SAP released BPC Unified in the first half of 2014 and later renamed it to BPC Embedded. It was a completely new concept based much more on the BW-IP than on the classic BPC. My opinion is that SAP is pushing us to BPC Embedded as I expressed my thoughts in EPM Road Maps – BPC, Cloud for Analytics and BW-IP. BPC Embedded is missing some features from BPC Classic, but the most important one is the Consolidation.
There were rumors that SAP is working on Consolidation feature in BPC Embedded from 2014, but there was no official statement. This was changed, just before Christmas 2015 :). Thanks to my friend Krzysztof Grzymala, I have got the numbers of the SAP notes with evidence that such development is in a final stage. In addition, you will find a few highlights from BPC specific Roadmap which are substantial. All documents you will find below.
- 2218893 – Consolidation in embedded model bug fixing – SAP_BW
- 2218894 – Consolidation in embedded model bug fixing – CPMBPC
- 2205112 – SAP Business Planning & Consolidation 10.1 NW SP08 Patch01 Central Note
- BPC 10.1 Product Strategy Roadmap as at 10/2015
From the first three notes, we can confirm that SAP is working on Consolidation in BPC Embedded. They are also showing that you can enable consolidation if you apply BPC 10.1 SP08 Path 01. Based on that information we can expect that the consolidation feature in BPC Embedded will be available in the next BPC 10.1 major upgrade – SP09.
However, we can only guess how the consolidation for the BPC embedded will work. For that purpose, I will highlight a few slides from BPC 10.1 Product Strategy Roadmap. There are few other interesting features as you will see.
On slide 37 planned features are summarized with a short explanation of the key benefits.
Real-time consolidation in BPC Embedded is mentioned above. It will work in relation to Simple Finance. Apart from that, End to end LoB (Line of Business) Modelling, Enhanced Journal and Advanced Consolidation Monitor are also in the scope.End to end LoB Modelling in BPC Embedded will probably be another very important concept which will increase the adoption of BPC Embedded in the next years.
At the moment, most of the tasks for the creation of BPC Embedded models are done on BW side. From that statement, I am guessing that this will change, but there are no details on how many things will go to BPC Web Administration. End to end could be interpreted as everything necessary to create a BPC Embedded planning and consolidation solution. Hopefully, that is the case.
In relation to Journals, currently, we can have only one Journal Template. For the future, it seems that this will change and we will have more flexibility in that area. I am trying to interpret what is the meaning of “defining consolidation related tasks”. I am assuming that it will be an option to include a task list similarly to the one we can define with Business Process Flows. This could be a useful feature as well.
Going on the next slide we can see some of the features we should already have in SP07 as well as what we should expect in Q2 2016.
Let me start with the integration of Workspace Query Designer. For those of you who are not familiar with it, it is a tool for BW which gives freedom to Business users to define their own elements in a controlled environment similarly to BPC Classic solution. Designing queries is a part of the modelling process for BPC Embedded, a step which is not required in BPC Classic solution. However, it gives flexibility to BW-IP/BPC Embedded solutions.
One major and strategic change is that BPC Add-On is already a part of SAP BW 7.5. This is really a huge step and is clearly showing that SAP BPC is a strategic product in the portfolio which will be in the center of the future planning and consolidation solutions offered from SAP. Details about licensing are missing and I don’t know whether BPC license will be included in BW.
Concerning Consolidation which is expected in Q2 2016, we can see that it will be a fully functioning solution compared to BPC Classic with minor limitations. I already covered the LOB Modelling feature, but there is also an availability of another two – InfoProvider extension and Planning on an aDSO object – direct update.
InfoProvider extension may mean an ability to extend or redesign object which is created in BW back-end. With the absence of any details, this sounds more like a speculation than a valuable assumption. Moving to next feature, the aDSO. The abbreviation means Advanced DataStore Object. It is available only on SAP BW on HANA and it is combining HybridProvider, InfoCube and the original DataStore Object. “Direct update” is a type of DSO which is optimized for quick writing. Based on that we can expect performance gains when we use aDSO direct update type.
On the slide 41, there is an information of what comes with BW 7.5 SP0.
FOX Formula was greatly improved in BW 7.4 SP08 and there is a clear evidence that SAP is emphasizing on it even further. I don’t have any doubts that SAP is pushing us to it as the way of building custom planning functions in BPC Embedded. Advanced DataStore objects are mentioned here as adding simplicity to the currently available InfoProviders.
On slide 44, there is an information about the Excel EPM Add-in.
SAP decided to combine Analysis and EPM functionalities in one unified add-in. This has already happened in version 2.1. There are certain limitations now, but it will open the path for non-disruptive transition from BPC Classic to BPC Embedded.
With all the emphasis that SAP is putting on BPC Embedded, I can assume that this will be the tool to go in the very near future. More precisely, from Q2/2016. With the commitment of SAP to transfer more and more functionalities in BPC Web Admin related to BPC Embedded, there will be more flexibility for the business. The BPC Classic solution is advertised as a business driven solution supported by IT, however, we can say that BPC Embedded will very soon receive the same status.
In the meantime for the BPC Consultants that come from BPC Classic as me, we can continue to build our skills in BW and BW-IP. Even though part of the BW-IP administration could be incorporated in BPC Web Client, the functionalities will remain the same – FOX and other built-in planning functions. I hope you like it, share it and enjoy it :).