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What is SAP S/4HANA EPPM? – Disambiguation & Overview

In the recent times, SAP EPPM has become a buzz word in the solutions for Program management and Project management. Often, many customers and colleagues ask me “What is EPPM?”. Some ask me if it is the “Next Generation PPM”. Some even ask me if PPM in S/4HANA is called EPPM. There has been a lot of confusion about what it is and what it encompasses. This blog post is to clarify the most common questions regarding on-premise version of SAP S/4HANA EPPM, its components, and provide an overview of solutions within that.

Let’s start with the acronym first. SAP EPPM stands for Enterprise Portfolio and Project Management. It is not a successor of just SAP PPM. It is an umbrella term for a set of solutions that help customers run Project-oriented processes in their companies.

The major components in on-premise version of SAP EPPM are the following.

  • SAP Project System
  • SAP Portfolio & Project Management
  • SAP Commercial Project Management
  • Enterprise Project Connection
  • SAP Innovation Management

Though the solutions are grouped under the common name of EPPM, the Product Hierarchy and Product documentation appear a bit different in SAP Help. From the license perspective, as of now (October 2020), Enterprise Project connection is part of the EPPM License, but not SAP Innovation Management. Yet, in principle, all the components listed above form the part of EPPM.

Now that there is a clarity about the solution components of EPPM, let us look into a brief overview of each of them. These solution components have been existing from quite some time. However, looking at each of these will give the purpose and specific challenges that each of these solutions address.

SAP Project System: It has been a core solution from SAP from the beginning that does not need any introduction or detailed explanation. Very robust, sturdy, and impeccable module that seamlessly integrates with many modules in S/4Core. In a nutshell, it serves Financial, Accounting, and Logistic needs of Project-oriented processes in all CAPEX, OPEX, and Revenue Project Scenarios. For example, you can have features like Budget Control, Project stock, Inter-company process, Settlements, Results Analysis etc. Capabilities like these distinguish PS from other solutions in EPPM.

SAP Portfolio & Project Management: There are a lot of consultants who have been working with this from the times when it was two separate modules namely ‘Development Projects’ and “Resource & Portfolio Management’. That is why you still see all the important database tables start with “DPR” – indicating Development Projects. Eventually, it became a single product from PPM5.0 in ECC. Earlier, SAP PPM could stand alone in a system separated from ECC. From S/4HANA 1709, the latest PPM application has been part of the S/4Core. The distinctive features of SAP PPM are

  • Decision-Making capabilities using Portfolio Management by quantifying the qualitative information.
  • Light-weight Project Management suitable for running Projects with Professional Resources
  • Resource Management of Professional Resources.

However, there are no organizational elements like Controlling Area, Company code etc in SAP PPM. Also, there are no account assignment objects here. For example, you cannot account a Purchase order directly to a PPM Phase or a Task like you may do with PS WBS element or PS Network Activity. So, it must be routed through SAP PS. This process of linking PPM to PS is called Account Integration.

SAP Commercial Project Management: The journey of SAP CPM starts in 2012. CPM has Master Projects which can be linked one or more SAP PS Projects, accounting object like Sales Orders, and even non-accounting objects like SAP PPM Projects. CPM has 3 major components, namely, Project Workspace, Financial Planning, Project Issue and Change Management.

Project Workspace consolidates information from multiple areas like “General Overview”, “Procurement Overview”, Commercial Overview”. It works like a Project cockpit to navigate to Financial Plans, Risks, Issues, and Change Management.

Financial Planning in CPM is like Unit Costing in SAP PS but with a flexible UI in Excel and period wise planning. For a given Master Project there can be multiple plans and versions. Because, CPM does not have accounting objects, all the costs values can be transferred to SAP PS in the form of Easy Cost Planning.

Risks & Issues comes with flexible configuration. Matrix and Pie charts help prioritizing and tackling Risks & Issues. They can seamlessly result in Change Request and thereby changes to Cost Plan after approval cycle.

SAP Enterprise Project Connection: Enterprise Project Connection facilitates data transfer between SAP On-premise system and other project management tools like Oracle Primavera P6 or Microsoft Project Server. “Open PS” that was used integrate SAP PS with Microsoft Projects is now replaced with Enterprise Project Connection. EPC involves more technical effort than functional effort. The technical effort will be in the areas of XML, XSLT, Administration of EPC etc. with a little bit of ABAP skills to use/ create new SAP Function Modules/ BAPIs. The sample implementation solutions are available in the OSS note 2292815 – SAP EPC 3.0 Sample Integration Solutions (SIS) Document Collection. Further details on EPC can be found here.

SAP Innovation Management: Though SAP PPM addresses all project phases, it has a special capability to fill the vacuum` before the Project Set-up. That phase is called the “Proposal” phase. But there can be a budding phase even before Project Proposal. That is the ideation phase. Even the Ideation phase needs a specific set of processes to evolve and evaluate the Idea. On successful evaluation, the idea can be taken up as a Project Proposal to check and rate its fitment into the Portfolio Strategy. This capability of running campaigns for ideating and evaluating ideas from these campaigns is offered by SAP Innovation Management (INO). Thus, SAP INO can be a precursor to SAP PPM fostering the culture of innovation in the organizations.  Unlike other solution in SAP EPPM, SAP INO is a native HANA application. Yet, it can be integrated with SAP PPM.

With this, I hope the readers get the clarity about SAP EPPM, Overview of its solution components, and their distinctive capabilities that can address all the needs of Project-oriented Processes. You just need to choose the right set of its component solutions for the specific needs of a given business process. Please let me know your feedback and share this in your network who is looking for a high-level overview on SAP S/4HANA EPPM.

Readers can also refer the following for more details

  1. SAP Enterprise Portfolio and Project Management
  2. SAP Enterprise Project Connection
  3. SAP Innovation Management
  4. Community page: SAP Enterprise Portfolio and Project Management

 

Cheers,

Manjunadh.

2 Comments
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  • HI Manjunadh,

    Very good writeup and much needed explanation of the different offering.

    In your experience do you see these various project solutions being relevant for different project types? For example, for CAPEX projects vs revenue projects, would you recommend one solution over the other?

    Regards,

    Raghavendra Mani

    • Hi Raghavendra,

      The answer is both Yes & No. Choice of solutions sometimes depends on nature of Projects. And sometimes on the business need. For example, if it is a human resource intensive Professional service Project like Consulting, SAP PPM will be the right choice. In Revenue projects it looks straight forward to use bid structure of SAP CPM. At the same time, one can also use sales pricing in SAP PS. In such case, the information available to the business team to run the process, and the business need will drive the choice of solution component. Sometimes, the need of a specific feature may demand the implementation of the solution component that offers the needed feature.