10 May 2012

Tristan Colgate

Tristan Colgate

Former Managing Director

SAP BusinessObjects Planning and Consolidation 10.0, version for SAP NetWeaver is, as of the 23rd April, in general availability. From a personal perspective this new release is really exciting and brings with it some significant changes. However, the result must have Oracle Hyperion and Cognos quaking in their server rooms.

I am getting a lot of questions from clients about this new version of SAP BPC and thought that an FAQ would be of general help.  Please feel free to comment and ask further questions and I'll keep adding to this and maintain it as a live document.

Which version of SAP BPC does this replace?

SAP BPC 10 replaces SAP BPC 7.5

What happened to versions 8 and 9?

SAP BPC is part of a suite of tools called EPM (Enterprise Performance Management), which contains other tools like SAP Strategy Management (SSM) and SAP Profitability and Cost Management (PCM).  Whereas these have previously only been loosely integrated, the new version of SAP BPC has been planned to coincide with new releases of the other tools and the integration between them all is a key theme of the new release.  Part of the branding surrounding that was getting all the tools (and EPM as a suite) with the same version number and 10 was the lowest common denominator.

Is the version for Microsoft available in the new release?

Yes. This has been in general availability since February this year.

What are the pre-requisites to installing SAP BPC 10?

SAP BPC 10 requires an SAP BW 7.3 system, and will not work on SAP BW 7.0.  One great piece of news is that the standalone .NET server is no longer required.

Will SAP BPC 10 work on SAP HANA?

Absolutely.  This has recently been made available and I've personally had some hands-on time with it.  It is lightening fast and is really going to open up the vast possibilities of what can be achieved with SAP BPC. 

Have the MS Office clients changed?

A lot. The old SAP BPC 7.5 client software is replaced with a new SAP EPM 10 Client that works across the suite of SAP EPM applications (e.g. SAP SSM, SAP PCM) giving users a harmonised experience.  The look and feel is greatly improved from SAP BPC 7.5 and the end result will benefit not just end users, but also developers and more expert users.  The querying tool has been completely rewritten to replace the old EvDRE functionality and the new tool offers a far richer set of querying capabilities.

So does that mean that EvDRE is no longer supported?

No. Existing EvDres will still work, but the wizard to create new EvDREs is no longer present.

Which version of Windows, Explorer and MS Office are supported?

  • Windows Vista Client (32 and 64-bit), Windows XP (32-bit) and 7 (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • Internet Explorer 7 and 8
  • Microsoft Office 2007 and 2010 -32-bit and 64-bit

How does this impact the Web interface?

Again, this has been completely rewritten in Adobe Flex, giving a far sleeker and quicker user experience.  Online reporting and planning is now far more sophisticated and better organised in a new concept, Workspaces, which are also used by the new Business Process Flows.  In general, there is additional functionality throughout which greatly enhances usability.

What new functionality is there in terms of Financial Consolidation?

Incremental consolidation is supported from SAP BPC 10, which is essentially the ability to run FX and consolidation only on data that has been changed since the last run. This will make the consolidation process quicker and should reduce overall period end processing times.  Additionally, the following is all now available in the web:

  • Scope creation and maintenance
  • Journals data entry
  • Controls monitoring - this contains new functionality to enable  the creation of more flexible controls, e.g. warning and blocking controls and the ability to monitor the controls and see which units are failing
  • Consolidation monitoring - this is a new component that enables Group Finance to view each entity's stage of progress through the consolidation process and view any changes that have been made that would impact the consolidation.

Are there any improvements to help the developer?

Lots. Firstly, the freestanding Admin Client has been deprecated and all of the functionality is now presented through the new web interface, integrated to the rest of the interface.  This is a huge difference and some people might initially be sceptical of having a web form for maintaining dimension members, rather than the Excel plug-in that the Admin Client used. From my experience, this is far quicker and more stable and SAP has worked hard to include useful features like drag-across and copy and paste, in order to make it behave like Excel, without 'behaving' like Excel.

Notably, the script logic editor is friendlier, and behaves as a good editor should, with colour presentation of different language elements, a helpful list of available functions, and a dimension member picker.

Are things named differently?

Let me answer that with another question: Has SAP ever released a new version of something and not changed the naming convention?  Here is a brief list of old and new terms.


Are there any other notable changes?

One interesting one is that Active Directory is no longer the default method of user authentication.  SAP NetWeaver user management is now used for authentication and comes with far more integration with the authorisations functionality of the SAP NetWeaver user management tool.  There are still other options for providing single-sign-on.

This sounds really different - will I be able to upgrade/migrate from
SAP BPC 7.5?

This is surprisingly easy.  Actually, not so surprising given that the majority of the changes are on the frontend, leaving the back-end of SAP BPC relatively unchanged.  There is a handy migration tool which helps with some of the changes that need to be made moving between versions, such as Active Directory users being replaced by SAP NetWeaver users.  There is also an option to migrate EvDREs to the new reporting functions, although this is not strictly necessary as EvDRE is still reported.

If you were on SAP BPC 7.5 and upgraded to SAP BPC 10, would there
be an extra license/ support cost?

There is no additional license/support cost to move from SAP BOC 7.5 to SAP BPC 10 however, there may be some implementation costs involved to leverage some of the new features.

Bluefin and SAP S/4HANA - welcome to the one horse race

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