This blog post describes SAP BPC and the different deployment options available. Since there is several deployment options available it can cause some questions from customers, this blog post will try to describe them so that people without any deep BPC knowledge quick can understand them and the main differences. The latest BPC version are 10.1 but here it’s only referred to as BPC.
The picture below shows the different deployment options for BPC, meaning that today you have four different deployment options, BPC Microsoft, BPC NW-standard, BPC NW-embedded and BPC optimized for S/4HANA.
BPC MS / BPC-NW standard
To start from a “history lesson” perspective you first got BPC on the Microsoft platform, which does not run on the NetWeaver platform. BPC can in this case for example run on an SQL database and hence this is an option for a lot of customers that in general does not have a large SAP ERP or BW footprint. Also customers that has a long history with BPC and hence was running BPC before the SAP acquisition of Outlooksoft 2007, even if some of those customers of course now has moved to the NW platform.
The data modelling schema is “Star schema” for both BPC-MS and BPC-NW standard meaning that every model/cube/application (below only model is used) consists of one fact table / a data table. In this fact table data is stored and then the data in this fact table are defined by different dimensions that contains members that holds the data. Those dimensions are unique and can be reused for several models.
Both BPC-MS and BPC NW-standard are account based, i.e. cannot handle multiple key figures. However, it is possible to choose if data in one specific model should contain data that is in year to data format or periodic format. One measure dimension is included in every model which calculated financial measures based on the format that the figures has been reported in.
So if you in one model report figures in year to data, periodic and quarter to date will be calculated bas on year to data figures. In another model you can report figures in periodic format, year to data and quarter to date will be calculated based on your reported periodic figures.
The second deployment option is BPC NW-standard. Here you have many similarities to BPC-MS both in terms of data model, front end client which is the “EPM add-in”, configuration that can be done in BPC script logic and business rules in the BPC administration console.
The third deployment options is BPC NW-embedded. This option makes it possible to directly use master data from SAP BW and hence decrease the maintenance and achieve a higher degree of integration for companies that has a large SAP BW footprint. Meaning that no need to “copy” of master data from BW to BPC. This is also a data model in which people with a background from SAP BW are more familiar with than the data model in BPC-NW standard and BPC-MS.
For BPC-NW embedded SAP recommends another from end client, Analysis for office. Analysis for office 2.2. includes the major functionality needed for using it together with BPC, for example BPC specific functionality like for example work status. Customers coming from an BW-IP, integrated planning background will also be familiar here since a lot of functionality in BPC embedded are reused from the older IP/PAK solution.
So if you should choose standard or embedded will depend on your business requirements, standard might be preferred if you are looking for a high flexibility and embedded might be preferred if you are looking for a high level of integration to a large SAP BW footprint. It is also important to point out that both standard and embedded can be used in parallel in one system and that the same license applies for both standard and embedded.
BPC optimized for S/4HANA
The fourth deployment options is BPC optimized for S/4HANA, (BPC optimized for S/4HANA was previously known as IBPF, Integrated business planning for finance so in some places you can still see that abbreviation).
BPC on S/4HANA enabled you to get real time actual data from S/4HANA to BPC, meaning that if you post figures in S/4HANA it will be instantly visible in BPC and hence removing all needs of data retraction/loading of actual figures from S/4HANA to BPC.
If you want to do data retraction from BPC to S/4HANA it will be pre delivered for: Cost Centers, Orders and Projects.
The same thing applies for master data, so if you for example change description of a cost center it will also instantly be visible in BPC on S4 and hence no need to enable data retraction of BPC master data/dimensions or manually updating them.
BPC on S/4HANA also includes ready to use planning for: Cost Center Planning, Internal Order Planning, Project Planning, Market Segment Planning, Profit Center Planning, Functional Area Planning, P&L Planning and Balance Sheet Planning.
BPC deployment options, quick comparison
*See roadmap for line of business Finance: http://go.sap.com/solution/roadmaps.line-of-business.html
BPC deployment options and front end client
The EPM add-in is one separate front-end client. Analysis for office is another front-end client that from version 2.1 includes two separate “tabs”, one analysis tab and one EPM add-in tab, for more information see below.