Column5 - Leading Edge of Enterprise Performance Management Blog  

Thought Leadership on SAP BPC and EPM Implementations

Column5 Through the Years

Posted by David Den Boer on Wed, Apr 15, 2015 @ 09:04 AM

This month marks Column5’s 10th anniversary, and we are excited to be celebrating so many years of providing top-notch consulting services to our customers.  In the end, there are two groups who enable Column5 to have such a rich history of success.

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Tales of an Englishman Abroad Part II – or “What I Learnt at the APJ EPM Summit”

Posted by David Jones on Fri, Mar 27, 2015 @ 14:03 PM

After the outlandish but ultimately very successful experience of our EPM Summit in Las Vegas, it was time to move on to the next event in our round of bringing together the SAP BPC user community across the globe. This time I travelled to Makati, one of the cities making up metropolitan Manila in the Philippines, for our APJ EPM Summit.

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Intro to SAP EPM

Posted by Jason Glaser on Tue, Mar 17, 2015 @ 15:03 PM

What exactly is SAP EPM? It’s much more than a few random letters to be sure. Let’s first understand what the second set of letters is before we understand all of them as a whole.

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OutlookSoft History: The Start of BPC and Column5

Posted by Craig Bodington on Tue, Mar 10, 2015 @ 09:03 AM

OutlookSoft Corporation was founded in 1999 and developed products for the Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) arena. The company’s first software release was called “Everest”, and was developed on the Microsoft platform.  Everest provided new planning, forecasting, reporting and dashboarding solutions for clients, and was the stepping stone for the current SAP product called BPC (Business Planning and Consolidation). 

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Tales of an Englishman Abroad – or “What I Learnt at the EPM Leadership Summit”

Posted by David Jones on Tue, Mar 03, 2015 @ 08:03 AM

The beauty of being an Englishman and being invited to present at a conference in Las Vegas is that you get a chance to indulge in all the stereotypical views of the worst excesses of the USA. Yes, Las Vegas is big, brash, and bold. There is glamour and sparkle everywhere you turn.  There are one-arm bandit machines everywhere (at the airport, at the car rental centre and even at the garage - sorry gas station), and yes, food portions are huge and the toll it takes on some US residents is clear to see. But, for all that, you just love the place because of its excesses; your senses are bombarded every minute and just for a few days it really is fun, even if, like me, you don’t gamble.

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The Cloud – Big Bucks, No Whammies

Posted by Mike Smayrabunya on Thu, Feb 12, 2015 @ 13:02 PM

In the early to mid 1980s there was a popular TV game show that had a catch phrase, “Big bucks, no whammies!”…meaning contestants would risk their earnings to date for a chance to earn even more returns. Getting a dreaded ‘whammy’ meant you would lose everything you had.

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What's in a Good, Better, BEST Practice?

Posted by David Den Boer on Tue, Feb 03, 2015 @ 12:02 PM

Winston Churchill’s friend once said of him, “Winston is a man of simple tastes, he is always prepared to put up with the best of everything.” The desire for the best is something everyone covets, but this aspiration becomes problematic when “best” cannot readily be defined. So how would you know if you received the best?

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Which SAP EPM Event is Right for You?

Posted by David Den Boer on Tue, Jan 27, 2015 @ 10:01 AM

I often get asked “which are the ‘good’ events to go to for EPM related content?” Instead of answering in email, or on the phone, I want to make a more thorough response available for posterity.

First, let’s ask: what are attendees’ expectations when going to an event? These fall into two categories, with differing needs. One group is looking to make some sort of purchase decision, evaluating either software solutions or a new service provider. The other group has already made a purchase decision to own the software, and they are looking to update their knowledge of the product roadmap, and hear customer and partner stories about upgrades, process improvements, and other experiences that can benefit them. There are numerous events to choose from, and knowing which events are appropriate for each group is a good way to maximize the return on investment for attendee fee and travel dollars… and more importantly, your time.

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Performance Tuning for SAP BPC 10.0 for NetWeaver

Posted by Vishal Goradia on Wed, Jan 21, 2015 @ 16:01 PM

Performance of a system is crucial to every implementation. System monitoring and administration help towards efficiently running a SAP system. Performing some proactive monitoring and configuration can help in avoiding SAP system issues. Let’s talk about a few approaches to troubleshoot performance issues while working on SAP BPC 10.0 for NetWeaver system.

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Introduction to SAP HANA

Posted by Darko Kavazovic on Tue, Jan 13, 2015 @ 09:01 AM

As an IT professional, I was very interested in HANA when the product first came out to the market two plus years ago.  Initially getting started on HAHA involved buying all physical hardware, which put smaller companies on the sidelines due to high start-up cost.  Over time, HANA has truly transformed by getting more and more features added with the new service packs.  It was not just the features, but also the support expansion that enables you to run HANA on the various vendor’s hardware and the ability to run it on virtualized hardware such as VMWare and AWS (Amazon Web Service).  The best part from an IT perspective, is that while it used to take weeks or even months to setup HANA, now you can be up and running in matter of hours if you utilize providers such as AWS. 

I have worked with HANA on physical, virtualized, and cloud platforms, and they all offer a wide range of performance and memory levels.  HANA can currently be installed as standalone or scale-out (aka multi-server configuration).  When it comes to HANA memory size capacity, you can scale up to 6TB of the memory for a single system, and the scale-out cluster can have up to 112TB+.  When it comes to cloud offerings, they are not currently available with such a large memory capacity, but their offerings change for the better all the time.  In my opinion, the fastest way to test HANA in your own environment would be to utilize virtualized hardware that most organizations already have in place.  I know that some shops are mostly Microsoft, and since HANA runs on Linux they are hesitant about having to support a different operating system; but, to put this in perspective, more than 70% of all websites in the world run on some Unix operating system, and that is due to their flexibility and high reliability.  Having to support multiple operating systems is inevitable.  HANA was initially only offered on SUSE aka SLES (SUSE Linux Enterprise Server), and due to demand it is now also offered on Red Hat Linux.  In my opinion, unlike Windows, Linux requires a lot less maintenance. 

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