Jun 7, 2017

What is SAP Business Planning and Consolidation 11.0, version for SAP BW/4HANA

What is it?
SAP BW/4HANA – The NEXT GENERATION OF DATA WAREHOUSE – has been announced and released for three quarters.   I think most of you must be very clear about the selling points and strength of BW/4HANA by now, and you may notice that except all the advantages we have on the new platform, there is one important functionality missing – PLANNING (probably CONSOLIDATION as well).
The good NEWS is that a new SAP Business Planning and Consolidation (aka SAP BPC) is now released on the new data warehouse – SAP Business Planning and Consolidation 11.0, version for SAP BW/4HANA! (oops, you may think I forget ‘Objects’ after ‘Business’… but it’s on purpose, yes… rename is happening again…)

After years of having two flavors of BPC as BPC NW and BPC MS, now we are having the third! Some important points:
  1. SAP BPC, version for SAP BW/4HANA (will be referred as BPC BW/4 for the rest of this blog) is NOT a legal successor of SAP BPC, version for SAP NetWeaver. Any existing BPC NW customer any need additional license to use BPC BW/4, details will be provided in later in another thread.
  2. By the version number 11.0, you may already figure out that BPC BW/4 is offering with both Planning and Consolidation capability via standard and embedded model. As a starting point, it inherited most of the functionality from BPC NW. Of course, there are new changes/enhancements as well.
  3. Due to the fact that it’s BW/4HANA platform which is always use HANA database, BW-IP and BPC standard on xDB is no longer supported.

Initial release of SAP BPC 11.0, version for SAP BW/4HANA is planned for end of May 2017 and it will be followed by another three support packages until the end of 2017 (as always, it’s subject to change). Incremental changes can be expected within those SPs.
What’s the relation to S/4HANA?
When I was talking to SAP colleagues, partners or customers about SAP BPC supporting BW/4HANA platform, a frequent asked question is, how is it related to S/4HANA and BPC optimized for S/4HANA? Let’s start with below diagram.
  • The left grey box is S/4HANA with an ‘Embedded BW’ which include BPC 10.1 NW as planning and consolidation engine. It’s based on BW 7.5x(BW 7.51 for S/4HANA 1610 and BW 7.52 for S/4HANA 1709) which on SAP NetWeaver platform.
  • The right blue box is SAP BW/4HANA with add-on SAP BPC version for BW/4HANA installed.
  • Both boxes are on separate servers with different platform, so BPC BW/4 is NOT related to S/4HANA at all (at least for now). And don’t ask me when they will be related because I have no idea L.
  • And for positioning, they also different since BW/4HANA is a data warehouse gather all kinds of business data from different sources while S/4HANA is only for financial and operational data (in most cases).
What’s the selling points?
  • ONE product – BPC BW4 – offering on BW/4, unlike NW platform, we have BPS, BW-IP, BCS and BPC.
  • Following the trend of BW/HANA, BPC BW/4 focuses on simplifying the backend core frontend as well as frontend.
  • Simplify the ad-hoc reporting with enhancement in query and Analysis for office
  • New web worksheet concept is introduced to simplify the web reporting/planning objects. Within one worksheet, you can have multiple grids and charts for reporting and data input.
  • Simplified data integration can reduce the effort and time load data from external sources into BPC
Modern Interface
  • Deeper integration with SAP Analytics Cloud (wait… what is it? Bingo, it’s aka SAP BusinessObjects Cloud. Yes, it’s also renamed… sweating…) allows business user to quickly sync data back and forth between BOC and BPC at story level. This also will enable BPC BW/4 customer to leverage BOC web client as an alternative option for both planning and analysis with BPC data.
  • Re-designed Fiori like HTML5 web interface provides a fresh new look and feel. Hamburger menu and bread crumb navigation helps user to jump between different features with fewest clicks.
  • Brand new home page including nicely pinged tiles for charts, quick access to any object and page via ‘Favorites’ and personal activities ordered by time. In additional, user can personalize the home page by re-ordering and re-sizing. (Getting excited, aren’t you?)
  • New concept of web worksheet allows having multiple reports, input forms and charts.
  • Re-signed ‘My Activities’ and BPF workspace design time.

  • Push down query formula operation to HANA
  • Further push down of FOX formulas to HANA
  • Using aDSO for planning

Which Excel client shall I use?
SAP Analysis for Office 2.4 SP04(onwards) is the Excel add-in software shall be used.
  • EPM Plug-in shall be used for BPC Standard
  • AO Plug-in shall be used for BPC Embedded
  • EPM Add-in 10.0 is NOT supported anymore on BPC BW/4

What features are removed from BPC BW/4?
  • EPM Unwired is not supported anymore
  • Virtual Provider in general and for planning special with Writeback Class is NOT supported
  • FIM Integration
  • Custom Branding
That’s almost all I would like to share within this overview, you may already have a question about how to migrate existing BPC NW customer to BPC BW/4. A very good question though, but with initial release BPC BW/4, the conversion tool (it’s now called conversion since BPC BW/4 is not the legal successor of BPC NW) is not ready. We will talk about conversion in detail in following blogs, and please wait as well for other BPC BW/4 relate content!

Additional information:
SAP BPC 11.0, version for SAP BW/4HANA Product Availability Matrix

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