Business Planning with SAP. What? Which? When?
In past few years, SAP has introduced many changes to the existing Planning products or introduced new products that focus on Planning in response to changing focus on Cloud and In-memory computing. SAP HANA being the major driver for future SAP products, lot of these products has underwent significant changes in order to address customer need for robust and integrated planning products.
In this blog I will try to provide the list of all such planning products and what benefits are being offered by each against other.
SAP Business Planning and Consolidation
In Short SAP BPC, is the main product of focus for most of the Planning with SAP, with many customers has chose the product because of its ease of use, integration with MS Excel and integration with SAP BW. SAP BPC also provides the Consolidation(the only other product that offer Consolidation is SAP Financial Consolidation) along with Planning, most of the customers chose BPC for its multiple benefits.
SAP BPC has been made into 2 separate Products.
- SAP BPC Standard : Existing BPC tool that is used for both Planning and consolidation. Can be used with or without HANA.
- SAP BPC Embedded : Is extended implementation using SAP BW cubes and SAP BW IP/PAK planning functionalities and login on top of HANA. Not possible without HANA. Also supports Consolidation(this uses same consolidation engine as BPC Standard).
BPC Standard and Embedded offers more or less same features, including Consolidation. And more and more features are being implemented from Standard to Embedded. BPC Embedded has an advantage when it comes to integration with SAP BW and reusing existing BW implementations. SAP BPC Standard will be interested to those who want flexibility and ease of use, and business ownership.
SAP BW Integrated Planning
SAP BW Integrated Planning(BW-IP) is another Planning product that leverages SAP BW. All the existing BW implementation is being reused for creating planning scenarios for BW-IP and single user interface for reporting and planning by using BeX. Even though there are advantages of re-usability, lack of complete functionality and no so easy to use and change the planning models, BW-IP is not a very popular product when it comes to Planning.
With SAP HANA, there is a new production as Planning Application Kit (PAK) that can be used along with BW-IP. The PAK has introduced many functionality and features that are not possible earlier, and also provided In-memory execution of complex planning processes. Both BW-IP and PAK can be used simultaneously to provide complex planning scenarios that can be executed in SAP HANA.
At present most of the BW-IP/PAK features are being classified into a new product call BPC Embedded, again which is sub classification of existing BPC.
SAP Integrated Business Planning
The original Supply chain planning(SCM) product that also includes SAP APO. The SCM has offered planning functionality for the supply chain business like Demand Planning, Supply Planning and many more. You can read more from here.
SCM has offered a robust and stable functionality that integrates well with existing ERP and other BW implementations. With APO is also included, most the scenarios like Demand Planning, Plan to Inventory can only be delivered using IBP.
Again with SAP HANA, SCM has otimized most of functionality in in-memory with SAP HANA. More and more complex processes and algorithms that increase the forecast accuracy and supply chain planning are introduced with IBP. Here is a nice blog which talks about how IBP and BPC can used together.
And with S4HANA, IBP has been introduced with separate planning functionality for different departments like Finance and SCM. All the new planning processes are integrated with SAP S4HANA and works together with ERP implementation on S4HANA. This also replaces the Planning based on SAP Gui.
IBP for Finance(SAP Simple Finance Add-On for SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA (IBP)):
IBP for provides the planning features like Cost center planning, Project planning, Internal order planning , Market segment planning , Profit center planning , Functional area planning , P&L planning within ERP implementation. All the planning directly run on ERP instead of SAP BW. And works with existing FI/CO implementations without creating new models for Planning.SAP Help page for more details on planning. IBP for Finance also uses the BPC 10.1 Embedeed technology for its planning processes. You can read more on Planning with IBP Finance here.
All the content is delivered with SAP Accounting powered by SAP HANA as Local BI Content(Very similar to BI Content in SAP BW). This is only applicable to customers who have deployed SAP ERP on SAP HANA with the SAP Simple Finance Add-on for Suite on HANA.
IBP for SCM(on SAP HANA, for Cloud deployment):
It is an Integrated supply chain planning – built on SAP HANA, for Cloud deployment. Various Planning Scenarios like sales and operations, demand(IBP for Demand), inventory(IBP for Inventory), supply(IBP for Supply), response planning(IBP for Response), supply chain control tower are supported(Seperately Licensed). You can find more details here on the planning scenarios supported.
IBP for SCM supports Planning across various departments and sharing plans in real time. It also supports Real Time dashboards for analytics. Provides predictive modelling capabilities and simulation. It uses pre delivered supply chain algorithms to integrate into existing business process and is also incremental to existing APO.
SAP BusinessObjects Cloud for planning
Another Cloud based planning tool that can work independently or using SAP BPC for its reporting and planning capability. You can find more info here.
Planning Product Feature Flow
Solid line represents logical successor to the product. A dashed line represents features are being shared with other products.
I will try to provide details for different ways in which each product can be used as a single solution or in combination with other products.
Any comments and suggestions are welcome.