SAPPHIRE NOW 2017 almost feels like a dim and distant memory. Hours of meticulous planning, calendar aligning, thousands of handshakes and hundreds of business cards exchanged in a matter of days. For all its glitz, networking and keynotes the subject that is always close to my heart, Enterprise Performance Management (EPM), remained in the wings…the question is where and when will SAP BPC shine in the limelight?
The star of the show
Centre stage at SAPPHIRE was SAP Leonardo, and rightly so. This platform for digital innovation based on Artificial Intelligence, almost feels like we’re entering the realms of sci-fi, but the real world applications are fascinating – to find out more on SAP Leonardo, take a look at John Appleby’s post here
An unexpected twist
On reflection, my biggest take away from SAPPHIRE was quite surprising. Apart from re-acquainting with old friends and colleagues, my biggest Eureka moment was that I felt compelled to attend SAP Insider Financials 2017. Why? Well, EPM announcements were largely brushed over at SAPPHIRE this year and we firmly believe that Amsterdam will be the setting for the EPM unveiling.
Please don’t get me wrong, there were some announcements in the EPM space. For example, SAP BusinessObjects Cloud has been renamed ‘SAP Analytics Cloud’. This reflects the changes in the product which now includes more analytical elements such as Predictive and increased Business Intelligence functionality.
The silent release
The biggest announcement though, in the quietest way possible (in that it wasn’t said out loud) was the release of SAP BPC 11 for the SAP BW/4HANA platform. This version for BW/4HANA will be released on general availability on 29th
May 2017 and will be formally launched at SAP Insider Financials on 14th
June 2017. I was fortunate enough to be able to have a look at a pre-canned demo of BPC 11. The web front end is significantly superior to BPC 10.x and definitely brings with it a whole new level of user experience. In simple terms, imagine a mix of the digital boardroom with traditional BPC and you have BPC 11.
A few facts:
- BPC 11 will allow deployments in both classic and embedded flavours.
- Initial implementations from general availability will be for net new implementations only, with a migration path from BPC10.1 classic to BPC 11 classic towards the 3rd quarter of this year.
- A new licensing model has been developed.
I'll be interested in getting additional 'hands on experience' of this product to gain a better understanding of the use cases, although it's evident that SAP BPC 11 would be perfect for customers who have implemented BW/4HANA.
Here is an outline of the benefits customers can expect to experience as a result of deploying BPC 11.0, version for BW/4HANA:
- Easier implementation of BPC given the simplified data structures.
- Ability to report at any level of the data warehouse.
- All planning and consolidation capabilities are under one product, one license and one deployment.
- Easier integration with 3rd party applications, including Hadoop.
- New interfaces for both developers and end users which greatly improve the user experience.
- Use SAP Business Objects Cloud to not only explore BPC data, but also build a plan with it.
- Leveraging SAP HANA’s in-memory performance, workloads are pushed into the database. Response times to end users are hugely accelerated by the HANA databases capabilities, including Advanced Analytics (Predictive, text analysis, data mining and machine learning).
- Multi temperature data management ensures better scalability, allowing for planning at a more granular level.
See you in Amsterdam
So, my ticket to SAP Insider Financials is booked and I’m eager to see what new features and benefits SAP BPC11.0 will bring to BPC customers. Speaking of which, if you do find yourself on a flight to Amsterdam, be sure to make it to this
session. Here you’ll be able to discover the BPC journey Bluefin’s customers, British American Tobacco, have been on. Daniel Goersch & Luis Guedes will talk you through their experiences, pitfalls and triumphs in this area. If you can’t make it, then we’ll keep you updated on BPC 11: as BPC users Bluefin are entering the Early Adopter program … watch this space for further information.