SAP BPC Move to SAC: MS Office/Excel add-in
The aim of this blog series is to explain the status of SAP Business Planning & Consolidation (SAP BPC) integration with SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC) and our strategic direction. Furthermore, we want to show you how SAP Analytics Cloud can extend and provide a positive ROI for your current planning, forecasting and analysis scenarios and help you run an Intelligent Enterprise. This is going to create new opportunities for planning, forecasting and analysis and thus it will help you steer your organisation even more effectively.
We also want to provide some guidance about the supported scenarios and high-level architectures and what can be done when it comes to modernising the existing planning & analysis solution of SAP BPC by adding SAC as:
- a unified user experience for:
- a planning (data entry) user interface,
- a data analysis interface,
- a planning extension,
- a pure SAC scenario (complete move from SAP BPC).
There will be several blog posts in the series that will cover relevant topics about integration and supported workflows, so please stay tuned for the updates of this blog post with all relevant links to additional blogs of the series:
- SAP BPC Move to SAC: Benefits & scenarios of moving SAP BPC planning scenarios to SAP Analytics Cloud
- SAP BPC Move to SAC: Use SAP Analytics Cloud as data entry UI for SAP BPC
- SAP BPC Move to SAC: Work with BPC planning sequences in SAP Analytics Cloud
- SAP BPC Move to SAC: How to create a business workflow for BPC/BW live models with SAC Calendar
- SAP BPC Move to SAC: How to analyse data
- SAP BPC Move to SAC: MS Office/Excel add-in (THIS BLOG POST)
- SAP BPC Move to SAC: Collaboration
SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC) offers a modern and powerful web user interface for analysis and planning, but controllers love Microsoft Excel too. Excel planning is commonly used, since it offers flexibility for additional side calculations during the data entry process or offline planning, and it integrates the Excel features and visualization/analysis capabilities.
SAC provides Microsoft Excel Add-in for Office 365 (SAC add-in for MS Office) as recommended solution for Excel frontend, which integrates the familiar functionalities of Microsoft Excel and the SAP Analytics Cloud’s planning and analytical features. It’s a fact that most enhancements for an Excel add-in connecting to SAP Analytics Cloud will be delivered on SAC add-in for MS Office version.
At this point in time the SAP Analytics Cloud add-in for Microsoft Office (SAC add-in for MS Office) focuses to data acquisition SAC planning models and does not support the BPC Live-connection, thus the analysis and planning on top of SAC Live models is not possible with the SAC add-in for Microsoft Office (it’s a roadmap item).
So is there an option for SAP BPC Live planning with Excel without paying double licenses for BPC/AO and SAC? The answer is YES, SAP Analysis for Microsoft Office edition for SAP Analytics Cloud (AO SAC edition) is the current solution approach for Excel planning in SAP BW-IP/BPC embedded providers using the SAC subscription license policy.
First, you will need to uninstall the former standard ‘Analysis for Office’ add-in and then re-install the ‘Analysis for Office, Edition for SAC’ add-in (please note that this can also be automatised if you need to do this for larger number of users). For making use of the SAP BPC runtime license in SAC and AO, edition for SAC, the Analysis for Office, edition for SAC, release 2.8 SP14+ is needed (SAP Note 3150518).
Using the Analysis for Office edition for SAC, you can consume the SAP BW-IP/BPC input queries as data sources and incorporate SAP BPC Planning sequences with the exact same way as with the standard SAP Analysis for Microsoft Office version.
Build new SAP BPC Live planning Excel application
- The first step will be to create the SAP BPC Live connection in Analysis for Office.
- Add the SAP BW-IP/BPC Planning-Enabled Query to an Analysis Workbook Excel sheet and apply the necessary configuration and formatting settings.
- Planning sequences or functions can be added to the workbook as Function Aliases, including the necessary configuration. There are several ways to execute a planning sequence. The first is to navigate to the Component tab, right-click Planning Sequence, and choose Execute Planning Sequence or execute it by Excel button.
- From the Analysis tab or by Excel button you can save, recalculate or go back to the previous saved state.
Reuse existing BPC embedded planning Excel AO workbooks
Furthermore, with the Analysis for Microsoft Office edition for SAC SP9+ you can directly access the AO workbooks stored in the BW/BPC or BI central repository (blog post with details). This means that already existing BPC embedded planning Excel applications can be consumed from Analysis for Microsoft Office edition for SAC without any extra effort.
For the BPC MOVE blog series, we use a simple BPC embedded planning example available in SAP BPC/BW system, which follows a quantity-times-price approach for planning sales and contribution margin of vehicles across Europe, per Region and Product Category. As you can see below the as-is vs to-be architecture for Excel planning have no difference, simply the standard SAP Analysis for Microsoft Office used as the Excel frontend UI and will be replaced by SAP Analysis for Office edition for SAC, for leveraging the BPC runtime license and using only the SAC subscription for planning.
Basically only the client version will be replaced, all the BPC embedded objects like the providers (aDSO, composite, aggregation level), the BPC environment with the BPC model, the BPC planning query, the BPC planning sequences, and the available Analysis for Office workbook will be leveraged. It is worth mentioning that any workbook enhancements using Microsoft Excel planning specific macros, applying row and column calculations, or configuring Excel formatting style sheets etc. are the same between the two SAP Analysis for Office versions.
If you want to learn more on how to build Excel planning applications with SAP Analysis for Microsoft Office, read the following blog posts.
- Using Planning Objects in Analysis For Microsoft Excel
- Creating Macros to Streamline Functions in Analysis for Office
The SAP Analytics Cloud add-in for Microsoft Office (SAC add-in for MS Office) focuses on data acquisition for SAC planning models and does currently (roadmap) not support the BPC Live-connection. The SAP Analysis for Microsoft Office edition for SAP Analytics Cloud is the current solution approach for Excel planning in SAP BW-IP/BPC embedded providers using the SAC subscription license policy. Note that SAP BPC Standard deployment mode does not support Live planning access, thus Excel planning with EPM add-in as frontend is not an option too.
Same as the standard SAP Analysis for Office, the edition for SAP Analytics Cloud version is an Office add-in that allows multidimensional, on-demand analysis of OLAP sources in Microsoft Excel. It also allows Excel planning workbook-based application design and build. Last but not least, it is well integrated with Microsoft Excel macros and planning structures and as of SP9+ can directly access the existing AO workbooks stored in the SAP BW-IP/BPC or BI central repository.
For getting a better understanding about all available Microsoft Office front end options with SAC read the following blog posts.
- Enabling Understanding the Various Analysis for Microsoft Office Versions
- Extending the reach of SAP Analytics Cloud data with Microsoft Office front ends
Check out the BPC MOVE blog series and this further information to learn more about the transition from SAP BPC to SAP Analytics Cloud:
- The SAP Note 2969947provides you the latest information of the supported and unsupported planning functionalities when using an SAC Model based on a BPC Live connection.
- Enabling SAP BPC Runtime-license: https://launchpad.support.sap.com/#/notes/3150518
- Easily transition from BPC to SAC-P: https://www.sap.com/products/technology-platform/cloud-analytics/move-planning.html
- SAP Note 3308697 with SAP BPC Standard Migration guide
Ready to take the next step?
Start your cloud migration journey. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about using SAP Analytics Cloud for Planning to migrate your SAP BPC investment to the Cloud and accelerate your business & financial transformation.