Technology Blogs by SAP
Learn how to extend and personalize SAP applications. Follow the SAP technology blog for insights into SAP BTP, ABAP, SAP Analytics Cloud, SAP HANA, and more.
cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
blazza
Advisor
Advisor
Last updated on 2nd of August, 2023


INTRO


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:

BUSINESS VALUE OF ADDING SAC INTO YOUR SAP BPC PLANNING SCENARIOS


The short version is, yes of course, there is a positive and high ROI when adding SAC into your existing SAP BPC planning scenarios. If I try to define 3 main benefits, here are the 3, that I think are the most important:

  • BUSINESS BENEFITS: Respond better & faster to market changes -> positive effect on:

    • Profitability goals

    • Sustainability goals

    • Other stakeholder’s goals



  • PROCESS BENEFITS: Perform planning, forecasting and simulations faster and with less effort.

  • IMPLEMENTATION/COST BENEFITS: Faster & cheaper implementation


Depending on your scenario and the level of integration with SAC, benefits might differ, but they are coming from the 3 areas explained below:

  • Modern Cloud Solution

  • Unified planning & analysis UX (SAC as The Steering Platform)

  • Content building & development




STRATEGIC DIRECTION


There is no point of reinventing the wheel here. Our Head of SAP HD&A - Planning & Analytics, matthias.kraemer02  has published a blog about our strategic direction of SAP BPC and related to SAP Analytics Cloud as well, so I suggest that you have a look into this blog post.

Here are some relevant statements taken from the above-mentioned blog post:

  • Strategic direction:


“…Customers who need to support business requirements on an existing on-premise installation of SAP BPC can rely on the fact that the product will continue to exist and be supported. Future investments for planning will primarily go to SAP Analytics Cloud to enhance the rich features, functions, and to deepen the integration with the SAP Portfolio. With this in mind, we strongly recommend any customer considering future implementations of planning scenarios to consider the innovation of SAP Analytics Cloud.”




  • Investments in the field of SAP BPC and SAC integration:


“…With respect to SAP´s overall cloud strategy, our cloud-based planning solution SAP Analytics Cloud represents our strategic and most innovative business intelligence and planning solution. The SAP BPC product will receive continuous innovations, bug fixes, and investments in infrastructure topics with SAP Analytic Cloud.”

HOW TO EXTEND EXISTING PLANNING SCENARIOS OF SAP BPC?


SCENARIO 1: MOVE


This is the option where planning use cases would be completely moved from SAP BPC into SAC. In this case we talk about re-implementation, but you can still reuse some of the things that you have created. For example, you could build a SAC planning model based on the query that is coming from your SAP BPC (embedded model, running on the SAP BW system). That way all relevant dimensions (including its members and hierarchies) could be recreated quite easily. More effort would be required to migrate script logic that you have been using in your planning use cases with SAP BPC. And even in this case I would also like to point out that this could also be the right time to rethink some of the concepts & logic that have been implemented with SAP BPC and how to realize it in a different way with SAC. For example, there are so many things that SAC is offering out of the box (no coding, just configuring; machine learning/predictive planning, simulation options, driver-based planning/value drive tree, disaggregations, allocations, version management, variance analysis, forecast layout and many more). This decreases the implementation time & cost. The maintenance of the solution becomes a lot easier since standard functionality is used. Furthermore, this might also be the right time to evaluate if some of the SAP’s standard business content packages (a set of predefined data entry forms, dashboards, reports, models, etc available to every SAC customer without extra charge) could be used as well. More info about available business content can be found here and in SAC help section. Please visit this SAC help section on how to activate it.



SCENARIO 2: COMPLEMENT (=LIVE Planning)


In this scenario we are using SAC as a planning/forecasting data entry UX and as well for data analysis (variance analysis in reports and dashboards for example). In other words, users enter data via the SAC data entry form and the data is being persisted directly in the SAP BPC planning model. No data is being stored in SAC whatsoever. Please note LIVE Planning is supported with BPC Embedded model (same goes for SAP BW IP, where models needs to be available within a BPC environment otherwise live connection for planning is not supported). Entering data via SAC UX comes in two flavours, we can build web forms & applications and users can enter data from the browser based UX or alternatively MS Excel add-in can be used. In both cases data is persisted directly in the SAP BPC model.



SCENARIO 3: ADD (Extend BPC with SAC for new functional plans)


In this scenario, we can build new functional plans on top of SAP BPC with SAC and then we provide integration (data is replicated in both directions between SAP BPC and SAC). A simple example of such integration could be to bring our initial version of sales forecast from SAP BPC model into SAC model (model – dimensions & measures; with data is being replicated from SAP BPC into SAC). In the next step predictive time series forecasting would be applied on top of forecast data stored in SAC model. If needed, users could perform some manual adjustments or allocations and when done the updated forecast would be replicated back to SAP BPC model.


Another example and this time talking about the functional extension, could be to bring OPEX planning & forecasting model from SAP BPC into SAC and then integrate it with a detailed headcount and salary plan that is done exclusively in SAC. When all planning & forecasting activities are finalised in SAC, only the OPEX part is integrated back into the core BPC model (see picture below).




LICENSING IMPLICATIONS


In case of Scenario 1: MOVE, the picture is clear, and it means that SAP BPC Planning user licenses would no longer be required, so only SAC (Planning) subscription is required to cover the adequate number of users. Please reach out to your SAP sales representative or SAP partner to get more information on how to do the commercial shift from the on-prem licensing into a cloud subscription. We have some tools in place that can help you with the shift.

In case of Scenario 2: COMPLEMENT (live planning), it means that SAP BPC would still be used for data processing and data persistence. This will require a certain number of SAP BPC licences to cover for the needs of planned workflows. In other words, you will need a certain number of application administrators/creators and a certain number of planners to be licensed with SAP BPC licenses (depending on your actual need). But vast majority of BPC users can be shifted into SAC subscription (same as scenario 1, please reach out to your SAP sales representative or SAP partner to get more information on how to do the commercial shift). SAC planning subscription now allows every SAC planner to write data directly into SAP BPC (embedded) planning model, without the need for double licensing, like it was before. We have introduced this so called BPC runtime license for SAC Planning subscriptions at the end of last summer and you can find more information about it in this blog post. This scenario allows a smooth transition from on-prem into cloud planning, forecasting and analysis workflows also by commercial shift of SAP BPC licenses (its maintenance) into SAC subscription.

In case of Scenario 3: ADD (extend SAP BPC with SAC functional plans) it means that less SAP BPC users would required and more SAC users are needed (please contact SAP or SAP partner to get more information about commercial options for the shift). Since new planning use cases would be implemented in SAC, no additional SAP BPC licenses would be required, but only SAC subscription which again allows for the smooth transition to the modern, innovative & cost effective cloud solution.

I hope this provides a solid foundation for all upcoming blogs in the series SAP BPC Move to SAC.

Please stay tuned, new blogs in the series are coming up soon and will be referenced in the INTRO section of this blog post.

Please visit also our official Move your planning to SAP Analytics Cloud site where you can get some additional information about the reasoning/arguments, value calculator, customer stories, etc.

Ready to take the next step?

Start your cloud migration journey. Contact us at movebpc@sap.com 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.

Please check out also SAP Note 3308697 with SAP BPC Standard and BPC Embedded Migration guide (two migration guides pdfs).

(Fairly) new to SAP Analytics Cloud?

Find out how to apply the basics of modelling, planning, analysing and administration with SAP’s free learning resources on SAP Analytics Cloud. The learning journey is designed for business users who want to upskill and boost their careers. Check out even more role-based learning resources and opportunities to get certified in one place on SAP Learning site.

 

Cheers,

Blaž
10 Comments