Are you currently evaluating, implementing, or running SAP Business Planning and Consolidation (BPC) but also have S/4HANA Finance in your future roadmap? Did you know that the building blocks for SAP BPC optimized for S/4HANA Finance are pre-delivered and completely different from your existing stand-alone SAP Business Warehouse (BW) and BPC environments? To help SAP customers who want to implement BPC but are not yet ready for S/4HANA Finance, SAP has recently released an SAP note that will allow them to prepare their current environment for a more easy migration to S/4HANA Finance in the future.
To provide some additional context for those not familiar with S/4HANA Finance, it represents the next generation of SAP ERP financial and management accounting functionality by merging all pertinent transactional and analytical information into a single-source-of-truth table known as the Universal Journal. Using S/4HANA Finance, customers can quickly evaluate the financial implications of business decisions with real-time analytics, forecasting, and simulation capabilities via a simplified user experience.
A key enabling technology within S/4HANA Finance is SAP Business Planning and Consolidation. SAP had already more tightly integrated BPC and BW via a modeling option known as “BPC Embedded” (distinct from the prior option known as “BPC Standard”). Both BPC Embedded and BPC Standard are for standalone deployments. In contrast, BPC optimized for S/4HANA enhances BPC Embedded within S/4HANA itself via pre-packaged application content that read S/4HANA master data and transactional actuals in real-time.
Going a step further, with the recent release of SAP Note 2243472 in November 2015, it’s now possible to use the BPC optimized for S/4HANA building blocks (metadata known as “InfoObjects”) in your standalone BPC Embedded implementation. By applying this SAP note, the risk of boxing in your solution from future migration to S/4HANA Finance is mitigated. In order to have the SAP note independently validated and tested, SAP collaborated with TruQua Enterprises, LLC an SAP-certified consultancy and an SAP-licensed software development partner. TruQua not only validated the SAP note in its internal systems but also at one of its customers who will soon be going live with the solution. Validation activities included feedback on the migration methodology, areas needing clarification and the results of system tests for technical accuracy that all lead to the improvement of the SAP note.
For full details on how to optimize SAP Business Planning and Consolidation for S/4HANA Finance, you can access the complete note from SAP here: http://service.sap.com/sap/support/notes/2243472. You’ll find attached a detailed step-by-step guide of how to import the new InfoObjects and how to structure your transports for a future migration.
As part of its independent testing and validation, TruQua performed the following activities within TruQloud (TruQua’s cloud-based “Try-And-Decide” offering):
- Followed the instructions in SAP note 2243472 importing S/4HANA InfoObjects into a standalone BPC Embedded 10.1 system.
- Built and tested a custom BPC Embedded 10.1 planning application using the imported S/4HANA InfoObjects.
- Transported the custom planning application into an S/4HANA Finance system (leaving behind the imported S/4HANA InfoObjects) to verify that migration of custom development was possible.
- Further modified and customized the S/4HANA InfoObjects by adding new hierarchies and master data attributes and incorporated the changes into the custom planning application.
- Ensured master data and hierarchy consistency across the landscape referenced within the custom planning application by maintaining master data and hierarchies within a separate SAP ERP system and loading them into the relevant S/4HANA InfoObject within the standalone BPC Embedded system. For simulation and testing purposes, the assumption was made that the SAP ERP system used for master data maintenance would eventually become the S/4HANA system via migration.
- Manually made the corresponding changes to S/4HANA InfoObjects (including master data and hierarchies) within the S/4HANA system directly to ensure master data consistency with the standalone BPC Embedded system.
- Transported all the changes to the custom planning application in the standalone BPC Embedded system to the S/4HANA system.
Outside of TruQloud lab testing, TruQua has implemented, tested and validated the SAP note at one if its customers going live early this year on a stand-alone BPC Embedded system as part of a more extensive implementation and “real world” scenario. Note that the S/4HANA migration activities will be part of a subsequent phase at that customer.
Any questions with regards to implementation and testing experience with the SAP note can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.