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Thought Leadership on SAP BPC and EPM Implementations

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Organizational Change Management for SAP EPM and BPC Implementations

Column5-Organizational Change Management

Successful delivery and adoption of any project requires a partnership between the business, IT, value chain partners and end-users to ensure the solution delivered meets business objectives and return on investment.  Collaboration is required to make certain:

Column5 Launches the “Close Cycle Rankings 2014” in North America

Close Cycle Rankings 2014

Column5 is pleased to be sponsoring the North American edition of the “Close Cycle Rankings 2014” in conjunction with our research partners EPM International. This research is now available to our clients.

OLAP Is Not History


EPM stands for Enterprise Performance Management.  In a nutshell, it is at least a 4th generation moniker describing an underlying use of OLAP (Online Analytical Processing) technology.  Why should you care?  Well, it really is the current “end game” of computing for most organizations.  If you are an executive or in a leadership role in say, Finance or FP&A, you should really care!  One cannot manage that which they do not measure. Those who can achieve EPM and leverage OLAP technology will outperform their peer groups across the board.  How in the world can you track your EPS or monthly profit if you do not capture and report the information to do so?  How can you take action to get back on plan, or stay ahead of plan, if you have no tools to do so?  This is what EPM is for, and what OLAP has been solving for nearly 40 years.  The path to effective leadership and success is not simply about delivering results; it is about consistently delivering results.  In order to do this one must be able to both monitor their business, and be able to take actions to control the business. 

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.

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