It could be possible IBP remain as planning tool as upgraded version of ECC planning earlier. and Classic will be replaced by Embedded. But for Embedded one should have good BI/BW knowledge.

      Clients who are not going for sFin can adopt BPC Classic and Embedded and IBP with consolidation for sFin clients.

      Off course as EPM consultant one has to grab these skills



      Author's profile photo Pratyush Panda
      Pratyush Panda
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Niranjan,

      Yes, I understand your point. As you said correctly IBP is more of an upgraded ECC planning tool.  However, if you look at the trend, when Embedded started, it was more of planning tool and slowly they added consolidation feature into it. I believe they will do the same thing with IBP. So does that mean killing "Embedded". Probably Yes. Revenue loss - May be not because they will change the licensing model for IBP.

      sFIN as source with BPC Embedded  model is sustainable and client can see lot of benefits out of it if not all of what SFIN has to offer.

      On Skillset, apart from BI/BW you will need to have ABAP background.It would be difficult to survive without ABAP


      Author's profile photo Aaron Benner
      Aaron Benner

      Great summary of the new planning and analytic tools.  One point to make as regards "replacement" technologies --

      IBP is focused on supply chain/ APO replacement not BPC replacement.  Areas include supply planning, demand planning, disaggregation, etc which are aimed at quantity-based planning.  This is an area where the APO consultant (focusing on DP, GATP, and other APO sub modules) needs to pick up.

      The parallels can be seen - IBP replaces the need to have a separate APO box, by doing supply chain planning directly on ECC;

      whilst sFIN replaces (some) of the need to have a dedicated BI/BPC box, by doing financial planning/consolidation directly on ECC.

      Of course it is a separate effort to turn off any box, whether APO, BI/BPC since there will most likely be a huge amount of reporting, customization, logic, etc that would need to be ported to ECC. 

      Easiest for new companies starting fresh! 🙂