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SAP BPC & EPM
Thought Leadership

Rick Bryant

Recent Posts

The Road to Continuous Improvement is Paved One Good Idea at a Time

Posted by Rick Bryant on Tue, Nov 25, 2014 @ 09:11 AM

In one of my previous blogs, “Where do you go to find answers to your BPC questions?” I talked about the how most customers don't know where to find information on BPC. In addition to my own company's website, I pointed to a blog written by a colleague that does a good job of highlighting the various sources of BPC information.  Over the intervening months we've been working on some pretty exciting stuff here at Column5 that I think will do great things for BPC and the greater EPM community. 

Topics: Best Practices, Training, Financial Close, BPC (Business Planning & Consolidation)

What’s the ROI of Your BPC Implementation?

Posted by Rick Bryant on Wed, Oct 22, 2014 @ 14:10 PM

“Is our BPC implementation working well?  How are competitors using the same software?  What are the best practices?  What is the ROI?”

Topics: Center of Excellence, Thought Leadership, Enterprise Performance Management (EPM), Financial Close, Value, BPC (Business Planning & Consolidation)

SAP Releases Roadmap for BPC for the Microsoft Platform

Posted by Rick Bryant on Tue, Aug 19, 2014 @ 07:08 AM

If you're like a lot of people out there, you probably had to read the title of this blog twice. Over the last several years there has been a plethora of speculation, confusion, frustration and exasperation about the future of BPC for the Microsoft Platform.  From the very first announcement that SAP would port BPC to the NetWeaver platform, people have forecasted the end of the Microsoft version. The lack of roadmap beyond extensions of platform support for the latest versions and some new content (i.e. IFRS Starter Kit) does make one wonder about the future of BPC for the Microsoft Platform.  Here's the good news: SAP recently released the latest roadmap for the EPM portfolio and there are several meaningful planned enhancements to BPC for the Microsoft Platform; from here on out referred to as BPCMS.

Topics: Center of Excellence, Roadmap, Microsoft, BPC (Business Planning & Consolidation)

Where Do You Go to Find Answers to Your BPC Questions?

Posted by Rick Bryant on Wed, Apr 30, 2014 @ 12:04 PM

I was on a sales call recently with a current BPC customer who is about to embark on an upgrade to BPC 10.0 for the NetWeaver platform. The customer had recently implemented BPC v7.5 and was expressing their frustration with having to move to v10.0 and learn the new way to write reports after just spending a lot of time and money on implementing v7.5. Had they known that v10.0 was coming so soon they might have done things differently. This got me thinking about how many times I’ve encountered customers in similar situations. The situation being that you don’t know what you don’t know. Whether it is not knowing about the BPC roadmap or the vast community of BPC users exchanging ideas and supporting each other on the SAP forums, there is ton of information and resources available to a BPC customer.  A great starting point is Column5’s own website (I have to plug my own company) where you can find info on BPC via our blogs, demos, webcasts, case studies and more at www.Column5.com. In addition to Column5’s website, BPC information is available from SAP. The challenge is finding it as it as the information is spread across several different sites and portals. A friend and former colleague of mine at SAP, Jens Koerner, wrote a very useful blog that outlines all of the information available from SAP with links directly to the content so rather than recreate what he’s already done I will simply share a link to his original blog here

Topics: Center of Excellence, Best Practices, Enterprise Performance Management (EPM), Roadmap, Implementation

BPC Heaven vs. Excel Hell

Posted by Rick Bryant on Fri, Jan 24, 2014 @ 09:01 AM

Way back in 2009 while I was working in the EPM practice at SAP I routinely cited a Gartner survey stating that 70% of organizations still relied on spreadsheets for their budgeting, planning and forecasting processes when speaking with customers or at events. Fast forward four years to 2013 and amazingly a new Aberdeen study found that a whopping 89% of organizations use spreadsheets for these processes! What gives? We've all heard over and over about the pitfalls of using spreadsheets for these processes, often referred to as “Excel Hell”.  The bottom line is that business users love spreadsheets for their ease of use and flexibility.  So how do we let business users continue to use their tool of choice AND have the qualities of a planning system such as security, workflow, common formulas and logic, a single source of data, multi-dimensional analysis, etc.?

Topics: Center of Excellence, Enterprise Performance Management (EPM), Analytics, Financial Close, Implementation, BPC (Business Planning & Consolidation)

How To Avoid User Error For Complex Solutions EPM

Posted by Rick Bryant on Tue, Oct 22, 2013 @ 08:10 AM

I was reading the newspaper recently and came across a story about a Spanish submarine that was constructed 70 tons too heavy. Officials didn't discover the problem until the submarine was nearly complete. Now they fear if they launch the sub it would be too heavy to resurface! How did this happen? The problem can be traced to a miscalculation — someone apparently put a decimal point in the wrong place. Ouch! Something as simple as a keying error resulted in a $2.7 billion dollar paper weight. Fortunately, engineers think they can enhance the sub to make it seaworthy but this story illustrates how costly user errors can be. Segue to the world of finance where roughly 70% of companies rely solely on Excel for planning, budgeting and forecasting and the stories of user error and resulting time loss may not be as astounding as an overweight submarine but are just as prevalent.

Topics: Best Practices, Process Improvement, Roadmap

A Second Set of Eyes: Benefits of an SAP EPM Center of Excellence

Posted by Rick Bryant on Wed, Jun 26, 2013 @ 11:06 AM
What is a Center or Excellence?

That is a very good question and one that we get a lot from our customers. The generally accepted definition of a Center of Excellence (CoE from here on out) is a team, a shared facility or an entity that provides leadership, evangelization, best practices, research, support and/or training for a focus area. In the case of Column5 that focus area is the successful implementation of Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) solutions.So how does this team help our customers?

Topics: Center of Excellence, Best Practices, Thought Leadership, EPM Maturity, Enterprise Performance Management (EPM)

Part 2 What’s new for EPM? A look at the latest EPM roadmap from SAP

Posted by Rick Bryant on Wed, Apr 03, 2013 @ 05:04 AM

In part one of this two part blog I reviewed the upcoming enhancements and new features coming to the Business Planning and Consolidation (BPC) product. In this blog I will cover the remaining products in SAP’s EPM portfolio.

Topics: EPM Maturity, Roadmap

What's New for EPM - A Look at the Latest EPM Roadmap from SAP

Posted by Rick Bryant on Thu, Mar 28, 2013 @ 09:03 AM

SAP released the latest update to the Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) roadmap on March 19th.  Although I won’t go into great detail on the roadmap or discuss every new feature, I will provide high level overview of the highlights as I see them. 

Topics: HANA, Enterprise Performance Management (EPM), Innovation, Roadmap, Value, Data, BPC (Business Planning & Consolidation)

The Fast Financial Close: It's Not Just About Speed

Posted by Rick Bryant on Tue, Feb 12, 2013 @ 08:02 AM

There have been many articles, white papers and webinars discussing the merits of accelerating the financial close process. And why not? According to a 2009 survey, since Sarbanes-Oxley was instituted, 52% of the 100 largest U.S. corporations added an average of five days to their close cycles. Of course, increased regulatory requirements are just one aspect leading to increased close times.

Topics: Enterprise Performance Management (EPM), Financial Close, Value, BPC (Business Planning & Consolidation)

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