5 Reasons To Switch From BPC Standard to BPC Embedded
Is BPC Embedded the better choice for your business?
Since the introduction of BPC 10.1, BPC can be implemented in two different ways: Standard, and Embedded. The Embedded version evolved from SAP’s Integrated Planning (or BW-IP), which uses BW Objects directly. BPC Standard is an application that is “bolted-on” and requires extracting and loading of data from BW in a data mart scenario. Organizations are deciding to upgrade their existing standard environment for a variety of technical reasons, but what are the functional/end user benefits of having an embedded system? We’ve outlined 5 improvements from a business user perspective when switching to BPC Embedded.
1.) Easier Reconciliation
Due to the nature of data replication, BPC Standard models must reload planned data into BW. While real-time reporting is possible within BPC Standard, it is still a disparate application that is bolted onto BW, and data entered in BPC Standard is only visible in an EPM reporting model until reloaded into BW. Master data, hierarchies, and transactional data must also be copied to BPC Standard from BW and aligned with standard data modelling concepts, allowing a larger risk for source system discrepancies. Reconciling this data requires an intimate knowledge of load schedules and waiting to perform reconciliation activities during specific windows.
Being “integrated” requires no data replication into the model and is especially significant when utilizing advanced analytical applications to uncover insights in financial data. Using the Embedded model, Embedded BPC reports are always showing what data currently exists in BW in real-time. Similarly, plan data entered in Embedded BPC is immediately reportable in BW. Analyzing, planning, and reporting on a single source of truth in BW is less confusing and time consuming when using Embedded BPC.
2. Improved performance (query execution, refresh, save)
BPC Standard users can expect a significant improvement in performance for query execution, refresh, and save times after implementing BPC Embedded. Embedded customers can use the power of SAP HANA to push down calculations, including disaggregation, to greatly improve performance – many standard calculations are still running on the Application server which isn’t utilizing HANA’s processing power.
While both standard and embedded environments can create complex planning models, embedded more readily supports HANA optimized features because it is highly integrated with BW and it’s native capabilities.
3.) Report Flexibility
Though several options exist, the front-end tool of choice for planning and reporting on Embedded models is now Analysis for Office. The interface native to EPM is the only option for standard implementations. Analysis is an add-in for Microsoft Excel that provides an Excel toolbar to connect and navigate data sources, and enables report manipulation of existing queries through the highly flexible design panel. Business users have free range to pivot their reports and add additional dimensions that exist within the scope of the query.
While reports and input templates are distributed with an initial structure, Analysis allows reports to be saved to a local machine with user-specific preferences. Replicating the same functionality in EPM is time consuming and requires an additional skillset, while Analysis provides drag-drop ease. Analysis provides a variety of standard in-workbook automated solutions for further formatting, filtering, and data analysis.
4.) Native BW Tools
Through the Analysis workbook, BW statistics can be toggled on and monitored per each user’s workbook performance and read through a log file. This is highly advantageous to a company attempting to gather data in a test cycle, or evaluate the effectiveness of a current report. Turning on these monitoring files can also provide technical teams with significant information when troubleshooting user issues. Subsequent versions of Analysis for Office will surely see improvements in the user interface of these tools. Moreover, global BW statistics are natively supported in Embedded, and can help the business trim-down and eliminate less used planning models and applications.
Additionally, Embedded modeling is performed with BW TCodes that developers are comfortable with such as RSA1, RSPLAN, and more. These TCodes are proven, familiar, and reliable.
5.)Master Data for Business Consideration
The use of special characters is very common in dimensions like material number. Use of hash signs or spaces are not supported in BPC Standard, and require a workaround replacing underscores or displaying the attribute value, not the native value from the system. Embedded models natively support these formatting changes – the model extends to the MATN1 Conversion routine. The conversion routine changes internal material numbers stored in the system to external material numbers displayed in front end interfaces and vice versa, keeping your formatting clean in business facing tools. These settings can be maintained in a transaction code OMSL.
Embedded planning is a great fit for many companies, but is it the best choice for you? Method360 offers free workshops to help decision makers like you learn more about which solutions are the best fit for your business. Contact Method360 today to schedule a demo today.