End of BI-IP – What‘s next? A viewpoint on the SAP Planning Portfolio 1

Introduction

The SAP Portfolio for planning is changing. The system landscape for reporting and planning is enhanced by SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC). Or maybe you are in the middle of a S/4 HANA project or a BW/4 project is going on.
However your current planning system landscape looks like, chances are high that you will be impacted by a SAC, S/4 or BW/4 project.

The aim of this blog is to help and guide you in case you need answers on how your planning strategy should look like.

In this part the approaches, the criteria on how we want to compare, the applications and an outlook will be given.

In a second blog which is planned to be released in Q3/2022 we will present more detailed results.

Approaches

From the authors point of view, coming from the planning and analytics world, there are currently 3 main approaches on how your planning architecture could look like. Of course, there may be different flavors of it:

  • Business Warehouse Approach
  • SAC Native Approach
  • S/4 Approach

Each of the approaches makes sense depending on where you come from and where you want to be in the near future. The tricky question is how to find out what’s best for a certain customer with a certain history. And the answer is not a simple one. It might also be the case that you use more than one of the approaches above. And in the long-term perspective also Datawarehouse Cloud (DWC) might play a role.

Approach 1 might be especially interesting for you in case you invested heavily in SAP IP in the past and want to reuse your investments. Maybe you would like to use an appealing frontend like SAC instead of BEx and still stay on the same model.

Approach 2 might be interesting for all kinds of customers, with or without any history of SAP IP.

Approach 3 might be interesting for any S/4 customers.

Comparing the Approaches

To give direction and also to make experiences in real world environments, we decided to build applications and compare them. For this purpose we will use the following criteria:

  • Master Data Synchronization
  • Authorization Management and Generation
  • Reference Data Integration
  • Disaggregation and Logic
  • Automatic Loads
  • Performance
  • Licence
  • Debugging Options
  • Look & Feel
  • Usability
  • Integration
  • Flexibility

Applications

The applications we are currently working on are the following ones:

  • Approach 1: A betting game application for the soccer world cup. The users can enter their bets, the scoring function and more complex functions are implemented in the Business Warehouse and visualized with SAC. Additionally, SAC is also serving as an Application Development Environment
  • Approach 2: An application for entering the daily steps is implemented. The users can capture their daily activities and see trends over time. There will be no Business Wareshouse in the system landscape. All logic and all application development is done in SAC
  • Approach 3: We plan data live in the S/4 HANA system and write data into the ACDOCP table

The implementation of the applications is already quite enhanced, and we are working on comparing the results based on the defined criteria.

Outlook

In the next blog we will present the results of our comparison and you will get a summary of our experiences. I can already reveal that every approach has its strenghts and that we had emotional discussions about the approaches inside our team.

We will also have a look on the degree of maturity of the different products used in the different approaches.

The final result will be a decision tree which should serve you in getting a better feeling what is right for your special, unique situation.