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EPM Thought Leadership

Top 3 Reasons to Join Us at the EPM Leadership Summit

Posted by David Den Boer on Mon, Feb 08, 2016 @ 11:02 AM

On Wednesday, February 24th, I will be giving the keynote formally launching the 2016 EPM Leadership Summit focusing on SAP’s EPM portfolio – with a special emphasis on BPC. To keep the focus on what it will take to make the event highly valuable for all attendees, I will be summarizing the desired conference outcomes in three simple points.

Stabilize - First, many EPM customers struggle with stabilizing their system. We hear this far too often. We know intimately that the solution can absolutely be configured in a successful way, however, for a variety of reasons, usability is not where it needs to be to give users a positive experience. Maybe performance isn’t quite up to par, maybe stability is erratic, perhaps data quality is not reliable enough that users are reluctant to rely on the output of the system. This is understandable, and has to be the first order of business to address. Clearly, no value can be achieved from investments in SAP BPC and other EPM technologies if these complaints aren’t resolved.

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SAP BPC Performance - Best Practices

Posted by Charles Dagaev on Tue, Feb 02, 2016 @ 09:02 AM

Column5 and I have seen a lot of things over the years in the EPM space. I have been working on the technical side of BPC MS since 2000, BPC NW since 2007, and BPC NW on HANA since 2012, having implemented it around the world over 1000 times.

I have a dream to, at some point, write a book of everything I have seen over the years. If investors knew what was really going on deep within some of the world’s datacenters, I think some heads would be rolling! I won’t mention ANY NAMEs but some of them are the who’s who of worldwide companies!

I keep running into the same thing over and over and over again, whether it is hosted by a 3rd party or implemented on-site at a client. The challenges start with a common element that is surprisingly easy to fix: No one seems to take care of the servers and technology!

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SAP BPC Reporting Tips & Tricks

Posted by Deb Silverman on Tue, Jan 12, 2016 @ 08:01 AM

This blog is part of a series on reporting techniques to help you get more value from SAP BPC.

Drop-down lists help make a worksheet more efficient by provided a controlled list of options that make the report or input template respond to preconfigured options.

To create the list use Excel’s Data Validation tool. We are going to take this a step further by populating the list with EPM reports on a ‘List’ tab within the workbook.  In the snapshot below we are using drop-down list for Company, Cost Centre, Program, and Account. Each drop-down list will have its own report to populate the list.

Cost Centre list: A list of cost centers is created using fixed members that had been input. In this example, the dropdown has a friendly label that is the result of concatenating ID & Description, but the report will only use the dimension ID’s referenced on the list tab by using Excel’s VLOOKUP function to match the concatenated friendly label to the ID from the right row.

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Formatting in SAP BPC

Posted by Deb Silverman on Wed, Jan 06, 2016 @ 10:01 AM

The formatting strategy chosen for a report or input schedule is one of the most important decisions made in development because it influences performance, complexity and the “fun factor” for development.  I say this with humor because the report may take 4 hours to build and 8 hours to format!  There isn’t room enough to go into all aspects of formatting in detail, however the understanding of choices we have is critical and can certainly influence the overall life cycle (maintenance and productivity).

The EPMFormatting sheet is used to format dynamic reports and input templates.  It is an Excel sheet that can be copied and changed for multiple worksheets and reports.  Dynamic formatting means the formats are applied to levels of a hierarchy, types of members or column and page axis dimensions.

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Buying Services to Run BPC for You

Posted by Jonathon Pause on Wed, Dec 16, 2015 @ 10:12 AM

Buying an Adequate Level of Service

Column5 offers many solutions and best practice concepts outlined in numerous blogs and webinars with the intent of supporting clients who wish to cultivate an internal capability to best elicit value from their EPM solutions. While all are recommended for our clients, we understand that for many organizations, being in a confident position to properly support their EPM investment is not easily met immediately after go live. We have found some clients looking for assistance with adhering to these best practices, or a little extra bandwidth to supply additional continued support post go-live. In response to these requests, Column5 has assembled a number of services designed to fill any gaps in your EPM deployment plan.

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Building a Competent BPC Team

Posted by Jonathon Pause on Tue, Dec 08, 2015 @ 10:12 AM

Since its early OutlookSoft days, BPC has always been touted as a tool that enables finance teams to become independent from IT so they can wield control of the system during crunch time.  Fast forward to SAP acquiring BPC, many SAP shops pride themselves on have the internal capabilities to own their systems, period.  It isn’t shocking that many of our clients have come ready to meet the challenge of proper care and usage with an internal team.  Column5 applauds this approach and has created numerous tools to help your team succeed:

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Introduction to SAP Disclosure Management

Posted by Michael Sheard on Tue, Dec 01, 2015 @ 08:12 AM

Overview

SAP Disclosure Management is an application within the Enterprise Performance Management suite.  It is used to improve organisations’ reporting where multiple users need to contribute to reports, and accuracy and consistency is critical. Key examples are the Annual Report and Accounts, returns to financial markets and regulators, and internal reports such as board report “books”.

The business case for Disclosure Management is that it manages and streamlines the process of bringing together multiple data sources and text required in reporting all of which are owned and authored by multiple teams and which require approval by multiple approvers.  This article provides an overview of the business case for and operational structure of SAP Disclosure Management.

Business Case

The below diagram created by SAP demonstrates the issues faced in reporting that Disclosure Management is designed to streamline.

 

A typical process leading to a major reporting output such as an annual report or regulatory filing will often have a wide range of data sources  For example, General Ledger systems - Enterprise Performance Management applications such as SAP BPC and BFC and manually created inputs such as written text.  These data sources often feed into numerous Excel and Word documents that form part of the reporting output.  The report sections require approvals and collaboration within the organisation that can be difficult to monitor and coordinate.  The sections of the report that have been created separately need to be put together into the final output.  In the past, the output may have only been a printable format such as a Word document or PDF file, but a number of legal and regulatory filings require electronic submission, notably via XBRL.

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How to Calculate Return on Investment for SAP BPC Projects

Posted by Richard Hynes on Wed, Nov 25, 2015 @ 10:11 AM

We know that EPM (and specifically SAP BPC) implementations have the potential to be very profitable, more so than other IT projects like ERP implementations. But how do you prove that?

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SAP BPC Staffing and Support Models

Posted by Jonathon Pause on Wed, Nov 18, 2015 @ 09:11 AM

Whether you already have an existing BPC environment or are planning a new one, how to appropriately staff and support your EPM environment is a big question to tackle early on. While the number of FTEs will greatly differ based on the size or your organization, the complexities of your planning process, and the level of automation you invest in upfront, there are some basic skillsets you should address.

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EPM Project Management Success: The 3 Lines of Defense to Reducing Risk on an SAP BPC EPM Project

Posted by Sebastien Verstraet on Tue, Nov 10, 2015 @ 09:11 AM

A risk is the possibility of an event or a condition that could negatively impact a project. There are many events or conditions in any EPM BPC implementation that can derail the project, because BPC is a complex tool that touches many areas of your organization. This article is intended to help mitigate risk.

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