Business challenges the embedded model addresses
As mentioned in our prior blog the embedded modeling option provides an alternative planning approach which facilitates the delivery of planning and analytical solutions which can be deeply aligned and integrated with SAP’s BW, ERP and S/4HANA applications. Let’s look at some of the Business Challenges which the embedded model can help to address:
Challenge: Ensuring consistency of reported data.
In a scenario where a customer utilizes SAP’s Business Warehouse solution the embedded model supports the sharing of the same master and transactional data (i.e. actual reported results) between BW and BPC without the need for replication. This ensures data consistency across all reporting within the BW/BPC environment by using a single source of truth. It is important to understand that this not only relates to the use of consistent transactional data but also ensures that summary data is rolled up and summarized in a consistent manner by ensuring that reporting hierarchies, attributes used in reporting etc. are consistent and applied in the same manner. Variances in reporting are not always the result of differing transactional data but can also be the result of inconsistencies between reporting hierarchies, attributes etc.
With SAP BPC optimized for S/4HANA (which utilizes the embedded model type), the same sort of consistency can be assured across both plan and actual data while at the same time facilitating real time or live reporting of plan to actual results. We will have more to say about BPC Optimized for S/4HANA in upcoming blogs.
Challenge: Optimising the design of non-financial / account based planning applications.
The SAP standard model is an account based model which is optimal for designing Financial based Planning applications. When however someone is looking to design a planning solution focused on other types of planning (i.e. sales planning) where account is not necessarily the key to differentiating between reported amounts (often with varying units of measure), a more optimal and effective design can often be achieved by having the ability to store “multiple” values as well as their corresponding unit of measure against “each” specific record (combination of dimensions being planned upon). For example for a particular customer / product combination information such as planned sales units, selling price, discount %, gross sales, net sales…. would all be entered / calculated and stored against the same record. This second approach is often referred to as a key figure as opposed to account based model and is something which the embedded option is fully designed to support.
Challenge: How do I take full advantage of SAP’s new in-memory platform yet protect the investment I have made in legacy BW-IP planning applications?
Embedded model planning has evolved from SAP’s BW-IP (Integrated Planning) solution. As such the possibility exists to “migrate” existing BW-IP solutions to Embedded planning so as to take advantage of both in-memory optimisations as well as various BPC specific capabilities such as process flows, WEB based maintenance of master data etc., whilst retaining and continuing to utilize the applications which you have previously defined.
While clearly it is more than possible to institute processes to ensure data consistency, build non-financial planning applications and implement new applications to replace legacy BW-IP based applications with the standard model, what the Embedded Model now offers up is an alternative which for “specific” use cases can deliver a more optimized and cost effective solution than was previously possible.
In subsequent sessions my colleagues will provide further insight into the capabilities and concepts underlying the embedded model.