Commenting on the unpredictable nature of business, Warren Buffet notes that the rearview mirror is often clearer than the windshield. Notwithstanding Buffet’s wisdom, in business too much rearview-mirror gazing ensures only missed opportunities, competitive vulnerability and costly collisions.
Guiding a business’ performance using annual or even quarterly financial snap shots is akin to review-mirror driving, and any business leader worth his/her salt knows that this method is completely unacceptable in today’s fast-paced, dynamic, data-rich, increasingly global, fiercely competitive market.
Overreliance on dated, disjointed systems and manual, spreadsheet-based processes for business planning and consolidation guarantees lacks of accuracy and agility, poor visibility (forward and historical), and inconsistent internal communication – all of which can lead to disaster.
To succeed in today’s fast-paced, always-on business environment, finance teams must not only improve financial reporting processes but also must work in synch with business units throughout an organization to drive value and growth by enabling C-level execs down to frontline workers to make more profitable decisions and identify risks and opportunities in time to take meaningful action.
The rising SAP BPC star
SAP BPC falls under SAP’s analytic solutions umbrella and is grouped with SAP’s offering of EPM solutions. Gartner recently named SAP a worldwide market share leader in business intelligence (BI), analytics and performance management software.
Gone are the days of ‘point-in-time’ pictures. By providing accurate, real-time, rolling financial reporting and predictive analytics, SAP BPC has evolved to drive instant responsiveness and assist in formulating business strategy that is sound, adaptable, and opportunistic.
According to SAP, adoption of SAP BPC has skyrocketed since the company bought OutlookSoft in 2007, with the number of SAP BPC customers tripling by 2010. From what NTT DATA is seeing, the pace of SAP BPC adoption has continued to accelerate over the past several years, with all signs pointing to the trend continuing.
SAP BPC’s market success can be attributed to several factors: It’s available in two versions: SAP Planning and Consolidation, version for the Microsoft platform; and SAP Planning and Consolidation, version for SAP NetWeaver.
Both versions support Microsoft Office tools (eliminating tedious, error-prone, manual Excel-driven planning and consolidations processes); easily integrate with SAP and non-SAP environments; and enable accelerated planning, consolidated financial reporting and advanced forecasting capabilities – all in a single application.
Upping their game in 2012, SAP announced BPC (NetWeaver Edition) powered by SAP HANA, empowering organizations to tackle today’s big-data deluge. And, with the help of select partners such as NTT DATA, SAP BPC powered by HANA is now available in the cloud – an offering that resonates well with today’s cost-conscious CFOs.
The benefits of running SAP Business Planning and Consolidation on top of SAP HANA are well established:
- Tackle the big-data challenge by planning on large volumes of data
- Support real-time planning and analysis
- Increase overall performance, including calculations with blazing fast in-memory execution
Most recently, in June of this year, SAP announced the general availability of SAP Business Planning and Consolidation 10.1, version for SAP NetWeaver.
Key innovations and enhancements include:
- Optimized planning functions leveraging SAP HANA for better, more timely decisions
- Leverage existing SAP BW Integrated Planning (BW-IP) models and benefit from HANA acceleration to new capabilities
- New HTML5 UI for for easier navigation, cross-platform readiness, and mobile interfacing via smartphone or tablet
- New modeling capabilities with tighter integration into SAP BW and ERP and Predictive tools
- Deploy in the HANA Enterprise Cloud with subscription pricing to get up and running faster with lower upfront costs
Business planning and consolidation products are nothing new – so why are businesses increasingly investing in SAP BPC?
The reasons are many -- ease-of-use, enhanced functionality, innovative capabilities, product maturity, faster implementation, easier integration with SAP, minimal learning curve, etc. -- but at the end of the day, it is the ROI and business value that drives investments in enterprise technology.
In today’s turbulent global economy, businesses need a proven, easy-to-use tool for streamlining financial reporting and forecasting processes -- one that delivers rapid ROI and measurable business value, such as making vital financial information accessible for analysis by anyone, anywhere, anytime.
SAP BPC is the best tool for the job, and NTT DATA’s world-class SAP BPC, SAP EPM and SAP BI/Analytics consultants have the resources and know how to ensure you realize optimal performance and maximum value from your SAP BPC investment now and in the future.