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SAP BPC & EPM
Thought Leadership

Key Lessons From Our Webcast Series with DNB ASA: "Achieving Excellence and Efficiency in EPM with SAP"

Posted by Paul Coleman on Thu, Apr 20, 2017 @ 12:04 PM

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.

Topics: Best Practices, Case Study, sap, EPM, webcast

EPM Maturity Model - How do I use it?

Posted by Peter Bull on Mon, Mar 27, 2017 @ 14:03 PM

In the last article we looked at the definition and content of the EPM Maturity Model.

In this article we’ll look at how to gauge EPM Maturity and how to identify areas to improve. At the core of the Maturity Model is the definition of:

  • Right Model
  • Right Audience
  • Right Time

Across these definitions we lay a scale that moves from low levels of maturity to high levels of maturity:

Topics: Best Practices, Process Improvement, Thought Leadership, Enterprise Performance Management (EPM)

EPM Maturity Model - What is it?

Posted by Peter Bull on Thu, Mar 23, 2017 @ 09:03 AM

Organizations need to plan, measure and manage across Strategy, Operations and Finance. Isn’t that what Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) is all about? It seems like a simple formula. But what about if we change the question to ask what makes successful EPM and successful organizations? If we start with the definition that “Successful EPM drives organizations that dramatically outperform their competitors in terms of both financial and non-financial results” – this gives a very different perspective on the importance and value of EPM. It also means that you need to have a mechanism and framework to objectively review your EPM capabilities and relative maturity.

Topics: Best Practices, Thought Leadership, Enterprise Performance Management (EPM)

How to be a BPC Capital Planning Jedi Master - from Darwin EPM

Posted by David Den Boer on Tue, Mar 14, 2017 @ 08:03 AM

At Column5 we always advocate the approach to EPM that yields the highest value returned to our clients and EPM users in general. One emerging best practice in EPM is adopting packaged content in lieu of custom developed solutions for your EPM functionality. The advantages are legion: faster time to value, more robust functionality, enhanced performance, improved supportability, lower project cost and total cost of ownership over time. Packaged content is most applicable when facing standard requirements that are consistent across customers.

Topics: Best Practices, BPC, Capital planning

Calculating Column Totals Dynamically - SAP BPC

Posted by Deb Silverman on Wed, Mar 16, 2016 @ 12:03 PM

Need to calculate a grand total dynamically?  Shifting of Local Members giving you a headache?  I previously used Indirect() functions, but I discovered with larger reports this put a drag on reporting performance.  To sum from the first report column to the last report column I was using something like this  =SUM(EPMPOSITION(1):INDIRECT(ADDRESS(ROW(),COLUMN()-1))), which is not considered best practice but I got results!

The SAP definition: “EPMALLMEMBERS is used to perform a calculation (such as sum or average) on all the members displayed in a row or column axis, whether the axis contains one or several dimensions”

HOW?  Here are some examples:

Topics: Best Practices, Excel, Training, Performance

A Great Financial Consolidation Solution for Statutory and Regulatory Reporting in Complex Multinational Organisations

Posted by Paul Coleman on Tue, Feb 16, 2016 @ 09:02 AM

SAP has a portfolio of Consolidation solutions with their own unique positioning and the SAP Financial Consolidation (FC) software is an enterprise solution offered to companies looking to improve and speed up their financial close – without sacrificing quality control and compliance.

FC became part of the SAP EPM portfolio through the acquisition of BusinessObjects in 2007.  BusinessObjects itself acquired the French software vendor Cartesis who originally marketed Financial Consolidation as Cartesis Magnitude.  With a large and loyal customer base throughout Europe and Japan, FC has a particularly strong focus on statutory consolidation requirements within large multinational organisations that have complex and evolving corporate structures across multiple reporting standards (e.g. IFRS and local GAAP).

Topics: Best Practices, Analytics, Consolidation, Financial Close, Value

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 22 I will be giving the keynote formally launching the 2017 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.

Reason #1: 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.

Topics: Best Practices, Excel, Thought Leadership, Enterprise Performance Management (EPM)

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!

Topics: Best Practices, Performance, BPC (Business Planning & Consolidation)

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 CENTER 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.

Topics: Best Practices, Excel, Enterprise Performance Management (EPM), best

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.

Topics: Best Practices, Excel, Data, best

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