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SAP Analytics
Thought Leadership

Moving Towards xP&A: How to Re-imagine the EPM Process

Posted by David Den Boer on Thu, Jun 17, 2021 @ 06:06 AM

Most organizations think about defining and improving the business case for expected ROI from EPM models only at the time of technology purchase - if these concepts are considered at all. But this is a mistake. Instead, the best practice is to measure the ROI of the system frequently in as many meaningful dimensions as can be evaluated. For example, solution and cycle performance times, analytic value, accessibility/reach are all crucial dimensions where metrics should be defined and consistently monitored for optimization opportunities. Doing so will help to bring about a significant shift in Performance Management capabilities.

The current trend is to start from scratch and re-implement performance management (EPM or xP&A) solutions to address challenges with the status quo solution effectiveness. Unfortunately, this extreme step is very costly and not likely to produce high-value results.

Topics: EPM ROI, Performance, EPM, xp&a

Discover the Value Formula to evaluate and implement EPM and xP&A solutions for success!

Posted by David Den Boer on Fri, May 14, 2021 @ 08:05 AM

It is said that there is no accounting for taste. Meaning, there is no mathematical formula that can define and score what individuals prefer. This is because each person has their own “taste” or set of subjective preferences they find appealing, and attempting to distill this highly variable process of selecting what one finds attractive, tasteful, even beautiful to a digital formula for universal criteria is considered impossible.

For some reason, this same subjectivity has reigned in the world of Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) solutions for too long, as I will argue. With the advent of xP&A (Extended Planning & Analysis), which can be thought of as high-intensity EPM, deciding which solution to buy is more critical than ever.

Topics: Enterprise Performance Management (EPM), Performance, sap, xp&a

Improve Performance of your SAP BPC Solution by 80% or more!

Posted by Blog Tipster on Wed, Apr 21, 2021 @ 08:04 AM

Over the last decade, Column5 has been very involved in supporting SAP BPC Solutions, and a common theme for our customers has been the performance and stability of their system. With this in mind, we set out to address this challenge by developing the Darwin program.

Darwin has evolved (pun intended) to become a comprehensive platform of advanced features and pre-defined processes helping organizations maximize the value of SAP Analytics investments.

This blog focuses on how customers leverage Darwin’s advanced calculation capabilities to address common performance challenges specifically.

Topics: Performance, sap, Darwin EPM, DarCE, xp&a

[TECH ALERT] How to fix the top 10 issues for BPC Microsoft Environments

Posted by Manus Cornelius on Wed, Apr 21, 2021 @ 03:04 AM

Over the past 6 months, we’ve seen a lot of our clients experience stubborn errors and issues that have surfaced in BPC for Microsoft environments. It’s important to understand that these issues are mostly related to user errors or updates not being performed correctly.

The Technical Team at Column5 has performed in-depth troubleshooting and continues to provide various technical solutions for our customers. Today, we have compiled a list of the top 10 issues including root cause and a simple solution. Continue reading to discover how you can tackle these issues and improve your performance!

Topics: Performance, Microsoft, BPC (Business Planning & Consolidation), Technical, User Experience

Introduction to SAP Disclosure Management

Posted by David Den Boer on Thu, Feb 25, 2021 @ 11:02 AM

Overview

SAP Disclosure Management is an application within the Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) suite.  It is used to improve organisations’ reporting where multiple users need to contribute to reports, and accuracy and consistency is critical. Key examples are the Annual Report and Accounts, returns to financial markets and regulators, and internal reports such as board report “books”.

Disclosure Management, as a process, is also known as the “last mile of finance”, where the culmination of all previous steps – financial close, variance analysis, and re-forecasting – are all key ingredients in what is reported to external stakeholders at the culmination of all subordinate tasks. In today’s world of increased expectations of closing faster, integrating financial and operational processes via advanced versions of EPM  – like xP&A – the appetite for more integration, automation, and on demand timing is at the highest point ever.

The business case for Disclosure Management is that it manages and streamlines the process of bringing together multiple data sources and text required in external reporting all of which are owned and authored by multiple teams and which require approval by multiple approvers.  Some clients choose to outsource performance of this function to a third-party service provider, while others purchase tools for in house use from vendors like Workiva and SAP. We won’t weigh the value of internal or external functionality in this space, but if a decision is taken to perform this function internally, this article provides an overview of the business case for and operational structure of SAP’s Disclosure Management product.

Business Case

The below diagram created by SAP demonstrates the issues faced in reporting that Disclosure Management is designed to streamline.

A typical process leading to a major reporting output such as an annual report or regulatory filing will often have a wide range of data sources.  For example, General Ledger systems, Enterprise Performance Management applications such as SAP BPC, SAC, Group Reporting and BFC as well as manually created inputs such as written text.  These data sources often feed into numerous Excel and Word documents that form part of the reporting output.  The report sections require approvals and collaboration within the organisation that can be difficult to monitor and coordinate.  The sections of the report that have been created separately need to be put together into the final output.  In the past, the output may have only been a printable format such as a Word document or PDF file, but a number of legal and regulatory filings require electronic submission, notably via XBRL.


Topics: Enterprise Performance Management (EPM), Business Intelligence (BI), Analytics, Financial Information Management, Data

6 Housekeeping Hacks To Enhance Your SAP BPC Performance for NetWeaver

Posted by Vishal Goradia on Wed, Feb 03, 2021 @ 04:02 AM

Bad performance can make even a well-designed EPM system unusable, and if you’ve got more aggressive expectations like those required for an xP&A solution...even suboptimal performance can be a total block to realizing your goals. Performance issues have got to be attacked quickly and decisively.

Many users feel a poorly performing system is a fatal condition and they blame the software, as if the system is working as expected when the user experience is slowed. This is not only a false belief, but it can also be a very costly one. If there’s nothing that can be done to improve an unworkable software product, then replacing it is the only option. However, poor performance is an indicator of your solution working, but it must not be tolerated. That’s right, more users adding more data to an expanding EPM or xP&A solution will eventually create poor performance. The trouble begins when you don’t know what to do about this eventuality. Don’t react rashly, instead follow the practical steps below to get a grip on the root cause of the degraded performance...in this case, for SAP BPC for NetWeaver.

If you're a support team member or power user of SAP BPC for NetWeaver, you probably know there are many standard SAP BW layer housekeeping jobs that are provided by SAP.  Most of these generate system information required for analyzing SAP BPC performance, system/error logs retention, completed job logs, etc. and are run at their default frequency. These can be scheduled in SM36, though you can't stop here. 

Keep reading to find out how to avoid poor performance by following the 6 steps below.

Topics: NetWeaver, Performance, sap bpc, Performance Tuning

Get SAP EPM Training 24x7at The EPM Summit Network

Posted by John Bergquist on Mon, Nov 30, 2020 @ 06:11 AM

Attn: SAP EPM & Analytics Professionals

How to supercharge your EPM (SAP BPC, SAC, S4) training

(this works whether you're an executive, power user, or technical user)

Did you know that over the course of 30 days you forget close to 80% of what you learn?  

Here is the problem you face:  After you learn something new at an  SAP BPC or SAP Analytics Cloud course for example,  your ability to retain that information declines over time unless you review it repeatedly.

Most people try to take a single course with no repetition.

On top of that, you attempt to keep your career current by taking old fashioned lecture style or recorded video courses.  These outdated training methods lack the repetition and interactive exercises you need for strong memorization. This means you'll never achieve the career, skill level, or EPM system performance you would if you only had taken  effective training on a regular basis. This applies to you whether you're an executive, power user, or technical support staff, and whether you run SAP BPC, Analytics Cloud, and/or S/4HANA. 

Luckily for you, there's now a solution so you don't have to count on your scribbled notes from that one-time training course to improve your SAP EPM skills or further your career. Introducing the all-new EPM Summit Network, an online Community for SAP EPM & Analytics Professionals that will supercharge your career while providing year-round EPM (SAP BPC, SAC, S4) training in addition to community forums, private groups, and events.

You'll remember the latest BPC, SAC, and S4 course material on the EPM Summit Network like a scholar due to its hands-on exercises. Interactive exercises and tests drive home lesson retention so you'll feel confident implementing your new-found skills.

 

Topics: EPM, sap bpc, User Experience, EPM Roadmap, epm summit, technology

SAP EPM & Analytics Professionals: Give Your Career & System the Support They're Missing

Posted by John Bergquist on Thu, Nov 19, 2020 @ 11:11 AM

Attn: SAP EPM & Analytics Professionals

How to supercharge your career, get trained, get insider tricks from peers, and take your EPM (SAP BPC, SAC, S4) skills to leadership level all in one place.

(this works whether you're an executive, power user, or technical user)

Did you know that according to our research across 100s of implementations, 75% of EPM solutions fail to achieve the initiative’s anticipated goals? Even if your implementation was in the top 25% it has likely suffered over time from bloated data volumes, more users, old hardware, version upgrades (or lack of), and expanding complexity. 

Here is the problem you face: most people like to try to go at it alone.

SAP EPM training | community |  forums for SAP BPC, SAC, S4 users

You attempt to figure out SAP's roadmap, plus manage your own SAP EPM processes, plus teach yourself some new skills in your spare time - all by yourself. Which means you'll never achieve the career success, skill level, or EPM system/process performance you could have if you only had gotten some help along the way. This applies to you whether you are an executive, power user, or technical support staff, and whether you run SAP BPC, Analytics Cloud, and/or S/4HANA. 

Luckily for you, there's now a solution so you don't have to go at it alone anymore. 

Leadership Online Community for SAP EPM and Analytics ProfessionalsEverybody works faster and gets further with a "better half", a buddy, or a support system.  Batman has Robin, Miss Piggy has Kermit, and Mickey has Minnie. Now you've got a support system too.  Let me introduce you to the all-new EPM Summit Network, an online Leadership Community for SAP EPM & Analytics Professionals that will supercharge your career and your EPM (SAP BPC, SAC, S4) skills all in one place

 

Topics: EPM, sap bpc, User Experience, EPM Roadmap, epm summit, technology

The Impact of Covid-19 on the role of the Group Financial Controller

Posted by David Jones on Wed, Oct 28, 2020 @ 08:10 AM

On September 29th Column5 hosted a quarterly meeting of the UK100 Group Financial Controllers (GFC) forum on the web. This is a quarterly meeting that Column5 hosts to give GFC’s from the UK’s largest listed Companies opportunity to hear from experts about topics of mutual interest, network and share experiences. This meeting was to understand how Covid-19 was impacting their role as GFC’s, how well prepared they felt when the lock-down arrived in late March 2020 and what they plan to change going forward, particularly given the likelihood of more home working over the next 6 months due to Covid-19, and whether there will be permanent changes to their role as GFC going forward. 

Key Take-Aways: 

Key elements of the discussions are set out below and make an interesting read, but everyone agreed that the key points to take away were: 

Topics: Financial Close, Financial Information Management, User Experience

S/4HANA Group Reporting – Bringing Transaction Processing and Group Reporting together to “bridge the gap”

Posted by David Jones on Thu, Sep 10, 2020 @ 03:09 AM

For 30 years there has been a divergent view as to the best approach to using technology to support the key finance process of consolidation and reporting, generally known today as the “record to report process”.

To deliver excellence in the record to report process SAP now offers S/4HANA Group Reporting.  Read on to see if it's the best technology for you:

Topics: sap bpc, User Experience, group reporting

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 1.Get Your Ultimate Guide to Improving SAP EPM Performance

ebook 2

 Learn what could be contributing to your poor performance and how to diagnose common problems. Get tips that will empower you and your team to improve the  performance  of your system in order to get the most out of your SAP EPM Investment.

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2.  Test Your BPC Performance 

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  3. Get Your EPM Assessment  

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Our assessment delivers a complete, best practice roadmap for you to follow.  We’ll work together to assess what you need to pivot your financial forecasting, planning, reporting and analysis to handle the compressed requirements from the volatile COVID-19 environment. 

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