Sunday, January 12, 2014

What is SAP planning and consolidation portfolio?

In this post I’d like to briefly describe current SAP portfolio of planning/consolidation portfolio. Kindly notice that in this area there are multiple offerings involved. The portfolio is really evolving very fast!

With advert of SAP HANA there are significant changes into planning and consolidation applications. SAP is (was) offering different solutions for planning/consolidation apps.
In case of planning part it all started with BPS (Business Planning and Simulation) which is add-on to BW enabling BW to provide planning functions. Technically speaking this means that BW is capable to write data (so called planning data) entered by user into its InfoProviders (e.g. cubes). This functionality is embraced so called planning layouts where user has the interface via which user can enter the data. Just a side not BPS was formerly called SEM-BPS. In version 7.0 of BW a BW-IP (formerly called BI-IP) arrived. IP stands for Integrated Planning and from technological point of view it is based on JAVA stack of NetWeaver. Finally when HANA took a stage some of BW-IP functionalities started to leverage HANA.

That would be all for planning part. In case of consolidation part situation is trickier as per historic background. In this space SAP has a pile of its own or acquired apps. It all started with R/3 module FI-LC called Legal Consolidation. Later LC module was renamed to EC-CS (not sure what does it stand for, maybe Enterprise Component – Consolidation System?). Usually we call it ECC based consolidation. From BW stand point there was SEM component called BCS (Business Consolidation). This is what we called BW based consolidation. Due to SAP’s acquisition of BusinessObjects and of Outlooksoft there were more products coming into play. BOBJ had product called SAP BusinessObjects Cartesis Finance which became SAP Financial Consolidations Finance (SAP BFC) sometimes called SAP FC only. On Outlooksoft front SAP got two products which are part of Business Planning and Consolidation (EPM-BPC): BPC-MS - Microsoft Version and BPC-NW - NetWeaver Version. To sum up consolidation part there are 3 solutions: BFC and 2 flavors of BPC. HANA has changes consolidation solutions as well. In BW version 7.3 SP5 (which is version required for BW on HANA scenario) Planning Applications Kit (PAK) was introduced. The PAK enables an execution of BW-IP functionalities on HANA. After that the BPC was left as unsupported by HANA. This got changed within SAP BW 7.40 SP05. Here the BPC "unified" model was introduced. By unified it is meant there two models are integrated as enabled on HANA:

1. Business Planning and Consolidation (BPC)
2. Planning Application Kit (PAK)

For information on how to activate PAK see SAP Notes below.

Useful notes:

1637199 - Using the planning applications KIT
1637148 - BW on HANA: Activation of Planning Application Kit
1919631 - Activating the BPC-PAK unified model

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