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SAP BPC & EPM
Thought Leadership

How to integrate SAP ECC and external non-SAP data sources in BPC

Posted by
Richard Hynes
Richard Hynes
on Tue, Jul 31, 2018 @ 23:07 PM

How to integrate SAP ECC and external non-SAP data sources in BPC, How to integrate SAP and non-SAP data sources in BPC, Anatomy of an acquisition: Integrating data sources in BPC

 A merger or acquisition can be good for long-term business, but can represent a serious short-term challenge: integrating data that's spread across many different systems. For a recent engagement, Column5 was hired by a multinational company based in UAE that had acquired business units in Pakistan, Egypt, Kenya, Tanzania, Kenya, Iraq, and all the other Arab Gulf States. With multiple legacy accounting systems, management had poor visibility into the overall financial situation and evolution, which also made it difficult to plan. It wasn’t feasible in the short-to-medium term to replace all of the systems with SAP, so an alternative solution had to be developed using BPC 10.1 NW Standard version.

 

Common practice in an acquisition is for companies to submit data split by activity at a high level, outside of the existing reporting interface being used by the wider group. In theory, this permits management to analyze business units on a like-for-like basis, and to prepare a short-form P&L and balance sheet by activity. For example:

 

 

Activity 1

Activity 2

Activity 3

Activity 4

Company 1

X

X

 

X

Company 2

 

X

X

X

 

You can probably guess what the problem is in practice, however: The companies have too much leeway in their reporting practices, so the numbers submitted by activity are not comparable.

 

Challenge #1: Automated Assignation

In the case of our Emirati client, the solution was to implement BPC 10.1 NW Standard version, using a blueprint design that fit the group’s Integrated Financial Planning and Reporting (IFRP) requirements and taking three initial steps:

  1. Built a GLAccount dimension with a unified chart of accounts. All of the companies who weren't using the corporate SAP ECC instance as their ERP (i.e., non-network companies) needed to map their existing general ledger accounts.
  2. Built a custom ProfitCenter dimension that contained the over 4,000 profit centers of all the group companies. An Activity property indicated the Activity relating to each profit center.
  3. Built a custom Activity dimension that contained the values for the 11 different activities.

 

The mapping to the central Chart of Accounts GL for non-network companies was maintained in a BPC conversion file, stored centrally in the BPC server and visible to administrators at company and group level.

 

With the framework in place, the non-network companies submitted their Actuals data via text file. Now it was time for BPC to work its magic:

  1. The BPC conversion file converted the local General Ledger account to the group GL.
  2. A custom BADI was triggered as an end routine.

 

Without getting too far into the weeds, the custom BADI works by reading from the value in the Activity property of the Profitcenter dimension for each profit center and assigning it to the Activity dimension column in the underlying database. (Note that the same transformation was used for network companies, reading from the profit centers in the BW data when the data was transferred to BPC.)

 

Challenge #2: Forecast and Budget

Automated assignation was a success, but a different issue arose when it came to plan (forecast and budget) data. In this case, we built Input Forms that allowed input by Activity, and also by Profit Center.

 

The result? A BPC application that automatically split Actuals data by Activity, using a unified chart of accounts. It allowed Actuals to be incorporated in the planning process at Activity level, and permitted users to plan by Activity. The group managers now have a view of all companies by activity—consistent and comparable across companies, for Actuals and Plan data—and can move on to human resources and other critical aspects of the acquisition process.

 

Mergers and acquisitions can be a challenge when it comes to integrating data—particularly when dealing with SAP and non-SAP sources. By automating key processes, the experts at Column5 can help make the transition smooth and seamless.

 

Topics: tuneup, SO - BPC v11.x, analytics tune up, SO - BPC v10.x

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