Co-authored with William Haworth.
At the end of this year the highly successful SAP Business Planning and Consolidation (BPC) 7.5 will go out of maintenance. Chris Gully examines the options for your business and also takes a look at what to consider if you decide to migrate to SAP BPC 10.1
If your business has been running BPC 7.5 and the December date is looming, what are your options?
Broadly, they fit in to three categories:
- Do nothing – not as mad as it sounds. If your system is simple enough and not business critical, there is no rush to push the button. If this case, I imagine that either SAP isn’t on your roadmap for planning or you have other, far grander ideas.
- Scrap it and start again. There are a number of new and different technologies available, not all SAP, that can fulfill your planning and consolidation needs. Perhaps it’s time to take a step back and dive into something altogether different. SAP do offer a couple of new tools which we’ve previously reviewed; firstly BPC Embedded and S/4HANA Planning & Consolidation. These may offer the functionality that you need.
- Migrate to BPC 10.0/10.1 Standard – not too dismissive, not too extravagant. Migrating to BPC 10.0 or 10.1 would resolve the immediate issue of support (10.0 runs out on 1.10.2020 and 10.1 in 2022) and can also offer some of the significant advantages these newer versions bring with them.
Key considerations when migrating
There is no doubt migrating is a cheaper, easier option than starting again. However, the undertaking should not be taken without considerations to ensure it’s a success. I base this on my own experience and others I’ve talked to.
Mow the lawn
If you’ve had your BPC 7.5 solution for a number of years, it’s likely grown, and grown again. New reports, new logics, new process flows and by now it’s become quite a monster compared to the original implementation. Bearing in mind you’ll need to go through a thorough testing period, which will ensure the solution provides everything required, then this is an opportunity to remove unnecessary functionality (reports, input schedules, logic, master data etc.) while ensuring it won’t reduce the actual capability of the solution.
Additionally, this could be an opportunity to delete or archive redundant transactional data, delivering significant performance gains.
Scope it properly
Make some rules, for example ‘what makes a report migratable?’, ’What determines whether a report requires to be completely rebuilt?’. Apply a time scale to each, and you should end up with an accurate time estimation. Migration work also lends itself to the use of offshore resources, so take advantage!
Wrap in some quick wins
A migration requires a full lifecycle; review/design, realisation, testing etc. including all the required project management personnel. This makes it an ideal time to wrap in those small- to medium-sized change requests that have been lurking over you.
Additionally, your SAP partner should be able to recommend some quick wins that they’ve seen elsewhere and can be easily implemented. Perhaps it’s even worth a quick browse (google “sap bpc quick wins”) for inspiration.
Migrate with SAP HANA
Yes, HANA is expensive. However, if it’s on your roadmap, or you already use it for other applications, then this is a good time to get on board to really maximise your use and performance of BPC. BPC 10+ in particular is boosted significantly by HANA (click here to discover what was achieved at British American Tobacco) and you’ll find great benefits to your BPC solution while piggy-backing on the already laid out project expenses.
Of course, it’s important to not assume a migration from BPC 7.5 to 10 is going to be completely smooth. Treat it with respect and go through all the motions required with a serious project. However, there is a difference between a successful migration and really
successful migration. Consider these few points and you’ll more likely achieve the latter.