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SAP Analytics Cloud for Planning Road Map Webcast Summary

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Quarterly release, Q3, planned for August

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The legal disclaimer applies

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SAP Analytics Cloud, genesis of the product, complete decision making platform

From planning for everyone – what does that mean? Ability to plan in any situation

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SAP uses collaborative enterprise planning, connecting across the organization

Connect SAP Analytics Cloud to other solutions

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“The Intelligent Enterprise is the key pillar to SAP’s success. Leonardo & Analytics are the heart of the Intelligent Enterprise and SAP is the only vendor that provides a single Analytics experience where everyone can discover, visualize, plan, and analyze all in one place versus having separate point solutions. ” Source: SAP

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3 key messages are shown – one simple cloud, FP&A, financial planning and analysis, powerful, time to value (content)

Sample content (art of the possible), a blueprint and best practice content

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Transition from bi weekly release, to quarterly release

Features released as part of QRC Q2

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With the Q2 QRC SAP introduced the ability to insert existing members (or dimension combinations) into a table even when they may not be currently visible due to suppressing of unbooked cells. Users can type in dimension member names and matching members will automatically be adjusted as the user types. The use can select the specific member he/she wants, and it will be inserted into the row or column. Note that if multiple row dimensions exist then users will need to qualify each dimension with a specific member before being able to plan.

If the user types of a member that has no match, he/she can automatically create that member (using members on the fly) as part of that find member workflow. (source: SAP)

Source: SAP

SAP introduced Account Formulas last year and a sub-type of our Data Actions. Our goal was to support greater automation and more complex multi-step calculations. SAP did this wanting to ensure that the the Advanced Formula’s were accessible to business users. To this end we’ve recently released Visual Formula’s as part of our Q2 QRC allows users to create calculation logic using a pseudo code paradigm. Users with little to no scripting knowledge can now build complex calculations

Presently SAP supports approximately 90% of all scripts functions (goal will be 100% over time, however SAP continues to enrich Advanced Formula and introducing new function, so it make take some time before SAP has complete coverage)

Currently you can toggle between the visual editor and the script syntax, but if you change the script syntax the visual editor will become unavailable. As SAP gets closer to supporting all script functions SAP plans to allow full bi-direction from visual formula to script, and vice versa (source: SAP)

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One of the largest areas of on-going efforts with respect to planning is in our Calendar & Planning Process

Specifically in Q2 SAP now supports:

  1. Establish chain of reviewers (multiple rounds) – Within the calendar tasks you can now configure a invoice like, multi-round approval workflow
  2. Automatic completion options – Have the ability to automatically change the status of a calendar or input tasks once a certain date (due date) is reached
  3. Remove assignees – Ability to remove assignees for active input (or calendar) tasks thus removing their participation and responsibility for contribution

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Analytics/Application Designer become Generally Available as part of our Q2 QRC 2019. This component has been in beta for quite some time, and thus is quite feature rich at GA.

This component allows highly customized (UI) based analytic applications (both augmented BI or planning) to be created. This is very useful for embedding scenarios (e.g. insertion in a corporate portal), for very specific planning types applications such where the user does not need or should not have access to most of the planning menus, or third party/partner-built solutions based on SAP Analytics Cloud. (source: SAP)

Road map

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Details are presented

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One of the most frequent asks SAP has heard related to Data Actions after their initial release, was an expanded capability to support parameterization. With the Q3 QRC, the Data Action author can now include a series of prompts and variables which can be passed through the entire Data Action, or applied to specific steps. Variables can include assignment of dimension members, or numeric values. The assignment of the variables can either be prompted at runtime, or set as fixed. (source: SAP)

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Auto generate calendar tasks (and processes) based on a specific mode/driving dimension. Specific members of the driving dimension can be used to create the specific task instances, and assignees and reviewers can be derived from specific attributes on the driving dimension. (source: SAP)

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SAP Analytics Cloud is the primary planning solution positioned for S/4HANA Cloud (and also supported S/4HANA as of release 1809). To this end SAP has on on-going effort to introducing specific capabilities (in addition to expansion of core capabilities) to support integration and planning scenarios with S/4HC. Equally importantly, however, we want to maximize our customers time to value, and to that end we continue to produce Best Practice planning content for S/4HANA Cloud which includes templates, reports, models w/ calculations, and integrations script. This best practice content currently covers:

  1. Financial planning (include PL, BS, and CF)
  2. Project planning
  3. Workforce planning (in conjunction with SuccessFactors)

This is an on-going initiative, and SAP plans to continue to invest in this best practice content, with the following expected content and delivery dates

  • Sales Planning – Q4/2019 (POC in Q3 2019)
  • CapEx –Q2/2020 (POC in Q1 2020) (source: SAP)

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Collaborative Enterprise Planning to unified S&OP(IBP) with Financial Planning SAP Analytics Cloud for manufacturing and distribution companies.

SAP has already delivered on our phase 1 (Q1/2019) – this allows SAP to pull in IBP KPIs for Digital Boardroom reporting, as well as pulling in results of the Consensus demand plan to help facilitate annual financial planning and financial forecast updates in SAC.

Later in the year (Q4/2019) SAP plans to support bi-directional integration, allowing strategic financial plan numbers from SAC to be pushed to Integrated Business Planning as in input to formula the consensus demand plan.. This will help support integrated financial & operational planning.

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MS Excel

Today have SAP Analysis Office, connecting to a variety of sources

SAP is undertaking a new Excel add-in, tailored towards SAC, based on Office 365, planned GA Q4 – limited in Q4

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Part of Q3 QRC, new layout for rolling forecast – in addition to cross tab, blended forecast – allow you to specify specific versions for forecast horizon

Parameter on setting for mass data entry

Smart insights on a given cell in a table (light bulb icon)

Multiple time dimensions on planning model

Q4 – improve table experience, performance, improve scrolling, improve on mobile solution

Cell comments on private versions

Cut and paste

Future direction – primarily for Q1/H1 next year

Able to change dimension for existing plan data

Plan and store on parents

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Calendar – Q3, recurrence of a calendar process (weekly sales forecast, etc.)

Q4 story integration – submit calendar task

Future – task and process dependencies; schedule data action

Next year – dynamic data locking – data lock kick in when plan submitted

Integration – expanding import from file and export to CSV (up to 6M rows)

Early next year – export to BW, HANA

MS Excel – new office 365 add-in, Q4 GA for reporting workflows online; next year Excel desktop integration

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Cross platform features – cross calculation for currency reporting

Authorization coming for commenting

Early next year – story scheduling bursting, undo / redo in stories

Q&A provided by speaker:

Is this new Calendar feature similar to BPF in BPC right? In which we have several steps within a workflow with planners, approvers, reviewers…

[SG] Yes this is similar. We do already have this concept in terms of our Input Tasks that one can configure from within a story, but we’re bringing these concepts directly into the Planning Calendar.

Range for Time Dimension Input Parameter is needed. Like Range.

[SG] We do hope to support range parameters for time, but do not have a timeframe for that at this point.

Does dimension access control apply to parameter selection?

[SG] Yes DAC will apply if the correct setup and configuration has occurred on the model.

Will there be an Analysis add-in for google sheets?

[SG] With our new Add-in we will lead with Office 365, but are evaluating the possibility of support for Google Sheets.

Is SAP Analytics Cloud supported on Google Cloud Platform?

[SG] Currently SAC will run in AWS and SAP Data Centers. We are evaluating expanding availability to other hyperscalers (e.g. Azure, GCP).

Pop up notification to user based on selections, Input Parameters, Version etc.. is needed.

[SG] Prompting of Data Actions should be supported with our Q3 2019 QRC, and we hope to support content sensitive derivations for Data Action parameters in H1/2020.

will fox formula be supported

[SG] Advanced Formula’s use a syntax which is similar to BPC script logic, but utilizes SAC specific dimension referencing. At this point we have no plans to support Fox.

How does all this fit in with SAP Business One?

[SG] SAP Business One is an ERP solution available from SAP that targets SME, whereas SAP Analytics Cloud is a SaaS solution for augment analytics, predictive, and planning. SAC could be a complement to Business One from those customers needing an augmented analytics or planning solution.

Where are the slides posted?

There seems to be no link in the resource list. Can you please provide a link for this presentation?

You can refresh your screen – the slides are posted in the resource area and also attached to this blog: https://discuss.asug.com/community/sig_communities/business_intelligence_group_discussion_forum/blog/2019/07/09/register-now-sap-analytics-cloud-for-planning-roadmap-update-webcast

do you have a list of past webinars calls about planning features similar to this one ?

Please see https://discuss.asug.com/docs/DOC-50448 and do a find/search on planning – 2019 list of webinars

what is the best way to learn SAC and also to stay up-to-date?

Take the free open SAP course at open.sap.com

Register now for BI: SAP Analytics Cloud for Planning Road Map Update replay

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