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SAP EPM
Thought Leadership

SAP EPM & Analytics Professionals: Give Your Career & System the Support They're Missing

Posted by John Bergquist on Thu, Nov 19, 2020 @ 11:11 AM

Attn: SAP EPM & Analytics Professionals

How to supercharge your career, get trained, get insider tricks from peers, and take your EPM (SAP BPC, SAC, S4) skills to leadership level all in one place.

(this works whether you're an executive, power user, or technical user)

Did you know that according to our research across 100s of implementations, 75% of EPM solutions fail to achieve the initiative’s anticipated goals? Even if your implementation was in the top 25% it has likely suffered over time from bloated data volumes, more users, old hardware, version upgrades (or lack of), and expanding complexity. 

Here is the problem you face: most people like to try to go at it alone.

SAP EPM training | community |  forums for SAP BPC, SAC, S4 users

You attempt to figure out SAP's roadmap, plus manage your own SAP EPM processes, plus teach yourself some new skills in your spare time - all by yourself. Which means you'll never achieve the career success, skill level, or EPM system/process performance you could have if you only had gotten some help along the way. This applies to you whether you are an executive, power user, or technical support staff, and whether you run SAP BPC, Analytics Cloud, and/or S/4HANA. 

Luckily for you, there's now a solution so you don't have to go at it alone anymore. 

Leadership Online Community for SAP EPM and Analytics ProfessionalsEverybody works faster and gets further with a "better half", a buddy, or a support system.  Batman has Robin, Miss Piggy has Kermit, and Mickey has Minnie. Now you've got a support system too.  Let me introduce you to the all-new EPM Summit Network, an online Leadership Community for SAP EPM & Analytics Professionals that will supercharge your career and your EPM (SAP BPC, SAC, S4) skills all in one place

 

Topics: EPM, sap bpc, User Experience, EPM Roadmap, epm summit, technology

The Impact of Covid-19 on the role of the Group Financial Controller

Posted by David Jones on Wed, Oct 28, 2020 @ 08:10 AM

On September 29th Column5 hosted a quarterly meeting of the UK100 Group Financial Controllers (GFC) forum on the web. This is a quarterly meeting that Column5 hosts to give GFC’s from the UK’s largest listed Companies opportunity to hear from experts about topics of mutual interest, network and share experiences. This meeting was to understand how Covid-19 was impacting their role as GFC’s, how well prepared they felt when the lock-down arrived in late March 2020 and what they plan to change going forward, particularly given the likelihood of more home working over the next 6 months due to Covid-19, and whether there will be permanent changes to their role as GFC going forward. 

Key Take-Aways: 

Key elements of the discussions are set out below and make an interesting read, but everyone agreed that the key points to take away were: 

Topics: Financial Close, Financial Information Management, User Experience

S/4HANA Group Reporting – Bringing Transaction Processing and Group Reporting together to “bridge the gap”

Posted by David Jones on Thu, Sep 10, 2020 @ 03:09 AM

For 30 years there has been a divergent view as to the best approach to using technology to support the key finance process of consolidation and reporting, generally known today as the “record to report process”.

To deliver excellence in the record to report process SAP now offers S/4HANA Group Reporting.  Read on to see if it's the best technology for you:

Topics: sap bpc, User Experience, group reporting

SAP BPC Training - 5 Reasons Your Skills Might Be Lacking

Posted by Andrew Ford on Fri, Aug 14, 2020 @ 10:08 AM

Should you and/or your BPC power users and support staff use traditional classroom training or online learning for your SAP BPC training? The divide exists between the single fundamental belief that online learning lacks the “humanistic” aspect of training. While many could go back and forth about the pros and cons of each side, both share a commonality: the idea of competency-based training (CBT). CBT is a methodology that believes in focusing training on single units or competencies for the learner to be able to fully consume. This methodology breaks down into the 3 components below related to improving your BPC software implementation:

  • Functional: Technical Skills for a position (Accountant vs. Consultant)
  • Personal: Individual Attributes and Personality (Ability to communicate, collaborate, etc.)
  • Business: Problem Solving in the Workplace (Critical Thinking)

The basic reason why a lot of companies are making the shift toward CBT is to have the ability to run data analysis on each learner. Due to the nature of this training, learners are challenged to complete tasks within a target goal and must retry the skill in order to continue.  If you're not using this style of training for you, your BPC power users and support staff, keep reading to learn why Competency-Based Training is the way to go!

Since the beginning of 2020, Column5 Academy has implemented this methodology to have better insight to our learners, course content, and overall effectiveness of our training. With your EPM software features, users, and support needs changing constantly, it is important to know what content needs to be developed, reorganized, and possibly retired.

Topics: Training, sap bpc, User Experience, Epm Academy

[TECH ALERT] Critical vulnerability for SAP Systems on SAP JAVA Stack

Posted by Vishal Goradia on Wed, Aug 12, 2020 @ 09:08 AM

Description:
Critical vulnerability identified for SAP Systems based on SAP JAVA Stack.
The RECON (Remotely Exploitable Code On NetWeaver) vulnerability has a CVSS score of 10 out of 10 (the most severe)

Symptom:
LM Configuration Wizard of SAP NetWeaver AS JAVA, does not perform an authentication check which allows an attacker without prior authentication, to execute configuration tasks to perform critical actions against the SAP Java system, including the ability to create an administrative user, and therefore compromising Confidentiality, Integrity and Availability of the system.

Topics: Enterprise Performance Management (EPM), Performance, Technical

6 Housekeeping Hacks To Enhance Your SAP BPC Performance for NetWeaver

Posted by Vishal Goradia on Wed, Aug 05, 2020 @ 07:08 AM

If you're a support team member or power user of SAP BPC for NetWeaver, you probably know there are many standard SAP BW layer housekeeping jobs that are provided by SAP.  Most of these generate system information required for analyzing SAP BPC performance, system/error logs retention, completed job logs, etc. and are run at their default frequency. These can be scheduled in SM36, though you can't stop here.  Keep reading to find out how to avoid poor performance in as little as the 6 steps below.

Topics: NetWeaver, Performance, sap bpc, Performance Tuning

COVID-19: How To Update your EPM Solution & Avoid Exposure by Long Planning Turnaround Times

Posted by David Den Boer on Wed, Jul 15, 2020 @ 12:07 PM

The COVID-19 pandemic hit just like the children’s game of musical chairs. As the music of our economy stopped, if you were not near a safe place to sit, you were caught out in the open…finding yourself at risk. Similarly, your EPM solution was likely being enhanced, and upgraded on a certain path before the virus came into being. Any EPM strategy not ready for intensified operations learned the hidden weaknesses of their solution.

To make you feel better, almost no EPM solution was ready for this.

Whatever the state was of your EPM solution, that is the tool you had to wield as you navigated your organization through  the impacts of the virus. As we said in part one of this blog series, the jarring impact to the market doesn’t specifically need to be the virus, it could be anything. Just some unpredictable market influence that won’t wait for long running processes.

Topics: Thought Leadership, Enterprise Performance Management (EPM), Performance, Performance Tuning

How SAP BPC Training is Shifting in Today’s Climate

Posted by Andrew Ford on Tue, Jul 07, 2020 @ 09:07 AM

How many children are now learning via laptop or pad on the couch?  And how many of you are now having to take virtual SAP BPC training since face-to-face training has been affected due to social distancing?

Many of us in the workforce have taken eLearning courses ourselves – which can be defined as educational content that is consumed via digital technology. This may surprise some, but eLearning has been around for about 22 years now and has been evolving at an explosive pace. From plastic laminated slides, to CD-ROM disks, and now micro-eLearning on your cell phone, learning and development has been continuously impacting our youth as well as ourselves.

Topics: Training, User Experience, Epm Academy

How To Finish 80% More of Your BPC Implementation Fast, Even Without Expert Design and Technical Skills

Posted by Hunter Moore on Mon, Jun 22, 2020 @ 11:06 AM

SAP BPC Best Practices MEETS Prebuilt BPC Implementation Templates

THE PROBLEM |SAP Business Planning and Consolidation comes as a platform requiring you to build your application on your own.  As you’re probably painfully aware, this typically takes your forever to finish…if ever, and leads to cost cutting, a slow system, and a one-off solution.  In the end, your BPC implementation ends up not supportable beyond the original architect and doesn’t have any SAP BPC best practices baked in during rollout.  The Darwin EPM suite was originally developed as a program within Column5, to incorporate the knowledge of 100’s of BPC implementations into prebuilt solution modules naturally fixing these problems while handling 80% of a typical user’s needs.  Keep reading to see how this will work for you. 

Topics: EPM Investment, Darwin EPM, DarCE, User Experience

COVID-19: A time for Leadership - Leveraging Enterprise Performance Management in Times of Crisis

Posted by David Den Boer on Fri, Jun 19, 2020 @ 05:06 AM

"The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word 'crisis. ' One brush stroke stands for danger; the other for opportunity. In a crisis, be aware of the danger--but recognize the opportunity." 

John F. Kennedy, US President 

It's the sort of blockbuster movie plot you'd expect to see while sitting in the dark confines of a movie theater, booming audio and a gasping crowd. A thrilling plot has your eyes riveted to the screen, where the dramatic tension is only broken when you run out of popcorn or the movie ends. In that scenario, you can return to your "real life" in a little over an hour, with no discernible life altering impact. It is now clear this COVID-19 provocateur is no movie; this virus will not go away so quietly without leaving an indelible impact on the world.  It most certainly will impact how you and the leadership team rely on your EPM software and Enterprise Performance Management in general. 

For this article, we'll define EPM software as Gartner does as dealing with “the process of monitoring performance across the enterprise with the goal of improving business performance.  Other activities we'll include under the Enterprise Performance Management umbrella are FP&A modeling, budgeting, forecasting, reporting, and consolidation.  Keep reading to find out how our plot unfolds. You'll learn how to avoid high latency, Excel centric planning.  You'll also learn 3 stages of recovery and the leadership principles needed to accelerate  your Enterprise Performance Management and remodeling during COVID-19. 

Topics: Thought Leadership, Enterprise Performance Management (EPM), Performance, User Experience

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3  S T E P S

To Enhance Your EPM Performance:

 1.Get Your Ultimate Guide to Improving SAP EPM Performance

ebook 2

 Learn what could be contributing to your poor performance and how to diagnose common problems. Get tips that will empower you and your team to improve the  performance  of your system in order to get the most out of your SAP EPM Investment.

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2.  Test Your BPC Performance 

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Get a BPC performance report card and custom report to identify performance issues you may not even know you have.

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  3. Get Your EPM Assessment  

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Our assessment delivers a complete, best practice roadmap for you to follow.  We’ll work together to assess what you need to pivot your financial forecasting, planning, reporting and analysis to handle the compressed requirements from the volatile COVID-19 environment. 

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