I am trying to regularly check the Product road maps provided by SAP related to the Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) space. They are giving me clues where SAP is putting their effort and what skills I may need to develop. In this post I will try to summarize where SAP is emphasize in the end of 2015. The solutions covered are Business Planning and Consolidation (BPC), BW Integrated Planning (BW-IP) and Cloud for Analytics. By the way Cloud for Planning is now part of the Cloud for Analytics suite.
Some of you may ask why I am interested in BW-IP and Cloud for Analytics. It is because BW-IP is tightly integrated with BPC in BPC Embedded. Basically BPC Embedded is much more BW-IP then a regular BPC Classic solution. Cloud for Analytics is a product which SAP is trying to push to their customers as a cloud solution which is easy to use and works like Excel in a web environment. I already try to give some thoughts about it in the post – SAP Cloud for Planning and SAP BPC.
For your convenience, you will find the latest full road maps files on the links below:
- SAP Business Warehouse – 2015/Q2
- SAP Enterprise Performance Management – 2015/Q4
- SAP Cloud for Analytics – 2015/Q4
From the BW Road Map on the intro slide you will see why BPC Embedded is an important SAP development. Developments related to it are existing in current releases, planned innovations and it is part of their future direction.
Another important topic related to BW-IP are the FOX FORMULAS or just FOX. For those of you who know nothing about FOX, it is a programming language which we can use for custom planning function in BW-IP similarly to Logic Script. Keep in mind that we can’t use Logic Script in BPC Embedded, but only FOX FORMULAS. On the following two slides, there is an information about FOX in their current releases (Today).
More features for FOX and improved productivity on HANA. I assume that SAP is pushing us to use FOX instead of ABAP. We can only use BPC Embedded on HANA, so FOX comes as a natural choice.
From EPM Road Map there are few slides which cover BPC, BW-IP and Cloud for Analytics.
It is clearly that SAP is currently committed to increase the usage of Business Warehouse Integrated Planning in combination with BPC Embedded. There are a lot of reasons for that, but the most important is the widely advertised real-time integrated planning for Finance with other areas of the business such as Sales, Procurement and Operations. SAP is also putting a big effort to outshine any other competitor in the cloud space.
There is a pure evidence that SAP Cloud for Analytics is a very important solution as it has the biggest road-map presentation in terms of number of slides. I am not reviewing it here in details, but you could check it from the links in the top of the current post. I still have many open questions related to Cloud for Analytics. Currently I see it more as an add-on, but not as replacement. This could change in the near future depending on how flexible SAP develop it and how well they can sell it to the top management of the companies. I will definitely keep an eye on it.
In terms of BPC skills, there is a clear message from SAP that BW-IP skills will be in demand. FOX FORMULAS as part of BW-IP are and will be an important asset to anyone preparing for the future projects of EPM solutions on HANA. If you are relatively new to BW as I am, you will need to build a basic skills in BW Modelling and BW Data Acquisition before the jump to BW-IP and FOX. Enjoy 🙂