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Financial Planning Options in S/4HANA

(as of release S/4HANA 1909)

Planning applications have steady evolved at SAP.  In this blog we will explore available planning options with a focus on S/4HANA 1909.

Summary of SAP planning applications:

Quick Overview:

SAP Cloud Platform (SCP) tools are SAP long term strategic offerings. SAP Analytics Cloud for Planning (SAC), which runs on SCP, is SAP’s recommended strategic planning application for most customers.

SAP BPC for BW/4HANA application is the official alternative recommendation for those customers requiring an on-premise planning application.

SAP S/4HANA ERP (Classic ERP Planning Transactions)

The former FI-CO planning t/codes have been removed from the user menu in SAP S/4HANA and the classical planning capabilities have been replaced by modern BPC/SAC functionality and content.

This planning option is not recommended for any new implementations.

SAP Business Planning and Consolidation for Netweaver

SAP Business Planning and Consolidation for Netweaver (BPC_NW) is a mature, fully-functional planning and consolidation application utilized by thousands of customers. It continues to be supported and maintained so customer’s investments are protected. SAP BPC_NW 10.1 version for NetWeaver will continue to receive mainstream maintenance until at least 31-Dec-2024.  Please refer to the SAP Product Availability Matrix (PAM) for support dates by specific product version.

This planning option is not recommended for any new implementations.

BPC Optimized for S/4HANA

Designed to function from within a S/4HANA installation, Integrated Business Planning for Finance (IBPf) was the first dedicated S/4HANA financial planning application. IBPf was rebranded in S/4HANA release 1610 to BPC Optimized for S/4HANA.  A limited embedded BW is provisioned within S/4HANA and provides the support to host the BPC Optimized application.  Caution:  The S/4HANA embedded BW is not intended to be used as an Enterprise Data Warehouse (SAP’s recommendation for EDW scenarios is to use a dedicated BW/4HANA solution instead).

BPC Optimized for S/4HANA provides only the embedded modeling option.  “Actuals” are sourced from ACDOCA and plan data is stored in the ACDOCP table (additional data modeling variations can provide some data model flexibility on where plan data is ultimately stored).

BPC Optimized for S/4HANA (or IBPf) is not the same as IBP (Integrated Business Planning). SAP Integrated Business Planning focuses on supply chain monitoring, sales and operations planning, demand management, inventory planning, and supply planning.

This planning option is not recommended for any new implementations, except in rare real time planning use cases.

SAP Business Planning and Consolidation for BW/4HANA

SAP Business Planning and Consolidation 11.x, version for SAP BW/4HANA is a new product based on SAP BW/4HANA. This product supports the HANA database and uses SAPUI5 user interface technology. The SAP UI5 user interface is based on standard HTML5, which provides all the benefits of HTML5 and supports languages such as Hebrew and Arabic that are written and read from right to left. BW/4HANA is a new, next-generation data warehouse product that is optimized for the SAP HANA platform, delivering real-time, enterprise-wide analytics that minimizes the movement of data and connecting all the data in an organization into a single logical view.

SAP Business Planning and Consolidation 11 can be deployed in two configurations:

  1. In an embedded configuration, Business Planning and Consolidation is integrated with SAP HANA-optimized processing, through which you can perform SAP HANA-optimized planning.
  2. In a standard configuration, you can use all the functionality that is available in the standard configuration of SAP Business Planning and Consolidation, version for SAP NetWeaver.

This planning option is recommended for new implementations requiring on-premise deployment.

SAP Analytics Cloud

SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC) is SAP strategic next-generation software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution built from the ground up that allows business users to plan, discover, predict, and collaborate all in one place.  SAC enjoys the benefits of a modern user interface that allows usage across all mobile devices.

SAC planning has deep integration with S/4HANA and the ability to deploy delivered connectors that allow the free movement of data between S/4HANA and SAC.

Data can be imported (replicated) into SAC from S/4HANA: [https://help.sap.com/viewer/00f68c2e08b941f081002fd3691d86a7/release/en-US/63140f17362947fe8bcd9c6960db23bc.html ]

Data can be accessed by SAC using a “live” connection, providing runtime access to S/4HANA data and KPIs:

[ https://help.sap.com/viewer/00f68c2e08b941f081002fd3691d86a7/release/en-US/d2a1edf7cda74315a2c5052de8a3a4eb.html ]

SAC enjoys significant predefined content that makes productive integration with S/4HANA easy and efficient.  For more details on SAC : S/4HANA available content:  https://www.sapanalytics.cloud/learning/business-content/ and

https://rapid.sap.com/bp/#/BP_OP_ENTPR .

New planning content for SAC: S/4HANA 1909:

Revenue Planning with SAP Analytics Cloud is new content for SAC: S/4HANA 1909 financial planning (see description for scope item 1YB below):

Listing of all new S/4HANA 1909 relevant SAC content:

To check for the latest new SAC-S/4HANA1909 content, follow this link:

https://help.sap.com/doc/474a13c5e9964c849c3a14d6c04339b5/100/en-US/8880de6dbfb94ea3b0de1f26b40816dc.html?version=1909 and search for “Analytics Cloud”.

This planning option is recommended for all new implementations.

 

Summary of the Financial Planning Options in S/4HANA:

Summary

The right planning solution is both a technical and functional decision. It depends on where the source data is coming from, which features the customer needs and how much data is required to be consumed. The timing of the implementation should also be considered. SAP strategic development will take place within the SCP tools (SAC) and therefore should be your first consideration for planning application deployment.

This is an official SAP RIG (Regional Implementation Group) blog.

15 Comments
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  • Hello Sheldon,

    Thank you for this simple and yet elegant explanation of how the different components can be utilized and what requirements they fulfill.

    For years BPC evolved isolated from other SAP products and now it is in the mix.  It is sometimes hard to understand the role of BPC in future planning, and how other components can be used and in what conditions.

    Once again, your explanation is elegant and complete, as always.  Thank you

    Best Regards,

    Leila

     

     

    each piece plays in SAP’s offering.

     

  • Hi Sheldon,

     

    Great summary. When you say “with data replication”.. shouldn’t we say that data virtualization from S/4HANA is also available?

    • Hello Iago –

      SAC has two data access options when accessing data from S/4HANA: 1) replication of data into the SAC system or 2) establish a Live Data connection which uses a virtual representation of the data.

      -Sheldon

  • Hi Sheldon,

    Great blog. Just want to understand, Shall we use BPC Optimizer for S/4HANA in S/4HANA CLOUD application? or SAP Analytics Cloud is only the planning solution for S/4HANA CLOUD.

     

    Regards,

    PhaniKumar

    • Hi Phani,

      SAC is a native cloud application developed from Scratch for cloud perspective , so it is 100% integrated into cloud providing fully flexible with cloud features  which makes it more economical w.r.t usage as it saves money compared to deployment of  BPC Optimizer for S/4 HANA in S/4 HANA Cloud.

      LN

  • Hello Sheldon,

     

    Thanks for the useful information! Can you please clarify whether the above functionality is available with SAC licence, or whether ‘SAC for Planning’ licence is required?

     

    Thank you,

    Despina

    • Hello Philippe-

      Within SAC that you may (depending on the specific data model being deployed) have two options for calculating the activity price:  1) use a SAC Advanced Formulas script to calculate the values, or 2)  use a dimension formula (defined directly within the master data definition).

      Sheldon

       

       

  • Hi Sheldon,

    thanks a lot for your blog. Could you please explain, why (and since when) the SAP RIG team decided, that BPC for S/4HANA shall no longer be recommended to SAP customers. I shortly joined a BPC optimized project as a consultant and thought, that this is a great and future-proof solution path, to do planning directly within S/4 within data replication to a BW/4.

    Thanks a lot in advance,

    Christoph

    • Hi Christoph –

      The SAP RIG team did not decide anything, we are only relaying very specific advisories from SAP Product Management on this topic in an attempt to provide clarify on the current state of SAP’s planning applications.

      Please note that this blog was reviewed by SAP Product Management prior to publication to ensure the correct messaging on these topics.

      Sheldon

  • Hi Sheldon,

    If we are currently mostly on BPC 10.1 classic, is it worthwhile migrating to BPC embedded for SAC integration advantages, or do we wait until SAC is more mature (including ability to run native HANA calculations for more advanced algorithms than what the data actions advanced formulas provide)?  I’m not sure of the benefit of having an integrated on-premises BPC embedded solution working with SAC when I feel that with SAP’s R&D clearly being spent on SAC development that we will have all we need and more in SAC at some point soon.

    Thanks,

    Graham

    • A lot of companies simply can’t use SAC due to security reasons. Migrating to embedded is not a migration, but completely new project. What can be done is a migration from BPC10.1 standard to BPC11 standard with performance benefits.

  • Actually, we have already achieved a huge amount of performance benefits using native HANA calculation views for our logic and integrating the data back to BPC using AMDP.  My question was really around the integration advantages of BPC embedded and SAC, but other than the non replication of data and the ability to start BPC processes directly from SAC I don’t really see an advantage at this point.