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Introducing SAP Business Planning and Consolidation 11.0, Version for SAP BW/4HANA

On June 14, 2017, the world of SAP finance descends on Amsterdam for SAPinsider Financials 2017 to learn from one another, discuss how the office of the CFO can adopt best practices, and see the latest in SAP technologies to support this function.  One area that will drive a lot of interest and discussion is the latest innovation in SAP’s EPM portfolio—SAP Business Planning and Consolidation 11.0, version for SAP BW/4HANA.

We all know what SAP BW/4HANA brings to the table—a simpler, faster, and more flexible data warehouse.  The structures have been vastly simplified, the ability to integrate data from SAP and non-SAP sources provide a single source of truth, larger volumes can be handled, and it’s enabled for both the cloud and/or on premise.

SAP Business Planning and Consolidation (SAP BPC) 11.0 is ready to take advantage of this latest SAP BW/4HANA platform and provide more innovation and value to finance users to drive better business decisions.  Those in the office of the CFO are the stewards of the enterprise, but for too long many of them had to wait before providing financial guidance, or when they did provide guidance the information was old or required edits and/or manipulation.

At SAPPHIRE NOW 2017 in Orlando, I had the pleasure of providing a sneak preview of SAP BPC 11.0 for SAP BW/4HANA. There, I focused on a few key themes: advanced analytics, the cloud, and integration. Today, I’ll outline each.

Advanced Analytics

SAP BPC 11.0 brings built-in, real-time analytics into the application’s Web Client.  Users can easily create graphs and charts to visualize variances.  Additionally, these can be shared amongst colleagues and attached to reports or pinned to the home screen as a favorite.

Further analytics are also available with the full integration of SAP BPC 11.0 and SAP Analytics Cloud. The SAP Analytics Cloud platform allows users to independently perform planning, business intelligence/visualization, and predictive modeling on their data sets.  The integration with SAP BPC 11.0 allows users to seamlessly move their data and models into the cloud for self-service visualization and predictive models.

The predictive analytics has the potential to be a game changer for finance.  Business users can take their actuals and plans and run them through predictive processes and gain meaningful insights using machine learning.  Before running a budget or forecast, finance departments can leverage the predictive functions to see where their current data set aims to take them and then uncover influencers and business challenges.

The Cloud

With the world moving rapidly towards the cloud, SAP BPC 11.0 offers a tempered pace at which organizations can move their planning and consolidation platform.  This latest release is available not just on the SAP HEC, but also on AWS, Azure, Virtustream, and other cloud providers.  Finance organizations can have rapid deployments due to the ease of cloud enablement as well as utilize hybrid scenarios, which are quite popular.  The platform can start on premise and then move to the cloud.  Additionally, the integration with SAP Analytics Cloud allows organizations to have part of their platform (SAP BPC) on premise/cloud and then integrate with a public cloud platform for seamless integration.

Integration

Integration has been discussed a few times and it’s more than just bringing data into SAP BPC.  Finance users will clearly benefit from being able to bring data in from SAP S/4HANA and other SAP data sources and non-SAP data sources via the integration that is native in SAP BW/4HANA.  The key is what to do with the integration and why this matters to finance.

Accountants, analysts, controllers, and others will have the ability to bring all actuals (from ERP, logistics, marketing systems, human resources,  and others) into SAP BPC to get a true reflection of actuals and compare to plans.  What this leads to ultimately is one powerful financial planning system that allows organizations to perform true Integrated Financial Planning.

We all know that the CFO resides not just in finance, but in every department (like sales and marketing), every geography, every region—everyone has a finance team providing true fiscal guidance.  Those silos now have the ability to come together in this integrated platform and provide a universal platform for planning.

SAP BW/4HANA also has the ability to capture things like sentiment analysis, which can be groundbreaking for finance individuals. Such analysis enables them to use market sentiments from Social Media and other sources to judge the direction of the budgets based on real-time market feedback.

Bottom Line

SAP BPC 11.0 with SAP BW/4HANA is poised to be quite the game changer for the office of the CFO and their ability to be a business partner across the enterprise.  With all the tools at their disposal, gone are the days when finance responds with “I’ll get back to you.” Now, they can lead and help drive business decisions.

Learn More

  • Read the press release on news.sap.com
  • Join our Early Adopter Care program if you’re a partner or a customer and are ready to move forward with the latest release.
4 Comments
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  • Hi Pras, Thanks for the post. As we are trying to understand this latest offering in EPM-BPC space, can you please throw some more light on the front end, back end and additional HANA capabilities leveraged in BPC 11.0
    1. Will BPC 11.0 also come in two flavors – Standard and embedded? Any new features we can expect when compared to BPC 10.1
    2. You mentioned sentiment analysis and predictive capabilities. Are these based on the underlying HANA (HANA-PAL) or there are additional functionalities provided in BPC11.0/BW4HANA to support these aspects.
    3. What is recommended as the front end tool for planning? Since BEx is no longer supported on BW4HANA – what will happen of existing workbooks built on top of BEx queries in case of migrating from BPC10.1 to BPC 11.0
    4. Is there a migration path from BPC 10.x to BPC 11.0?
    I understand that BPC 11.0 is SAP’s offering for the new BW4HANA platform. So in terms of planning/consolidation features of the BPC tool – things would remain the same? If we talk about on-premise solution, can we say that the only benefit of BPC 11.0 would be improved performance from the underlying HANA-optimized objects (simplified BW4HANA data structures) and integration with disparate data sources.

    Thanks,
    Apeksha

    • Hi Apeksha,

      1) BPC 11.0 does come with a Standard and Embedded Model. Some of the new features on a technical level are highlighted in the linked blog https://blogs.sap.com/2017/05/30/what-is-sap-business-planning-and-consolidation-11.0-version-for-sap-bw4hana/
      2) These capabilities are based on BW/4HANA being able to bring the data into the BW Models and then BPC being able to leverage it whether it be the Standard Model in its own name space or the Embedded Model right from aDSO or Composite Provider. Additionally Predictive is based on the HANA PAL.
      3) Front end tools for Planning include SAP BusinessObjects Analysis for Office, the BPC Web Client (newly built), Design Studio. The AO Client will work with both Standard Models (EPM Add-in ribbon) and Embedded Models (AO ribbon). We will have more news on migration in the next few months
      4) As said below, more news on migration tools/methods in the next few months

      I feel there are further benefits including the new visualization we’ve included, the ability to use the Embedded Model without defining BEx right away, the integration with SAP Analytics Cloud and more.

      Thanks

      Pras

  • Hi Pras,
    Thanks for the details.
    Have some doubts, if you can shade some light:
    1. Do we have a direct migration path from BPC 10.1 Standard to BPC 11 Embedded?
    2. Also if customer would like to move from BPC 10.0 Standard to BPC 11 Standard is it a direct path or we need to upgrade to 10.1 first to reach BPC 11?
    Appreciate your response.

    Thanks,
    Mak

  • Hello Pras,

    I Had a some questions on BPC 11.0 Embedded version / SAP BPC Optimized for S/4 HANA.

    1) Does BPC Embedded support default logic calculations?. If this feature is not available, is there an alternate route to achieve this?

    2) How are we handling the Member Formulas Option in SAP BPC embedded. Is it through the Calculated Key Figures and Restricted Key Figures in Bex? Understand the Bex is not available in BPC 11.

    3) Do we have the concept of Account.lgl file( where you create a separate lgl file when the dimension member formula character length increases 255 characters.

    3)How are we handling reference dimensions in BPC 11 embedded?

    4) is there any Master data on the Fly concept in BPC 11 embedded or SAP BPC 11 standard?

    5) What is the limit for the Max number of Alternate Hiearchies possible in SAP BPC?

    6) Is there a Place where a Plan specific Member can be maintained,( Like Cost Center and Other User defined dimensions)

    7) How can we do selective deletion and selective updation in the SAP BPC 11.0 Standard and embedded versions.

    8)Are standard EPM functions like EPM filtering and Local Members available in the Version of SAp BPC 11 Standard. How can this requirement be achieved through SAP BPC 11 Embedded.

    9) can fox formulas be used to write values to Properties?

    10)The Lighter version of BEx, which is the Bex web( Grid feature) does it supports all the functions of Bex, like Drill Down, Filtering on members etc.