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What future holds for organisations using SAP BPC?

       
  • EPM
  • Thought Leadership

What future holds for organisations using SAP BPC?

What future holds for organisations using SAP BPC?

Would you still buy a Walkman or subscribe to Spotify? Would you watch movies on DVD or subscribe to Netflix? Would you bet on floppy disks or invest in cloud platforms? It's quite apparent that the latter option would be the preferable choice.

Then why do you still rely on-premise Enterprise Performance Management [EPM] solutions?

The world is moving on, so should you! Cloud-based EPM solutions have gained significant traction globally for their scalability, accessibility, cost-efficiency, automatic updates, data security, integration, advanced analytics, real-time reporting, etc. More importantly, their ability to be utmost finance user-centric is aimed at delivering business agility with finance teams taking charge of budgeting, consolidation, and reporting.

As per KPMG’s EPM survey, 72% of the organisations with mature journeys have witnessed a 20% increase in revenue over the past 3 years. 

With SAP BPC, you will be moving in the opposite direction, with bottlenecks like heavy dependence on external consultants, unfriendly user interface, upcoming heavy business costs, and many more.

Let's talk about what the future holds for organizations using SAP BPC! 

All the versions of BPC for which the end of maintenance is around 2027, remain “on-premise” solutions. To move to cloud-based SAP EPM solutions, you must migrate to SAP S/4HANA Group Reporting for consolidation and SAP Analytics Cloud for planning. The figure below will clarify the paths ahead for SAP BPC users like you.

 

 Let's dive deep into each of these.

Possible Paths ahead for SAP BPC Customers

 

Move to on-premise solutions

SAP has decided to stop support for the following versions of BPC:

  • BPC Microsoft (31st December 2024)
  • BPC NetWeaver V10.1 (31st December 2024)
  • BPC NetWeaver V11.1 (31st December 2024)

This means that the only versions of BPC that continue to receive support are BPC 11.1 for BW/4HANA 2.0 and BPC 2021 for BW/4HANA 2021 until 31st December 2027.

 

BPC 11.1 for BW/4HANA2.0

For those BPC Microsoft and NetWeaver users who would like to shift to BPC 11.1 for BW/4HANA 2.0, the following aspects need to be kept in mind:

  • BPC 11.1 for BW/4 HANA2.0 continues to remain on-premise
  • Requires additional purchase of licenses for BPC11.1 and BW/4HANA2.0

Rebuilding ScriptLogic for a faster database and running BPC 11.1 on BW/4HANA require heavy dependence on technical teams, removing control from the finance team. Additionally, purchases of new licenses for BPC11.1 and BW/4HANA lead to additional costs. Therefore, this option might not be viable for legacy BPC users

 

BPC 2021 for BW/4HANA 2021

For those BPC Microsoft and NetWeaver users who would like to shift to BPC 2021 for BW/4HANA 2021, the following need to be kept in mind:

  1. BPC 2021 for BW/4HANA 2021 continues to remain on-premise
  2. Requires additional purchase of licenses for BPC and BW/4HANA

Since there is no significant change in BPC 2021 version compared to Microsoft & NetWeaver versions, organisations will incur additional costs in purchasing new licenses but do not get any additional benefit from a functionality perspective. And not to forget, the heavy dependence on technical teams remains. 

 

Move to cloud-based solutions from SAP

Organisations that wish to remain with SAP while embracing cloud-based solutions must transition to SAP Analytics Cloud for planning and SAP S/4HANA Group Reporting for consolidation. 

Cloud solution path for BPC customer

Although this may appear preferable to an on-premise solution, it may not be optimal. Let's delve into the reasons why.

 

SAP Analytics Cloud

SAP Analytics Cloud is the cloud-native solution of SAP designed to help businesses make data-driven decisions. Out of the multiple benefits it provides to businesses, the ones relevant to finance users are:

  1. Data integration
  2. Predictive analytics
  3. Planning and budgeting

Therefore, SAP highly recommends that users transition from BPC to SAP Analytics Cloud for enterprise planning. Although SAP Analytics Cloud offers numerous advantages, it's important to note that not all features available in BPC are available in SAP Analytics Cloud. While some functional overlap may exist, certain aspects are typically found in BPC but not in SAP Analytics Cloud. Here are some examples of these aspects:

  1. Workflow and process management: BPC offers workflow and process management features for budgeting and planning. It allows organizations to define, automate, and manage approval workflows, data submission processes, and audit trails. SAP Analytics Cloud has workflow capabilities, but they are generally more limited in scope than BPC.
  2. Detailed planning: BPC is suited for detailed financial planning, especially for organizations requiring line-item budgeting and forecasting. It offers extensive modelling and planning capabilities. SAP Analytics Cloud can handle planning and forecasting but only high-level planning or rolling forecasts.
  3. Customisation and scripting: BPC provides a high degree of customisation through scripting and logic customisation, allowing organizations to tailor the solution to their needs. SAP Analytics Cloud offers customisation options but may be less flexible than BPC.

 

Apart from the above, here is what the current users of SAP Analytics Cloud are unhappy with:

  • Extensive training: SAP Analytics Cloud has a very steep learning curve. It takes very long for even experienced people to understand the solution completely.
  • Exorbitant pricing: Many users feel that the price is too high compared to the benefits reaped from this solution.
  • Complex interface: Both freshers and experienced users find navigating the solutions for their day-to-day tasks difficult.
  • Slow response time: Many users have faced slow response/loading times while working with large amounts of data.
  • Poor customisation: Users have found that customisation is very limited and painful.

For these reasons, while SAP Analytics Cloud may be a better option than sticking with current versions of BPC, it still comes with the challenges that SAP products pose, which are non-user-friendly and non-agile. 

 

SAP S/4HANA Group Reporting

SAP S/4HANA Group Reporting has all the features available for close and consolidation. While this is true, the following needs to be kept in mind:

  • High costs of migration will be incurred 
  • There will be long implementation cycles
  • Need for heavy dependence on technical teams /external consultants for maintenance and migration

In summary, the figure below highlights where each path leads from the closure of BPC.

Paths ahead for BPC customers

Regardless of the approach chosen, opting for the proposed paths by SAP leads to exorbitant costs and fails to enhance business agility. 

Staying competitive in the modern business landscape requires an agile mindset and willingness to embrace change. SAP BPC, built for past success, is too complex for current needs and fails to deliver an efficient EPM experience. The high cost of ownership and heavy dependence on technical teams combined with a difficult-to-use interface makes it challenging for organisations to stay agile.

An upgrade to a unified, user-centric EPM platform can help address the drawbacks of SAP BPC. JustPerform is the best alternative for SAP BPC customers looking to migrate to new-age EPM solutions. While its BPC connectors provide hassle-free automated migration, its user-friendly interface, process-first approach and robust governance empower finance teams.

So what's next? How about a free migration from your legacy BPC to a new-age JustPerform? Check your eligibility.

The evidence is clear, prioritizing cloud-based EPM solutions is the way to go if you are an organisation looking for superior business performance. With advanced analytics and real-time reporting, cloud solutions make budgeting, consolidation, and reporting more fluid and efficient in this evolving economy. 

SAP BPC's inability to keep its users agile makes it unsuitable for the modern marketplace. If you're ready to begin your journey towards a more agile business model backed by powerful and user-friendly financial management solutions, then look no further than JustPerform.

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