„...Tomorrow belongs to those who can hear it coming...“(David Bowie). Realtime-consolidation is becoming true now with SAP BPC Embedded. In this paper we shed some light on the future of SAP-based consolidation. In the sense of David Bowie we argue that Tomorrow in consolidation tools belongs to those who can hear it coming.
When a company plans to implement a consolidation solution based on SAP technology, it has to ask about the differences in functionality as well as about the strategic implications of the tool decision. Our clear recommendation is to take SAP BPC Embedded (Business Planning and Consolidation) into close consideration.
BPC was previously known as Outlooksoft, which originally was a Microsoft-based planning and consolidation tool. After it had been taken over by SAP it was adapted to work on the NetWeaver platform.
In the Standard version of BPC its models are stored in SAP BW, but in a specific data model which is not fully compatible to the regular BW objects. The reason for that is that BPC Standard was initially promoted as a solution close to functional departments. Contrary to what was known from BW-based planning (BPS, BI-IP) and consolidation (BCS) until then, functional units were enabled to build their own models, to edit and add master data, to create their own input layouts etc without the need to involve any IT department. Instead, BPC would create the required BW objects in the background automatically. As a consequence, the generated BPC-models follow a slightly different setup and have to be connected to BPC-external BW objects by a special Data Manager.
The strong focus on the administration by functional departments was partly dismissed when SAP introduced the Embedded BPC version. BPC Embedded combines the frontend functionalties of BPC Standard with the backbone functionalities of the BW-integrated planning BI-IP. Consequently BPC Embedded works on data models which directly apply the BW data structures, moving data and functionalities closer to the already existing data warehouse implementations. What sounds like a compromise in fact brings together the best of two worlds: The strong support of standardized processes which we know from BI-IP and the flexibility that functional departments like so much about BPC.
Our new Point-of-View paper provides a comparison of the Standard and the Embedded BPC versions. It also provides an outlook into realtime consolidation, an option that arises by the future combination of BPC Embedded on S/4 HANA.
By Andreas Krüger & André Müller