hybrid planning

How Extended Planning & Analysis (xP&A) Leads to Better Decision Making

(3 minute read)

The digital economy is all about being agile – and having the business intelligence you need to respond quickly to changing business conditions. To do that, you’ll need to dramatically increase user adoption and penetration of analytics into your business, empowering business users to make better, insight-driven decisions.

The best way to achieve this is to move toward what Gartner calls Extended Planning & Analysis (xP&A), which extends financial planning and analysis (FP&A) capabilities across the organization.

What is Extended Planning and Analysis?

xP&A is not a new concept. In the past, it was referred to as integrated FP&A or collaborative planning. Simply put, xP&A involves extending traditional FP&A capabilities beyond the finance department into other areas of the business, including supply chain, marketing, human resources, sales and information technology.

Why is this important? Because xP&A helps businesses improve visibility and become much more agile and adaptable.

Understanding Business Scenarios and Benefits

There are a host of planning challenges across most organizations. Financial planners need to prepare financial models, expense plans, cost allocations, profit-and-loss statements and balance sheets. Sales is expected to perform territory and quota planning, sales and commissions forecasts and account segmentation. HR must plan staffing levels and costs for benefits, pensions and facilities. And the list goes on.

Unfortunately, corporate and individual department plans are often disconnected, and in some organizations diverse plans may even depend on siloes of data and separate planning applications. In such an environment, each application may empower users to perform their respective tasks well, but the disjointed system cannot deliver the transparent data integration and common approach needed for a competitive edge.

xP&A Combines the Best of All Worlds

Gartner predicts that by 2024, 70% of all FP&A projects will be done through extended planning and analysis (xP&A). SAP has fully embraced this with SAP Analytics Cloud, connecting and integrating plans with SAP S/4HANA, SAP SuccessFactors, SAP Integrated Business Planning and other parts of the SAP Intelligent Enterprise.

If your business is currently using SAP Analytics Cloud and SAP BPC, you can focus on high-speed innovation in the cloud while continuing to protect and make improvements to your investment in your existing on-premises solutions.

If you are not currently using SAP BPC, or are planning to move away, we also have a strategic partnership with CCH® Tagetik to offer its CCH Tagetik Budgeting & Planning solution. This unified solution for budgeting, planning, consolidation, reporting, disclosure, analytics and regulatory is integrated with SAP S/4HANA, ECC, BW, and SAP Analytics Cloud.

Whichever direction you choose, NTT DATA Business Solutions can help you ease your journey from existing on-premises deployments, extending or expanding your environment into a complementary cloud strategy with minimal disruption. If you would like to learn more about how enabling xP&A can benefit your business, and how to get there, let us know. We would be happy to help.

If you’d like to take a deeper dive into xP&A, read our Expert Brief, Extend FP&A Capabilities across the Organization for Better Decision-Making.

Download the expert brief

Jim Link
Jim Link
Design Consultant

Jim brings 10+ years of SAP experience to NTT DATA Business Solutions, with exposure to BPC, SEM-BCS, SEM-BPS, BW and FI/CO. Jim’s industry experience includes real estate, banking, power and utilities, and food products and he has acted in many different roles ranging from business subject matter expert to lead solution architect. A CPA by trade, Jim’s background also includes 6 years as an auditor with PwC and in financial reporting departments. Jim is active in the SAP community as an ASUG Volunteer, specifically the ASUG Enterprise Performance Management SIG Chair, BPC Influence Council Chair, and Business Process Architecture SIG Program Chair.

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