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Thought Leadership on SAP BPC and EPM Implementations

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SAP Releases Roadmap for BPC for the Microsoft Platform

  
  
  
SAP BPCMS Roadmap - Column5

If you're like a lot of people out there, you probably had to read the title of this blog twice. Over the last several years there has been a plethora of speculation, confusion, frustration and exasperation about the future of BPC for the Microsoft Platform.  From the very first announcement that SAP would port BPC to the NetWeaver platform, people have forecasted the end of the Microsoft version. The lack of roadmap beyond extensions of platform support for the latest versions and some new content (i.e. IFRS Starter Kit) does make one wonder about the future of BPC for the Microsoft Platform.  Here's the good news: SAP recently released the latest roadmap for the EPM portfolio and there are several meaningful planned enhancements to BPC for the Microsoft Platform; from here on out referred to as BPCMS.

How EPM Caught The Pizza Bandit!

  
  
  
EPM Nabs the Pizza Bandit!

This is a 100% true story.  The names have been altered to protect the innocent (and the guilty)!

Using the Power of Visual Basic in EPM 10 Reporting

  
  
  
maturity model

The Excel Add-In reporting tool of EPM 10 combines the features of Excel with EPM functionality.  A feature within Excel that is sometimes useful to meet more advanced reporting needs is macros programmed using Visual Basic (VBA).  This can achieve features that are not achievable through EPM 10 functionality.

How EPM Is Like Golf

  
  
  
How EPM Is Like Golf

Recently I received a detailed critique of the underlying technology components of BPC in the form of a comment to one of my blog posts. At first, I chuckled at the response, and wanted to respond with a blog post entitled, “Things No CFO Said…Ever”, but then I thought just how sadly prevalent some of the beliefs are in the EPM ecosystem.

7 Deadly Sins of a BPC Implementation

  
  
  
seven deadly sins 3 resized 600

I have had the pleasure of being involved with at least 100 BPC (OLAP) deployments over the past two decades in some role or another. I wanted to share what I believe are the 7 Deadly Sins of a BPC Implementation.  Over the past 9 months I have been speaking with new clients to my organization who have had prior experience with another firm claiming to understand BPC.   Seventy-five percent (75%) of these discussions involved most, if not all of the aspects described below.

Spreadsheets to BPC/EPM 10: A Quantum Leap

  
  
  
Leap to BPC!It’s the corporation’s latest planning/forecast/budget cycle, and you’re responsible for putting together the consolidated reports for the executive review meetings.  The analysts in Europe, Asia, North America and South America have sent you their Excel spreadsheets, which have been reviewed and revised according to their local management review meetings.  Their regional financial managers will be participating in the executive review meetings, and presenting their region’s forecast. 

The PowerPoint reporting package for the executive review meeting will consist of income statements, capital spending reports and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).  Comments will be included, and there will be slides/reports at the region and total corporate level.  You have spent hours copying the Excel “reports” and pasting them into the PowerPoint slides.  Also, in order to produce the numbers for the region and total corporate reports, you had to combine the multiple Excel spreadsheets from the site analysts.  This included calculating the KPIs at the region and corporate levels.  You finally have everything ready for tomorrow’s first executive review meeting, although it’s 9:15 PM and you’re still at the office.

Considerations in Upgrading to SAP BPC v10

  
  
  
Considering a BPC Upgrade?

This week has been somewhat of a client reunion week in that three of our clients from the “OutlookSoft” days are looking at upgrading to BPC v10.  Enough to where I had three meetings that felt like one topic three times over. That makes me believe there are other SAP BPC clients out there who could benefit from this information. This article is for any existing SAP BPC client who is not currently on v10.

SAP BPC: What is the Right Amount of Time for a Design?

  
  
  
projects1 resized 600

The business blueprint is arguably the most important – and most complex – document that is delivered during an implementation.  But how much time should be allotted to this phase?

Evaluating EPM? Where to Start Without Hiring a Consultant!

  
  
  
path resized 600It’s no accident that Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) ranks at the top of nearly every survey that evaluates CFOs’ priorities. The role of the CFO has been expanding for years with acknowledgement that the business needs a strategic partner in every decision that is being made across the enterprise. More often than not, corporate decisions are evaluated on the basis of impact to profitability. It’s widely accepted that the more sophisticated (based on detailed data, organizationally comprehensive, and market relevant timeliness) the analysis that can be provided to influence the quality of how decisions are made, the better. Sophisticated analysis when making decisions requires sophisticated solutions (technology, skills, and processes). But how does a CFO start to improve this capability in their organization?

If a problem with the outputs of the process is suspected, savvy CFOs will reach out to trusted advisers, peers, and vendors to see what offerings may be appropriate to help yield an improved process. But this is, in my opinion, where the problems start.

How Can Project Management Help You?

  
  
  
project management resized 600 resized 600

Project management is often viewed as an unnecessary expense and its value is unfortunately overlooked. To help make the right decision for your project, it is important to look at what project management is, what benefits it provides, and how it fits in the overall project. A six month project that goes over the original timeline by one month represents a 16% overage. Adding 10% to the overall project cost up front for Project Management may help reduce that overage or cut it altogether. Also, a 16% overage can have other negative effects on the company because it may delay other projects (the resources are tied up) and as a result, additional revenue may be lost. Therefore, it is important to find the right mix for a successful project between added cost and benefits.

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