NTT DATA Business Solutions
NTT DATA Business Solutions | January 18, 2022

Life after SAP BPC: What’s the Path Forward?

SAP BPC

(5 minute read)

As an SAP BPC customer, you’re aware of the end of support dates for SAP BPC 10.1 for Microsoft (12/31/2024) and for SAP BPC 10.1 version for NetWeaver (12/31/2027), but how much thought have you given to life after SAP BPC?

For the past few years, SAP has been talking about the next-generation SAP solutions that will supplant SAP BPC in supporting planning, forecasting, budgeting and consolidation processes. This includes SAP Analytics Cloud for planning, forecasting and budgeting (as well as analytics and predictive), and SAP S/4HANA Finance for group reporting (Group Reporting) for consolidation. But these solutions are still relatively immature and don’t yet provide the same robust capabilities offered by SAP BPC.

When you add to that the fact that SAP BPC customers are a diverse population in terms of industry, size, business case and usage, it’s difficult to provide a ‘one-size-fits-all’ answer to life after SAP BPC.

This blog explores several potential paths toward a more robust planning and consolidation solution for your business.

Move to SAP Analytics Cloud for Planning, Forecasting and Budgeting

SAP plans to deliver major new planning enhancements in SAP Analytics Cloud, and SAP BPC customers can leverage these enhancements via “hybrid” integration. In addition, SAP BPC will receive incremental enhancements based on customer feedback, and be maintained to ensure compatibility with underlying technology components and legal compliance.

Some of the Pros and Cons of this solution:

Pros Cons
Provides a chance to reinvent planning processes to fit into the cloud-based solution.

Allows you to take the ‘xFP&A’ approach (aka, Hybrid) of using SAP Analytics Cloud for point solutions in order to get a feel for it.

Provides the added benefit of using a single tool for these processes and business intelligence (BI) capabilities.

 

Not as robust as an enterprise-wide planning solution.

 

Some businesses may be cautious about going to full public cloud.

 

 

Move to SAP Group Reporting for Consolidation

SAP Group Reporting streamlines financial consolidation and close processes by unifying operational and group reporting. However, this solution is still relatively immature and does not yet provide the same robust capabilities offered by SAP BPC.

One way to address limited reporting capabilities would be to use the Workiva connected reporting and compliance platform, which provides the ability to optimize reporting efficiency, improve collaboration, and provide stronger controls around the reporting process. NTT DATA Business Solutions has a partnership with Workiva to integrate your SAP financial information into your financial close and regulatory reporting process in the Workiva platform.

Some of the Pros and Cons of this solution:

Pros Cons
Consolidation is tightly integrated with the general ledger (GL) with limited ETL (extract, transform, load) required.

 

No separate system/landscape, and in some cases no additional licensing.

 

Can still support multiple ERPs.

 

Can do stand-alone scenario in S/4HANA Cloud.

Limited reporting capabilities (this could be addressed using the Workiva FP&A platform)

 

Process automation is limited in the current release.

 

Multi-ERP customers need SAP Group Reporting Data Collection (GRDC), which is a separate licensed application.

 

 

Move to Tagetik for Planning, Forecasting, Budgeting and Consolidation

NTT DATA Business Solutions has a strategic partnership with CCH® Tagetik, part of Wolters Kluwer, to offer its CCH Tagetik Budgeting, Planning & Forecasting solution and their Financial Close and Consolidation solution. These solutions are part of a unified platform that also offers several other solutions pertinent to finance and accounting and is integrated with SAP S/4HANA, ECC, BW, and SAP Analytics Cloud. The SAP Analytics Cloud integration provides visualizations with drill-through to get instant insights to make fast business decisions.

Some of the Pros and Cons of this solution:

Pros Cons
A single tool on a data-driven unified platform.

 

Complete end-to-end close process – financial close and consolidation, financial reporting, disclosure management, compliance and regulatory.

 

Provides additional value with functionality for profitability analysis, disclosure management, account reconciliation, cash flow, and planning/analysis.

 

Fits into the SAP landscape, as it is SAP Certified to run on HANA.

 

Some SAP-centric organizations might balk at using a third-party (non-SAP) tool in the environment.

 

 

Upgrade or Migrate to SAP BPC 11.1

If you haven’t already moved to SAP BPC 11.1 version for BW/4HANA, one key fact for current SAP BPC customers is that this is a separately licensed application from any past SAP BPC version. That means there is more administrative work to be done, with a potential cost in order to make this move to version 11.1.

Another thing to note is that SAP has officially stated the BPC 11.1 version is only supported through 12/31/2024 – but there is a possibility that it may be supported through the end of 2027. The reason for this is because SAP BPC 11.1 is tied to BW/4HANA 2.0, and the maintenance window for that is through 12/31/2024. However, SAP’s Product Availability Matrix currently shows the next release of SAP BW/4HANA 2021 planned for Q4 2021, and that will also bring SAP BPC 2021 for BW/4HANA. These new versions of BW/4HANA and SAP BPC are expected to be supported through 12/31/2027.

Some of the Pros and Cons of this solution:

Pros Cons
It is likely that this version will have mainstream maintenance dates extended.

 

It’s the same great solution that your business users are accustomed to using.

This could be viewed as just a licensing event.

 

Conversion/migration is for SAP BPC Microsoft customers that may need hosting of the SAP BW/4HANA system.

 

Large BW shops have been slow to make the change from NetWeaver BW to BW/4HANA, as there is a lot of work involved in the migration.

 

What’s Your Plan for Life after SAP BPC?

Today’s business environment requires a budgeting and planning process that moves beyond basic revenue and expense planning. To remain competitive, your business will need a variety of in-depth plans that are more dynamic and proactive than ever before. Fortunately, modernized planning software is rising to the challenge.

Whichever path 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 your options for moving from SAP BPC and how to get there, let us know. We would be happy to help.

If you would like a more in-depth discussion of the options discussed in this blog, download our white paper, Life after SAP BPC: What’s the Path Forward?

Download the white paper

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