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Author's profile photo Dirk Jenrich

Check SAP Integrated Business Planning for Supply Chain with SAP EarlyWatch Alert

Starting in February 2022 the SAP EarlyWatch Alert service was enhanced to include checks for SAP Integrated Business Planning for Supply Chain (SAP IBP). SAP IBP ensures business continuity in times of supply chain disruption by synchronizing supply chain planning in real time. Powered by SAP HANA in-memory technology, this cloud-based solution combines sales and operations planning (S&OP), forecasting and demand, response and supply, demand-driven replenishment, and inventory planning. It also offers powerful supply chain analytics, what-if simulations, alerts, and more to stay ahead of change and improve responsiveness. SAP IBP is the first public cloud product covered by SAP EarlyWatch Alert, further enhancing the capabilities of SAP Cloud ALM.

For more information about SAP IBP please visit the SAP IBP Product Webpage. Also, you might want to check the blog Summary of useful links for SAP IBP on the SAP IBP Community as well.

When you are coming from SAP IBP, you may not be too familiar with SAP EarlyWatch Alert. It’s an automatic diagnostic service for the essential administrative areas of an SAP system, creating alerts on critical situations and offering guidance to improve performance and stability. SAP recommends that you consume the corresponding reports in the cloud-based SAP EarlyWatch Alert apps in the SAP ONE Support Launchpad. The service is included in the maintenance fee for standard support.

Also for SAP IBP the alerts and recommendations are grouped into weekly, system-specific reports. Your best approach to view these reports is the SAP EarlyWatch Solution Finder, one of the apps integrated in the SAP EarlyWatch Alert Workspace. It offers a full text search over all your reports for any search term or affected system and convenient access to the individual reports. In the Solution Finder alerts, recommendations by SAP and additional information are displayed. For every place of finding the affected systems are listed; choose the system to see the complete corresponding paragraph of the SAP EarlyWatch Alert report or download the complete report.

To display only the alerts from SAP IBP in the SAP EarlyWatch Solution Finder, select SAP Public Cloud –> SAP Integrated Business Planning in the Alert Category filter:

Now the SAP IBP alerts for all customers and systems you have access to are displayed; you can restrict this further using filters for Customer or System ID.

You can now proceed directly according to the recommendations for the displayed alerts. Or, if you want to display the check results for a specific system, choose the corresponding system ID on the UI, which will lead you to the cloud version of the report. To download the report, choose Download and select Download Report from the list.

Now we will have a look at different parts of a downloaded report document to give an overview about the areas covered by the SAP EarlyWatch Alert checks:

Global Configuration Parameters

In the screenshot above, you can see the extract from the report that checks the SAP IBP configuration and module-specific settings against recommended default and best practice values. The check covers the following areas:

  • Integration
  • Sales & Operations (S&OP)
  • Demand
  • Supply

If differences are detected, the recommended value is given. Each parameter is rated green, yellow or red based on the criticality of the current settings. Only parameters where changes are suggested are included in the report. Where relevant, further notes and documentation links are given for specific parameters.

Model Configuration

Since SAP IBP release 2011 the number of time series entries that can be created or updated is limited to 10 million records per Attribute as Key Figure (AAKF). The limit is designed to prevent performance issues and ensure stability. This check searches the previous four calendar weeks to find any upload batch runs that exceeded 60% of the record limit. Relevant information for such batch runs is included, for example the planning area, attribute, date, batch ID and record count.

SAP Note 2986360 is referenced which describes what happens when the limit is exceeded, how to configure time-dependent AAFKs to avoid the issue, and how to use master data uploads more efficiently.

SAP IBP Microsoft Excel Add-In

Specific SAP IBP Microsoft Excel Add-In Parameters can help to control any performance impact on the IBP Excel Add-In for both frontend and backend time. For example when opening a new planning view, data is read and prepared by the SAP IBP backend, then sent over the network before being formatted by the UI. Among other factors, oversized datasets can be avoided by controlling the maximum number of cells displayed in a planning view. You can also be directed to set up a filter when working with a planning view to reduce the number of records retrieved. In total 13 parameters are included for this area.

Each new SAP IBP Excel Add-In Version includes enhanced features and performance improvements. Logging in to IBP with an outdated add-in version can impact the performance of planning views and even cause usability issues. This section lists all IBP Excel add-in versions which were used to log in to SAP IBP in the analysis period, including the number of logins for each version. The current and previous two add-in versions are always supported but any older versions that are still active on users PCs are highlighted by this check. SAP Note 2394311 is referenced which describes the new features available in each recent version.

Data Lifecycle Management – Purge Operator

IBP offers jobs (purge operators) to manage the data growth in different areas. In this section several purge operators are checked to see if they were scheduled according to the recommendations. For example jobs controlling key figure data, change history data and scenarios are included here. Each purge operator is listed with its rating (green or yellow), the number of runs found and the reason for the rating. More information is provided on the Data Lifecycle Management page on SAP Help Portal.

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