Complement Your SAP Business Planning and Consolidation with SAP Analytics Cloud
Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A) plays a very important role in the enterprise. Analyzing and monitoring the performance of the entire company helps understand if corporate objectives are being met and how performance can be improved. Therefore, an enterprise needs to integrate data from transactional systems as well as analytical systems.
The strategic solution that SAP has for FP&A is SAP Analytics Cloud which is offered on public cloud and combines planning, predictive and business intelligence functionality into one product. SAP also has SAP Business Planning and Consolidation to address financial planning requirements for customers who require an on-premise solution.
SAP has launched a program, called Extend Planning, for the customers using Business Planning and Consolidation. In this blog, we will discuss the option of complementing SAP Business Planning and Consolidation with SAP Analytics Cloud.
Keep your eyes open for subsequent blog posts, which will explore new planning processes to an existing SAP Business Planning and Consolidation implementation as well as technical details of connecting SAP Business Planning and Consolidation and SAP Analytics Cloud.
What is the Extend Planning program?
First let us understand the purpose of the Extend Planning program.
SAP’s Collaborative Enterprise Planning is well suited and perfectly positioned to address the challenges posed to the planners mentioned above. For the customers to take advantage of the Collaborative Enterprise Planning strategy as well as the latest innovations that can address the challenges to the planners, the enterprises should be running on SAP Analytics Cloud platform.
However, we have thousands of customers that use SAP Business Planning and Consolidation in its various versions. This poses a formidable task of moving these customers quickly and smoothly to SAC. The customers should be allowed to move at their own pace, without disruption of their planning processes and in phased manner if they prefer so.
Move at your own pace
This is precisely the purpose of Extend Planning program. The move between their planning solutions in some cases may initially require a hybrid scenario.
A large organization may have thousands of planning users across many countries doing planning, budgeting and forecasting using numerous planning processes.
Further, there may be upstream and downstream processes involving data feeding into SAP Business Planning and Consolidation and feeding planning data to other applications.
As well, every business is at a different level for how much they can spend on augmenting their planning system. They may also have corporate governance policies requiring corporate financial planning not be implemented on public cloud systems. Every enterprise is unique, and not all customers can avail the first option to move completely to SAP Analytics Cloud.
These customers can opt to complement their SAP Business Planning and Consolidation with SAP Analytics Cloud instead of moving completely. That means they can plan their move to SAP Analytics Cloud in multiple phases over a longer time horizon.
How it works
The SAP Business Planning and Consolidation can be on-premise deployment or a hosted deployment on SAP Hana Enterprise Cloud. When the customers complement their SAP Business Planning and Consolidation with SAP Analytics Cloud, they continue to use SAP Business Planning and Consolidation for the corporate planning while at the same time use SAP Analytics Cloud for regional planning, business unit planning, or even line of business planning that currently may or may not take place with SAP Business Planning and Consolidation.
One way of doing so is to select one or more planning models from SAP Business Planning and Consolidation that they want to integrate with SAP Analytics Cloud. Then they can create models in SAP Analytics Cloud that can integrate with models from SAP Business Planning and Consolidation.
The process to create these models in SAP Analytics Cloud depends upon the model type and data connector type. Both models in each solution have a two-way communication where the plan data can be exported and imported to and from SAP Business Planning and Consolidation to SAP Analytics Cloud and vice versa. Thus, the customers may have to use hybrid planning in the initial phase if they want to complement BPC with SAC.
Options to Extend Planning
There are many customers who are, at present, complementing SAP Business Planning and Consolidation with SAP Analytics Cloud. Besides having the ability to plan their move to SAP Analytics Cloud over a period of time, there are other benefits for customers who choose to complement these two solutions.
Some of these are mentioned below:
- Support the Corporate Plan in SAP Business Planning and Consolidation with SAP Analytics Cloud for agile planning, reporting, analytics, and Smart Data Discovery. SAP Analytics Cloud offers state of the art machine learning and artificial intelligence tools to provide smart insights into the data. This helps to surface the hidden traits in the data which otherwise would have gone unnoticed. If SAP Business Planning and Consolidation customers, want to take advantage of these features, complementing their SAP BPC with SAP Analytics Cloud provides them this opportunity.
- Protect your current investment while innovating through integration with SAC. If the SAP BPC customers have already invested in buying, installing and implementing their on-premise application like SAP BPC, which is satisfying the needs of corporate planning, they would like to reap the return on that investment and at the same time provide business users with a modern browser based interface for data input and reporting. They can achieve this by complementing SAP Business Planning and Consolidation with SAP Analytics Cloud.
- Simply replace Excel for all offline planning scenarios and feel confident using an enterprise platform. When it comes to Regional Planning, managers and teams have relied on updating and sharing spreadsheets to consolidate spending forecasts for alignment across departments. Sending spreadsheets back and forth and losing version control are a thing of the past when you complement SAP Business Planning and Consolidation with SAP Analytics Cloud for planning. SAP Analytics Cloud makes sharing and collaboration easy. With changes saved in the cloud, SAP Analytics Cloud allows you to pick up where you, your manager, or peer left off, view comments, share reports with specified users, and make use of the collaborative capabilities from any device.
Thus, you can complement your existing Business Planning and Consolidation with SAP Analytics Cloud.
In the next blog post, we will talk about the options available for the existing SAP Business Planning and Consolidation customers while adding a new planning process.
Want to learn more about Extend Planning? You can do so, here.
Well studied blog is presented here..
In my 11 years of carrier of FP&A, since BPC 7.5 NW till BPC optimized SAC Planning is outstanding planning tool which is getting matured every quarter with fully loaded features. Thanks to the development team of SAP!
I have below question/feedback about our current situation in 2021:
For the clients who are implementing S/4 Green Field Implementation, what should be SAP's recommendation as FP&A tool? Option 1- BPC Hybrid (Standard or Embedded) with SAC for visualization or Option 2- SAC Planning as standalone planning/reporting/visualization tool sourced from S4?
If Option 1- SAP is ending support to BPC Standard/Embedded in 2024 (Is this still valid?). If yes, then we cannot recommend this option to clients as it will be short term solution for huge investment.
If Option 2- Is SAC-Planning capable of handling huge volume of dataset 16 Million approx. across the models within the application and complex planning calculations? Do you have client success stories which can be used to share with new clients? I found only 6 to 7 stories out of which 2 were BPC Hybrid approach and 4 were very small scale industry clients.
We are in situation where Option 1 is going away in 2024 and Option 2 is not proven yet which leads to going with non SAP planning tool, unless SAP could provide strong use cases with their clients who are Fortune 500 companies atleast and proven in data volume and calcs handling.
Really appreciate your response.