On the surface, BPC 11, version for BW/4HANA appears to have many of the same features as the previous version, BPC 10.1. However, the most meaningful upgrade in BPC 11 lies in the database platform, BW/4HANA.
To appreciate the new foundation for BPC 11, we have to explore the underlying database platform. BW/4HANA may share a similar name with its predecessor, however, this all-new platform represents SAP’s rearchitected, next generation data warehouse.
Let’s explore this new platform by directly addressing five key commonly asked questions:
BPC 11, Version for BW/4HANA
Consolidations in SAP BPC are all the same out of the box, right? That may be a customer’s initial perspective when considering a BPC solution for consolidations, however, this is far from the case. Consolidation approaches are customizable to meet needs ranging from simple to very complex. The consolidation approach is a crucial decision in the BPC solution design that can be either beneficial or detrimental to your project.
In June, Column5 Consulting and our EPM International partners hosted the EMEA EPM Leadership Summit at the Royal Overseas League in London.
This key event in our calendar brought together SAP EPM users from across the region to think, participate and network on all topics relating to EPM.
Among the many discussions and sessions that covered the entire SAP EPM portfolio were some specifically on the topic of SAP Financial Consolidation (SAP FC previously named SAP BFC). SAP FC (formerly Cartesis) is a well proven standalone consolidation solution, designed for large and complex corporates where control and auditability are essential. FC is especially relevant across UK and Europe, where IFRS and statutory reporting are key requirements.
One of the key features for the SAP BPC EPM Add-in for Excel has been the ability to write VBA to extend and customize the capabilities of the Add-in. The new EPM Plug-in for Analysis for Office (AO), which replaces the EPM Add-in, offers similar and in most cases compatible VBA support as the original EPM Add-in. However, there are some important distinctions between the two which this article covers.
The new EPM Plug-in for Analysis for Office (AO) requires a different method of declaring the specific API class used to access the library of VBA methods that SAP BPC supports. The latest version as of this writing, AO 2.4 SP1, made some but not all the old FPMXL Client methods compatible with the EPM Plug-in. To be safe, it’s recommended to start coding using the new standards for AO, as there’s no clear indication of whether all methods will be made compatible using the old object declaration standards.
To illustrate, here is a direct comparison of the differences between the two declaration methods.
Google “EPM Performance or Memory issues” and you will receive millions of hits from your search results. When it comes to performance and especially memory consumption, not only is the “magic bullet” fix rare but the resolution is potentially complex and multifaceted in nature. On a recent project, we started to see symptoms that became issues including long refresh times. For one user, we saw an Input Schedule consume so much memory it resulted in the “White Screen of Death (WSoD) and Excel crashing. In this article, I wanted to look at the challenges we faced and strategies employed to resolve the issues.
SO - Functional Track
The number of SAP BPC users evaluating SAP BPC Embedded and SAP BPC Optimized is growing. In many ways SAP BPC Embedded is an exciting option because it is fast performing and highly integrated with core SAP financials (S/4HANA Finance). We think Embedded is an option well worth exploring for all SAP BPC users, but we also want those users to be well informed, particularly if they don’t have a strong SAP BW and SAP BW-IP background. This article is the first in a series of blogs where we take our experiences of all flavours of SAP BPC and apply the learnings for those looking at Embedded.
BPC NW – Embedded,
The ability to drill through from BPC to more detailed information is a high value exercise for a relatively low investment - yet it continues to be one of BPC’s most overlooked features.
The typical use cases are as follows:
- Lower level connection with details
- Exact, accurate actuals for run rates, deconstructing numbersDetails necessary to calculate drivers that drive the accurate plan
- Ability to link to transactional systems at the lowest level of detail for drill through
- Time definition is the frequent axis for alignment
- Automate time to explain variances & identify anomalies
- Understand exactly what transaction drives variance (if applicable)
- For close, audits, and other reconciliation exercises, spot suspect numbers
- Convenience builds user adoption Adds functionality like drill through to details, even possibly images
- “One stop shopping” user experience
- No need to switch tools wholesale as data gets lower in details
BPC (Business Planning & Consolidation),
SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC) is delivered as a SaaS (Software as a Service) solution on the SAP HANA Cloud Platform. SAC combines multiple EPM, BI and Analytics features/benefits into one product. This allows users to plan with robust collaboration features while using Predictive Analytics as well as Business Intelligence, and robust, state of the art Analytics. Currently, SAP BPC remains the default approach for Enterprise-wide Planning, Forecasting and Consolidations, while SAP Analytics Cloud fulfills relatively straightforward requirements from a planning and forecasting perspective.
Our Technical Services team has received an influx of service tickets regarding issues with the recently released SAP BPC EPM Add-in Service Pack 29.
With EPM Add-in SP29 installed, we noticed that none of the built-in reports or report templates are working when trying to refresh with BPC 10.1 Microsoft (MS). When attempting to refresh, it keeps prompting to login to SAP NetWeaver (NW) system, instead of BPC 10.1 Microsoft. Please see example below:
ldcie3f.wdf.sap.corp EPMAddin_ODBOSP3 Consolidation
We are connected to the Planning model for BPC MS but it is trying to login to BPC NW Consolidation.
BPC (Business Planning & Consolidation),
During November and December, Column5, in conjunction with our client DNB, three interesting and informative webcasts ran on the exciting and rewarding journey taken by DNB ASA, Norway’s largest financial services group.
This series of webcasts focused on the following specific and important elements of Enterprise Performance Management:
- Financial Consolidation for Statutory and Regulatory Reporting
- Intercompany Reconciliation
- The Last Mile of Financial Reporting
Each topic was underpinned by informing the attendees how SAP EPM solutions help companies achieve excellence and efficiency based on this real life DNB example.