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With SAP S/4HANA Finance comes an option for planning functions called BPC Optimized.

 

A question that comes around regularly is how BPC Optimized does compare to SAP’s planning tool Business Planning and Consolidation (BPC), and when to use which, or both.

 

In this short article, we will compare the features and use cases of both products.

 

First of all, let’s define more precisely what comprises each product:

 

BPC Classic:

BPC is a full feature planning and consolidation tool based on BW and supported on HANA. The philosophy of the tool is to be designed for flexibility and to be administered by the business users. As such, it requires its own BW namespace and its own cubes in its “classic” version.

 

BPC Embedded:

Version 10.1 of BPC on HANA introduced the BPC “Embedded” option, taking advantage of native BW cubes and allowing leveraging existing BW-IP logic. However, some business content features of BPC “classic”, such as the IFRS consolidation, are not yet supported on BPC Embedded (but announced on the roadmap for Q4 2016). BPC Embedded allows taking advantage of HANA optimization scenarios, such as Planning Optimization Kit (PAK), which executes in HANA the majority of ABAP Planning functions and the FOX scripting.

 

BPC Optimized:

BPC Optimized is in essence BPC Embedded v10.1 installed on the BW engine present in S/4HANA Finance. BPC Optimized is only available with S/4HANA. Its first purpose is to replace planning functions from FI/CO, which are not there anymore in S/4HANA Finance. Templates specific to BPC Optimized are delivered with it.

In a nutshell:

  • BPC Optimized = BPC Embedded v10.1 on BW embedded in S/4 + Business content (templates)
  • BPC Embedded v10.1 = PAK (BW-IP optimized for HANA) + new UI5 and Analysis for Office UIs
  • BPC Optimized runs on the BW Embedded on the ERP, and is only available with S/4HANA Finance (the component SAP Accounting for HANA is mandatory).

 

Figure 1 below illustrates S/4HANA Finance architecture with BPC Optimized:

 

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Fig. 1. Overall architecture of S/4HANA Finance with BPC Optimized

 

 

BPC is SAP’s planning and consolidation tool. Figure 2 below illustrates an architecture where both products are installed on the same HANA environment:

 

 

 

/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/fig2_999267.jpg

Fig. 2. Overall architecture of S/4HANA Finance plus a separate BPC installation on the same HANA appliance (necessitates HANA SP9+ for multi-tenant support).

 

 

 

Comparison of each product benefits:

 

Benefits of BPC Optimized:

  • Front-end Excel add-in (Analysis for Office)
  • No data replication with ERP (actuals in real-time)
  • Masterdata shared with ERP

 

Benefits of BPC Classic:

  • Excel EPM add-in common to all SAP EPM tools, with business functions
  • Consolidation (Consolidation on BPC Optimized announced for Q4 2016 by the roadmap)
  • Local models
  • Administration designed for business users (cubes, security, rules, etc).

 

 

Typical use cases:

Depending on each customers’ situation, the table below gives an overview of which product to consider. Of course, each customer situation is specific, but we’re trying here to give a canvas on which to build the discussion:

 

Customer’s situation

ERP (using planning functions)

w/o BPC

ERP + BPC

S4FIN (w/o planning functions)

w/o BPC Optimized/BPC

ERP + BW-IP

ERP + PAK

Net New Name

What should you consider?

S4FIN

BPC Optimized if:

– Planning only

– IT centric

BPC if:

– Planning and conso

– needs flexibility

– business-driven modelling

S4FIN + BPC

BPC

Satisfied with IP:

S4FIN + BPC Optimized

Not satisfied with IP (ex: lacks flexibility):

S4FIN + BPC

Satisfied with PAK:

S4FIN + BPC Optimized

Not satisfied with PAK (ex: lacks flexibility):

S4FIN + BPC

S4FIN

+

BPC Optimized if planning only and IT centric

BPC if needs more than planning and needs flexibility for business users

Prerequisites

ECC6 Ehp7

NW 7.4

HANA

If existing install is too old, consider a new Finance project

ECC6 Ehp7

NW 7.4

HANA

If existing install is too old, consider a new Finance project

New HANA instance

ECC6 Ehp7

NW 7.4

HANA

ECC6 Ehp7

NW 7.4

HANA

HANA SP9+

 

As this table illustrates, the choice between BPC Optimized and BPC will be mainly guided on the business features required by the project. From a technical standpoint, the 2 products are similar. The difference is really more on the business content that each provides and the existing IT landscape.

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4 Comments

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  1. Rajesh Hariharan

    Greetings Arnaud,

    That’s a very helpful article. Having worked on BPC Embedded as well, I believe that it could make a good business case for those customers that are not yet on S/4 HANA but who need a high performing planning tool with greater modeling flexibility and nice features like local provider, local master data, DSO planning etc. Since BPC products have been mentioned in 3 variants: Classic, Embedded and Optimized, it would be clearer if you could update your post with a section for “Benefits for BPC Embedded” to help the uninitiated.Thanks a lot!

    Rajesh

    (0) 
  2. Clemens Kopfer

    Dear Arnaud,

    how come that you mention that BPC Embedded does, as of now, NOT support business process flows?

    You could even argue that BPC Embedded mainly comprises BW-IP plus BPF on top.

    Thanks

    (0) 
    1. Rajesh Hariharan

      That’s true. I have used BPF on Embedded as well, so the part in the original article where its  says “some business content features of BPC “classic”, such as the Business Process Flows, are not yet supported on BPC Embedded”  was ambiguous.

      (0) 

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