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Author's profile photo Mario Nadegger

Dead end SAP Integrated Planning

SAP Integrated Planning is a mature application with a great framework enabling usage of global data warehouse objects out of SAP BW for planning. It integrates global objects and data such as master and transactional data into the planning application. Authorization out of the current system can be reused and frontends, like SAP Bex Web or Analysis for Office, are ready to use partially without further licenses.

Gazing into the crystal ball of the future of the SAP Integrated Planning is showing a very nebulous picture

Near future forecast

In the near future SAP BW 7.* should migrate to BW/4HANA. With that move SAP IP Planning can survive the migration, but with some impacts at the first glace. To be able to use SAP IP in SAP BW /4HANA a license for BPC is needed (with additional costs). With BPC license you can use your existing solutions and get a framework supporting planning process.

With the migration to BW/4HANA the SAP BEX Web Frontend is not fully integrated and/or supported. This leads to a new frontend if you currently use SAP BW Bex Web, that was already included within the SAP BW license.

As web frontend you can use Lumira or SAP Analytics Cloud.

If you go for Lumira you need an SAP BusinessObjects BI to run your Lumira Application (new hardware and licenses). Lumira will get out of maintenance by 2026.

If you go for SAP Analytics Cloud you will most likely miss some features and you need new licenses. Especially missing new line feature (add a new line in planning layout without having already the combination) and triggering planning sequence with variables feature out of SAP Analytics Cloud makes it hard to migrate existing applications.

The make the picture complete BPC embedded will be out of maintenance by 2027.

Get new SAP planning applications future proofed

The question arises how to make your planning application future proof.

With the end of BPC embedded in 2027, it is more likely not building a new planning application in BPC / SAP IP.

Recommended way by SAP is currently SAC Analytics Core Planning.

Going that way, you will need licenses for planning users. All master data and actual data out of an existing SAP BW System must be replicated into SAP Analytics Cloud.

As a matter of fact, no reuse of global SAP BW Data Warehousing objects or functions or authorizations. Objects must be rebuilt such as conversions (like currency or unit), planning sequences (as data actions), authorizations and so on. Bringing back data can be hardly managed with ODATA interface ( described in https://launchpad.support.sap.com/#/notes/2942754 ).

Looking in the glass sphere of SAP Roadmap for Planning

SAP Data Warehouse Cloud is announced as the new future product for planning. Currently it is not available and a release date to enable planning in SAP Data Warehouse Cloud is not announced so far. Due to the movement into the cloud a re-usage of the exciting SAP IP investments without additional costs is very unlikely.

Conclusion

As of now, it does not look good for the future of SAP Integrated Planning and therefore investments in SAP Integrated Planning are not future prove. In my opinion, it is very hard for customers to deal with the current situation, especially when starting new bigger planning projects. It seems that the only SAP product which is “more” future proof for a current project is SAP Analytics Core Planning with the need of replicating data. But with that hurdle and the missing integration also other third-party tools can be an option now.

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      Author's profile photo Maximilian Paul Gander
      Maximilian Paul Gander

      Hi Mario

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts with the Community. We are always open to the feedback of our customers and partners.

      The vast majority of our investments and innovations will be in SAP Analytics Cloud. We are shaping the future planning architecture on a modern stack involving SAP Analytics Cloud as the strategic planning solution with a deep integration into Data Warehouse Cloud. In Roadmap Explorer, you can already find the first deliverables to enable the integration between SAC and DWC (link). While the first scope will be replication-based, we envision tight interaction and live connectivity with DWC data and models as the future direction. We are also planning to provide a generic open API for data exporting in Q1 2022 (link) and are enhancing our integration capabilities with other SAP (planning) solutions such as SAP Integrated Business Planning (IBP).

      With regards to BPC, in recent years, we have delivered complementary and new innovation through integration with SAP Analytics Cloud and we continue to assess the future BPC / SAC integration roadmap. This also includes the consideration of enhancements of the BPC Live connection.

      Again, thank you for your feedback and kind regards

      Max

      Author's profile photo Robert Bosch
      Robert Bosch

      As a sr SAP Consultant, I know not many SAP clients are happy with a full cloud based roadmap. On-prem will remain to be required for large, sensitive financial applications!
      Remember there is still TAGETIK and oracle HFM [which resembles BPC  ]...

      hope to hear good news abt this subject
      kind regards, robert bosch

      Author's profile photo Vineet Gupta
      Vineet Gupta

      Thanks for explaining the roadmap so clearly. This will help a lot of customers..

      Author's profile photo Yogesh Patil
      Yogesh Patil

      Thank you for sharing valuable information.

      This is great way to frustrate loyal SAP customers who established sophisticated planning applications by investing years on their SAP BW landscape. Don't get surprised your SAP customers looking into non-SAP solutions.

      Author's profile photo Torsten Wirth
      Torsten Wirth

      Hello, where does:

      The make the picture complete BPC embedded will be out of maintenance by 2027.

      With the end of BPC embedded in 2027, it is more likely not building a new planning application in BPC / SAP IP.

      this come from?

      As far as I know this is standard support acknowledgement which you don't get for a longer time period today. But this does not mean that it is stopped at 2027. Basically I have discussed this topic with Detlef Wassmuth (from SAP and not an external partner) and he told that planning on BW is supported as long BW is supported and that means 2040. So there is no preasure for a change until that.

      So in my opinion there is no dead end with BPC at the moment. And what developments do we need in the context of BW/4 planning? The planning in BPC / BW/4 is feature complete. Much more than anything related to SAC.

      Furthermore in my opinion SAC is also a dead end for saving planning data on platform because SAP is creating a solution for that in DWC and with SAC you currently need replication and after that you don't have  a central point for reporting (SAC is no warehouse). So some disadvantages from SAC planning are:

      • replication necessary (redundance)
      • separate authorization handling
      • no central point for reporting (because SAC is no DWH) - write back is possible but still it is way more complicated than having the data just in one system

      With other words the SAC planning functionality is way more complicated, much more expensive and does not value any investments made in past. There is absolutely no reason for customers to use it.

      At the moment I think it's a waste of money to move anything to the pure SAC planning (because this will be replaced by DWC again for saving planning data). It makes more sense to use SAC as a frontend for planning, but this is very expensive and feature limited compare to just use AO when it comes to live connections. So this is also not very attractive.

      As some others said: SAP is working on pushing the customers to other solutions at the moment without having a real concept for the future.

      At first SAP moved IP and BPC together in one solution (that was a good move). Now they have some basic parts in S/4 (Upload via Excel for planning data - this is very old fashioned), SAC without a concept for central reporting with several tools, and DWC which is in progress (no planning solution up to now and to be honest if it's there you normally have to wait some years until it's really . working and it is feature rich). So basically there are more tools than ever before and the customers don't really now what will last more than 5-10 years.

      Author's profile photo Mario Nadegger
      Mario Nadegger
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Torsten,

      Currently the SAP Product Availability Matrix provided by SAP is still pointing to 31.12.2027 for End of Maintenance for BPC 2021.

      PAM BPC

      The blog was written in August and since that point in time there was a lot of discussions around that. In November the following blog was posted by SAP Matthias Kraemer

      https://blogs.sap.com/2021/11/26/sap-business-planning-and-consolidation-sap-bpc-strategy/?source=email-global-notification-bp-new-in-tag-followed

      including the following sentence:

      The latest SAP BPC release, which supports the SAP BW/4HANA product line will be aligned with the SAP S/4HANA maintenance extension and will be maintained until at least 2040. For more information, see my blog on SAP BPC product suite extending maintenance.

      It is still not reflected in PAM, but it looks like that the latest BPC will last until 2040. So in my opinion good news. As far as PAM is official I will probably update my blog.

      br mario

       

      Author's profile photo Torsten Wirth
      Torsten Wirth

      Hello Mario,

      I think the way SAP is communicating this is very bad.

      The 2040 information is not new. This information was already available last year when I have talked to Detlef and also something which they communicated on DSAG yearly meeting. There is no change in SAP position. But there was not something in writing (as you mentioned above).

      This 2027 EOF is only valid for BPC 2021 and that is the reason why you will never - according to Detlef - will find the information 2040 in PAM. Before this 2027 update I think it was 2023 (BPC 11.1).

      So BPC will still be working in 2026 although PAM quotes something else a year ago. But you assumtions are based on current PAM information which does not mean EOF of BPC but only BPC 2021.

      According to SAP they will be support for BPC in general to 2040 and BPC 2021 to 2027. So maybe there will be an update for BPC 2022 utill 31.12.2028 but no information for 2040.

      And maybe SAP is intentionally communicating they way they do to push the customers to the new products which are more expensive. So I think the way they communicate this is politically motivated. Otherwise they could make a clear statement like S/4 and BW/4 to 2040.

      Due to that I think you headline and assumtion is based on wrong information (BPC 2021 31.12.2027 is not BPC in generel which will get support to 2040 based on current information).

      Furthermore with latest BW/4 + BPC version parts of planning are reintegrated in BW/4. So there is no clear strategy at all at the moment. Basically BW the embedded part is included in BW/4 again.

      Best regards,

      Torsten