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.
If you are looking for information on EPM 10.5 or 11.0 you won’t find it in this latest update to the roadmap. Why? Because SAP has taken a different approach to releasing new functionality since the release of EPM 10.0. Are the days of major and minor releases gone forever? Only SAP can say for sure but as of right now, SAP is delivering enhancements and new functionality via support packs. This makes it more important than ever to stay up-to-date with everything included in each support pack. Even if you don’t plan to install a support pack immediately, it is important to know what new features/enhancements you might want to take advantage of.
This latest roadmap is broken into two sections: Planned Innovations and Future Direction. Planned Innovations are usually in the 3-9 month timeframe whereas Future Direction is usually 12-24 months out. I will focus on the Planned Innovations in this blog.
Business Planning and Consolidation – As you are probably aware, there are two versions of BPC available, a version for SAP NetWeaver and a version for Microsoft.
Enhancements for both BPC NetWeaver and BPC Microsoft are:
- Enhanced reporting functionality, performance and usability with the SAP EPM Add-in for Microsoft Office.
- Mobile access through SAP EPM unwired application – this mobile application will allow users to take action on things (update plans, approvals, etc.) through their mobile device as opposed to merely consuming data as is the case today.
- Content updates such as:
- Financial Close and Disclosure management starter kits
- Strategic Financial Planning Rapid Deployment Solution
- Mobile BI for Financial Close starter kit
Additional enhancements for BPC NetWeaver are:
- SAP HANA –optimized allocations, dimension member calculations and enhanced top-down planning capabilities. By pushing these processes into the HANA layer from the application layer customers should see improved performance and flexibility
- A hosted option for BPC on HANA will be available. This will allow customers to defray some of the upfront costs of BPC and HANA making BPC on HANA a viable option for customers of all sizes.
- Integration between BPC and the Planning Application kit (PAK). A new model type, PAK (I’m not sure exactly what this model type will be called) will be available in BPC. This will allow for a BW based planning platform where BPC is more tightly integrated with BW info objects. Customers will benefit from reduced data replication through this new integration. The integration is powered by SAP HANA so my understanding is that it is not available if you do not have HANA.
Additional enhancements planned for BPC Microsoft are:
- Expanded Microsoft platform support (Windows 8, Internet Explorer 10.0, Office 2013).
If someone walked up to me on the street and asked me to summarize what’s new with BPC I’d say Mobility, HANA and Integrated Planning are the major themes. There is a new mobile interface is coming which will extend the reach of BPC within many organizations. HANA continues to be at the center of everything SAP does and BPC is no exception. We will see HANA optimizations for BPC that will speed up processing and remove bottlenecks. Integrated planning (Financial, Demand, Operational) will be further enabled with the integration of BPC and the Planning Application Kit.
In part two of this blog series I will review the rest of the EPM portfolio roadmap. Register in the box at the top right of this page to get Part II delivered right to your inbox.
If you would like to see the full roadmap you can access it at www.service.sap.com/roadmap. You will need your S-user id to access the service marketplace.
Webcast: Latest SAP EPM Roadmap
Interested in learning more about the planned innovations and future direction that SAP have up their sleeves? Join Column5 and SAP’s Pras Chatterjee for an informative discussion on the updated roadmap for BPC and EPM including BusinessObjects Cloud.