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Moving to SAP Business Planning and Consolidation: Technical Tips and Advice on SAP BPC 10.0/10.1 Migration and Implementation

September 18, 2014

What will change when moving from Excel-based budgeting and planning to an integrated SAP Business Planning and Consolidation platform? How do you prepare, and which BPC release will you choose?

BPC experts and Financials 2014 Singapore speakers Puneet Gupta, Kranthi Kumar and Sanjeev Mehta of CPM Consulting took reader questions in this Q&A on planning for an SAP BPC implementation or migration.

View the chat replay here to review this online Q&A. You can also read the edited transcript, below, where we've highlighted a few key areas of questions - basic overview of BPC 10.0 and 10.1, BPC features and changes from previous releases, BPC integration with other solutions and tools, and a number of questions on BPC scripting including FOX.

Live Blog SAP BPC 10/10.1 Migration & Implementation Live Q&A: 18 Sept 10amSGT
 

Allison Martin, SAPinsider, Financials 2014: Welcome to today’s chat on moving to SAP Business Planning and Consolidation 10.0 and 10.1.

I’m pleased to be joined by Puneet Gupta, Kranthi Kumar, and Sanjeev Mehta, of CPM Consulting. These three EPM consultants and experts are also speakers at our upcoming Financials 2014 event in Singapore.  

Puneet Gupta is Managing Partner and a co-founder of CPM Consulting.  Kranthi Kumar, Associate Partner, CPM Consulting, brings a special focus on EPM and SAP Process Control.  And Sanjeev Mehta leads the Consolidation practice, with more than 16 years of SAP and Finance experience.

Gentlemen, thank you for joining us! 

Sanjeev Mehta, CPM Consulting: Allison, it is our pleasure to be joining you today.

Puneet Gupta, CPM Consulting:  Hi, all. Happy to join the chat today.

Allison Martin: Puneet, Kranthi, and Sanjeev, readers started posting questions for you last week, so we’ll let you respond to those now!

 

BPC 10.0 and 10.1 Overview

Comment From CY Chiu

Could you please explain: What is BPC?

Sanjeev Mehta: SAP BPC is SAP Business Planning and Consolidation. It is an integrated tool which supports Legal Consolidation, Management Reporting, Budgeting & Forecasting… it is available  in a version for the Microsoft Platform and a version for SAP NetWeaver…

Comment From Niranjan Kamishetti

What are the new changes in SAP BPC 10.1?

Puneet Gupta: BPC 10.1 has the following new features:

- A NEW HTML5 Web Client for smoother navigation and mobile readiness.

- A NEW Embedded model with tighter integration with SAP Business Warehouse to maximize investment.

BPC 10.1 has two modeling options:

- Classic / Standard Model (similar to traditional BPC)

- Unified / Embedded Model (leveraging the powerful features of BI - IP, with stronger integration with BW)

The Classic/Standard model is very similar to SAP BPC 10.0 with new functionality in the web interface (based on HTML5 instead of Adobe Flex technology in order to better support mobile devices along with EPM Unwired).

You will find the bigger differences with the new Unified/Embedded model option. It is very similar to SAP BW's planning capabilities known as "Integrated Planning" but leverages (and therefore requires) HANA planning functionality (previously known as PAK or "Planning Applications Kit" where a lot of the BW Integrated Planning capabilities got pushed down into HANA).

The Unified model also includes functionality found in BPC 10.0 and the Classic odel such as Business Process Flows and Work Status. Both the Classic and Unified models share use of the EPM Add-In for Excel (similar to SAP BPC 10.0).

 

Comment From Karthi

What is the difference between IP and BPC?

Puneet Gupta: In BPC 10.0 NW, IP concepts are foreign or have a logical equivalent. For example, Characteristic Relationships doesn't fully apply to SAP BPC, which is more hierarchy-driven than master data attribute-driven, while Work Status is very similar to (but different than) Data Slices.

As of 10.1, the capabilities of IP have been tried to combine with BPC Unified modeling. So, in essence, BPC 10.1 offers two options, either to choose Classic (or Standard) BPC or to use Unified (or Embedded) BPC, which offers IP features too along with BPC features.

In BPC 10.1 there is a new Unified Model which leverages the BW-IP framework under the hood.  This will allow you to leverage the type of planning you are comfortable with inside of Integrated Planning.

In the Unified Model pretty much all the IP functionality is supported, improved and/or accelerated if pushed down to HANA , including Data Slices and Characteristic Relationships. The Classic Model is similar to BPC 10.0 NW, as highlighted above.

 

Comment From Guest: Other than HTML5 does 10.1 classic provide any additional features over 10?

Puneet Gupta: The main advantage of 10.1 is that more integrated with underlying BW platform.

BPC 10.1 has two modeling options: the. Classic / Standard Model (similar to traditional BPC)

 and the Unified / Embedded Model (leveraging the powerful features of BI - IP, with stronger integration with BW)

The Classic / Standard model is very similar to SAP BPC 10.0 with new functionality in the web interface (based on HTML5 instead of Adobe Flex technology in order to better support mobile devices along with EPM Unwired).

You will find the bigger differences with the new "Unified / Embedded Model" option which is very similar to SAP BW's planning capabilities known as "Integrated Planning" but leverages (and therefore requires) HANA planning functionality (previously known as PAK or "Planning Applications Kit" where a lot of the BW Integrated Planning capabilities got pushed down into HANA). The "Unified Model" also includes functionality found in BPC 10.0 and the "Classic Model" such as "Business Process Flows" and "Work Status". Both the "Classic" and "Unified" Models share use of the EPM Add-In for Excel (similar to SAP BPC 10.0).

 

Comment From CY Chiu

Could you please highlight new functions in version 10.1?

Sanjeev Mehta: All the features and functionalities of previous versions of BPC are available in BPC 10.1.

BPC 10.1 has the following new features:

- A NEW HTML5 Web Client for smoother navigation and mobile readiness.

- A NEW Embedded model with tighter integration with SAP Business Warehouse to maximize investment.

In order to answer the question there is a key distinction to be made between the "Unified Model" and "Classic Model" in SAP BPC 10.1.

The "Classic Model" is very similar to SAP BPC 10.0 with new functionality in the web interface (based on HTML5 instead of Adobe Flex technology in order to better support mobile devices along with EPM Unwired).

You will find the bigger differences with the new "Unified Model" option which is very similar to SAP BW's planning capabilities known as "Integrated Planning" but leverages (and therefore requires) HANA planning functionality (previously known as PAK or "Planning Applications Kit" where a lot of the BW Integrated Planning capabilities got pushed down into HANA). The "Unified Model" also includes functionality found in BPC 10.0 and the "Classic Model" such as "Business Process Flows" and "Work Status". Both the "Classic" and "Unified" Models share use of the EPM Add-In for Excel (similar to SAP BPC 10.0).

 

Comment From nag

Are there are any significant changes/improvements/new features in 10.1 Classic compared to 10.0 NW, other than new UI?

Karthik AJ:  Yes, BPC 10.1 classic has got a new web interface in Classic (Standard). It also enables you to work along with the Unified (Embedded) model, which will help you gain the benefits of BI-IP/PAK features too.

 

Comment From Mohammed Ilyas Ansari

What are the shortcomings/limitations of the BPC 10.1 unified model as compared to BPC 10?

Sanjeev Mehta: First of all, BPC 10.1 unified & BPC 10 (which uses the classic approach) are different in many aspects.

As of now, BPC 10.1 unified still uses BW modelling functionalities & EPM Add-in is used primarily for reporting. So as such we cannot point out limitations. But you can say BPC 10.1 has all its modelling done in BW and does not support functionalities like work status, journals, consolidation, etc.

 

Comment From CY Chiu

What is difference between BPS and BPC?

Sanjeev Mehta: BPC is a single, unified, and integrated platform for all your planning, budgeting, forecasting, and consolidation requirements.

BPC is a business-driven environment, rather than IT-driven. For any IT owned systems, a very significant pain point for an end user is having to wait for IT to make their requested changes. Because BPC can be maintained by the business, it puts the power back in their hands. BPC is seamlessly integrated with MS Office tools.

 

Comment From Ed

Can you comment on the use of embedded BPC and client strategy?

Sanjeev Mehta: Customers evaluating the BPC embedded model coming from a BPC 7.X/10.0/BI-IP environment can take advantage of new features, such as:

  • Deeper BW Integration – Ability to access data and masterdata from infocubes based on similar (Multiple Key Figure) data structure
  • Planning Sessions – Creation of “What-If” scenarios based on full data sets, optimized by SAP HANA
  • Matrix Security
  • Calculated Key Figures / Inverse Formulas - Dimension members defined by a formula* with input enablement
  • Cell Locking - Keep measure values fixed upon calculations when performing items such as disaggregations or inverse formulas

In short , BPC embedded is more applicable for customers familiar with the BI-IP environment.

 

BPC Features, Changes & Improvements

Comment From Daniel Juvinao

The use of member formulas is not a recommended practice in terms of performance or in the new version. Does 10.1 have an improvement for this feature?

Sanjeev Mehta: There have been significant performance enhancements for member formulas. Though having member formulas is not a recommended practice, they might be handy in certain scenarios.

Also, SAP is now working to move member formula execution to the HANA layer to improve performance. But this is still a work in progress.

 

Comment From Javier

How has legal consolidation changed in the latest versions of SAP BPC?

Sanjeev Mehta: It depends on the version we are comparing with...

From BPC 10.0 onward, SAP introduced Consolidation Manager.  Additionally on the Consolidation Business rules, they have included new rules to address equity pickup scenarios as required by IFRS.

 

Comment From Ghassan Al-Hashem

Can BPC utilize a set of KPIs against strategic objectives and goals?

Puneet Gupta: Although BPC can be used for this requirement, the product SSM (SAP Strategy Management) is the better fit for setting and tracking various KPIs against strategic objectives and goals.

 

Comment From Ghassan Al-Hashem

Does BPC support text fields as planning input? I mean to have text fields as planning input - not numeric - and be summarized, reported.

Puneet Gupta: Yes. BPC has the powerful feature of capturing comments against your planning data.

Planning data can only be numeric. However, you can use comments to support your planning inputs. Comments can even be stored at the higher levels in your dimension hierarchy.

 

Comment From Ghassan Al-Hashem

Can BPC utilized for all planning types, CAPEX and OPEX, for strategic, long, mid and short term plans?

Puneet Gupta: Yes. We have done numerous successful implementations of these natures.

 

Comment From Saurabh

Can we use the standard SAP objects like 0ACCOUNT or 0COMP_CODE in a consolidation model?

Sanjeev Mehta: For consolidation, we will be using SAP BPC Standard version & SAP BPC standard version does not support using SAP BW Objects directly as BPC dimensions. We will still need to create BPC dimensions and map them with SAP BW Objects.

 

Comment From Niranjan Kamishetti

What are changes in security levels in BPC 10.1?

Sanjeev Mehta:  SAP BPC 10.1 standard security works in the same way as BPC 10.0 security (which is integrated to NW security). In case of 10.1, embedded authorizations are controlled currently at the BW level.

 

Comment From Javier

Does the 10.1 unified version handle a key figure model (i. e., multiple key figures for one record)?

Karthik AJ,CPM Consulting: Yes, 10.1 Unified (Embedded) models run on key-figure modeling.

 

Comment From Chandra

Does 10.1 unified model support consolidation?

Sanjeev Mehta: Yes. The 10.1 Unified Model does not have consolidation, for which you can use 10.1 Classic. The 10.1 Unified / Embedded Model is leveraging BI - IP, with stronger integration with BW.

 

Comment From Archana

Can BAdIs be written on HANA database for performance improvement in BPC 10.1?

Puneet Gupta: You can implement the calculations using native HANA SQL Script that is triggered through an ABAP BAdI, which in turn is (as usual) triggered via Script Logic. The ABAP BAdI is also able to pass the calculation context (e.g. Entity, Category, Time) to the HANA procedure in order to limit the calculation’s data range.

 

Comment From Archana

Is there a change in signed data's length in BPC 10.1?

Sanjeev Mehta: Are you looking for large key figures in BPC? If yes, then you can look at the note 1829297 - Large Key Figure support for Planning and Consolidation 10.0.

 

Comment From Jenny

Can we automate the prompt selections when running the data manager package in the EPM add-in?

Puneet Gupta: The standard feature of BPC doesn’t support this flexibility. However, it can be customized to cater to this requirement.

 

BPC Integration with Excel, BI, and Other Solutions & Tools

 

Comment From Kathrin

How does integration with SAP GRC work?

Sanjeev Mehta: BPC uses NW authorizations. Integration of GRC with BPC is pretty similar to integration with NW.

You can create BPC roles in your own namespace and these roles can be assigned via SAP GRC Access Control compliance user provisioning.

 

Comment From Saurabh

How can we integrate any third-party tool in BPC, such as any Microsoft Excel-based tool?

Sanjeev Mehta: Please help elaborate as to what you want to integrate it for? Is it for data loading to BPC or is it an Add-in to Excel?

Comment From Saurabh

For example, any Excel-based tool that is used to load data in BPC and it will be like an add-in in Excel.

Sanjeev Mehta: BPC has seamless integration with Microsoft tools like Excel. So the Excel-based tool can be easily used to load data in BPC, e.g., through Input form OR uploading the file to BPC.

 

Comment From Kathrin

What reporting to visualization is typically done using BPC only, and what is done using other BusinessObjects tools?

Sanjeev Mehta: With seamless integration of BPC with MS Office tools, it is easy to create charts/visualisations, using the MS Office products. BusinessObjects tools like Dashboards can be used, extensively, for various Dashboarding requirements, which is, again, seamlessly integrated with BPC.

 

Comment From Prakash

Does BPC 10.1 support APO as well for supply chain planning DP and SP?

Sanjeev Mehta: There is no direct link between BPC 10.1 & APO or supply chain planning. These two planning solutions use the NW platform and can be integrated by leveraging the BW integration capabilities of both planning solutions.

 

Comment From Meiyalagan

In BPC 10.1 Unified Model, is the BW infoObject used directly as a BPC Dimension?

Puneet Gupta: Yes. The advantage of the unified model is that it can leverage on the existing BW infoObjects, to ensure a stronger integration with BW system.

 

Comment From Perry

Currently we are to load dimension members from BW master data. How can you load the GROUP dimension members from BW master data, having all dimension property have equivalent attributes? In our case when we load members with mapping for Parent_group propery, the DM fails.

Puneet Gupta: Is Parent_Group created as an attribute or hierarchy in BW system? It must be an attribute in the BW system. Another point to be noted is that the values in this attribute must be a valid master data.

 

Comment From Carlton Cheung

In 10, is there an easy way to display BPC comments via BI or BO reports (i.e. without have to write custom extractors on comments table)?

Puneet Gupta: Custom extractor will be needed to read the comments table; since the technical name of the comments table changes for each model.

 

Comment From Saurabh Gupta

How can we achieve one-click submission of SEM BCS in BPC 10.0?

Sanjeev Mehta: BPC provides the standard functionality of Data Manager Package, which the user can execute for their respective submissions.

The Business Process Flow (BPF) is very flexible to handle such tasks and can be easily configured as per the needs of different organizations.

 

Comment From Saurabh

Do we have something like one-click submission in UCMON in SEM BCS in BPC? In other words what we have as alternate of UCMON in BPC?

Sanjeev Mehta:  BPC has a Consolidation Monitor. This feature provides an overview of the whole consolidation process in one single screen. The monitor tracks the following items:

  • Status of the controls
  • Work Status
  • Execution status for currency conversion
  • Execution status for consolidation

This will be very useful for all the users  who need to monitor the progress of the consolidation process (at a group or at a local level), as they have all the information they need on one single screen.

 

Comment From Saurabh

Can we use the current SEM system as backend BW system for BPC?

Puneet Gupta: The SEM system is different from the BPC platform. Using SEM, you can use the products like BPS, BCS, CPM, etc. However, BPC is directly installed on top of BW, and hence BW is the backend for BPC. Having said that, if you are currently using SEM, all the data is already available in your BW system. This data can be used by the BPC system for further operations.

 

Comment From Saurabh

Currently we have an SEM BCS system for consolidations where we use one-click submission from UCMON. Do we have the same type of feature in BPC?

Sanjeev Mehta: The features are:

1. Business Process Flow - which is flexible enough to be configured for the diverse data submission needs of an organization.

2.Consolidation Monitor - this feature provides an overview of the whole consolidation process in

one single screen. The monitor tracks the following items:

  • Status of the controls
  • Work Status
  • Execution status for currency conversion
  • Execution status for consolidation

This feature will be very useful for all the users that need to monitor the progress of the consolidation process (at a group or at a local level), as they have all the information they need on a single screen.

 

Comment From Saurabh

In continuation of my previous question, we can use data from SEM but can we connect current SEM BW system with BPC such that whatever we create in front end in BPC will appear in SEM?

Puneet Gupta: Yes, technically, it’s possible. However, please note that SEM and BPC will use two separate cubes. So, there needs to be transfer mechanism between these two cubes. Also, proper mapping needs to be available during this transfer; since the structure of the data in SEM and BPC will be different.

 

Implementation & Migration

 

Comment From Mohammed Ilyas Ansari

What are the important factors to consider while migrating from 7.5 to 10?

Sanjeev Mehta: Migration from MS version to BPC 10 NW is primarily done manually as there is no direct integration path. But take note that as BPC NW can use BADI and other NetWeaver functionalities, few of the requirements can be addressed much better in NW.

So, you first need to identify which functionalities you are going to redefine & which ones you are planning to perform technical migration.

We have recently done few projects for similar requirement and will be able to provide more specific details, if we can understand your existing environment.

 

Comment From Vamsi

What are prerequisites to migrate BPC 7.5 MS to BPC 10.1 NW with or without HANA?

Sanjeev Mehta: Assuming BPC 10.1 NW is a new implementation, there are no prerequisites... But if you are looking at implementing BPC 10.1 NW on existing BW system, then BW should be upgraded to at least version 7.4 SP5.

 

Comment From Mohammed Ilyas Ansari

What is the prerequisite in the BI system for BPC 10.1 unified? Does the BI system needs to be in 7.4 version and is HANA mandatory?

Sanjeev Mehta:  For Unified version, yes, SAP HANA is mandatory and your BW should be at least version 7.4 SP5.

 

Comment From Archana

On what basis should we migrate to BPC 10.0 to BPC 10.1 - classic model or unified model?

Puneet Gupta: If you are already on BPC 10.0, then migrating to BPC 10.1 classic model will be more sensible, since both of them use the same architecture. On the other hand, the unified model has a different architecture, with the support of multiple key figures.

 

Comment From Javier

So when facing a new implementation from scratch, one has to decide whether to use the Classic model OR the Unified model?

Puneet Gupta: If you already using the older version of BPC, then migrating to the BPC 10.1 Classic model would make more sense, since they use the same underlying architecture (Account-based model).

On the other hand, if you are implementing a new BPC 10.1 system, you can opt for the Unified model, which is more integrated to the BW system. However, we need to remember that the Unified model doesn't support consolidation yet. Having said that, the classic and unified models can co-exist in a single platform.

 

Comment From Mohammed Ilyas Ansari

For BPC 7.5 to 10 migration, how much is the effort split between Basis & BPC consultants? Also does the migration tool take care of security configuration/setup?

Sanjeev Mehta:

1. Basis portion of migration is significantly less. We have done projects where Basis migration takes around 10 days per environment, including preparation. You additionally need to account for the time it takes to migrate data, if the BW version is migrated as well.

2. On the other hand, BPC effort is high if you are looking at redesigning all the templates based on EPM 10.0.

3. As there is a difference in security configuration, we still need to perform manual steps to define authorization (BPC 7.5 uses table-based authorization controlled in the .NET layer, while 10.0 uses NW layer).

 

Comment From Vivek

In your view, what will be the recommended approach to migrate BPC 7.5 NW to BPC 10.1 Classic - NW on HANA?

Puneet Gupta:  BPC 10.1 has two modeling options: the Classic / Standard Model (similar to traditional BPC) and the Unified / Embedded Model (leveraging the powerful features of BI - IP, with stronger integration with BW).

SAP has a standard mechanism to migrate from BPC 7.5 NW to BPC 10.1 Classic (or Standard) Model. Although this method takes care of most of the objects, there are certain objects that need to be modified, manually. A typical example for this would be BADIs. The BADI implementations needs to be adapted with new internal APIs of 10.1.

 

Comment From Carlton Cheung

After migrating from BPC 7.5 NW to 10, do the BPC Cube and Multiprovider technical names remain the same? And does SAP support writing BEx queries on the new BPC 10 cubes/multiproviders?

Sanjeev Mehta: Under Maintain models, SAP has provided an option to use BPC cubes as source for other areas. If this is enabled, then multi provider names will remain same.

But SAP does not support BEx queries on BW cubes/multiproviders yet.

 

Comment From Srinivas B

What is the advice you give to customers on SEM-BPS/BCS and BI-IP? What should be their logical next steps?

Puneet Gupta: SEM-BPS and BI-IP were SAP tools, for planning, budgeting and forecasting requirement whereas, BCS is the consolidation tool.

SAP BPC is the single and unified platform for catering to the planning, budgeting, forecasting, and consolidation requirements. SAP is developing and investing heavily into BPC. BPC is administered by Business Experts, not by IT. For any IT owned systems, a very significant pain point for an end user is having to wait for IT to make their requested changes. Because BPC can be maintained by the business, it puts the power back into their hands.

The ideal way forward would be to move to BPC from the existing platform, which can support simple to complex business requirements.

 

Comment From Carl

We are currently on BPC 7.5 NW and are considering upgrading to BPC 10 or 10.1. We have a large number (20+) of BPC models, most of which have complex custom logic (using BADI/ABAP) and custom VBA in the input schedules. How much time and effort should we allow to migrate each model to the new version? And is it ever easier to reimplement and model instead of using the migration tool?

Sanjeev Mehta: Migration from BPC 7.5 to 10.0 or 10.1 can be categorized into 3 steps...

1. After system upgrade, run the migration tool. This will migrate all the Objects, like dimensions, master data.

2. Then update the BADI's with new classes - This should be straight forward.

3. Update the templates to EPM Add-In reporting.

Main effort in migration is dependent on the reporting effort and the testing time & it really not based on the number of models.

Typically for 100 templates with around 10 BADIs, we take 3 to 4 months to complete migration and testing.

 

Comment From Guest

We are using BPC 10 NW and planning to migrate to BPC 10.1 "unified model". Do we need to rebuild the whole environment again from scratch?

Puneet Gupta: There is a migration approach from BPC 10.0 to BPC 10.1 classic model. On the other hand, the unified model is pretty similar to IP. Migration from 10.0 to the unified model is not feasible.

 

Comment From CY Chiu

How can we implement SAP BPC 10.1 in our company?

Sanjeev Mehta: The approach to the implementation of BPC depends on lot of factors. For example:

- Are you using any of the previous versions of BPC and planning to upgrade to BPC 10.1?

- What are your key Business Processes - Planning and/or Consolidation?

You can approach us with more specific requirement, so that we can advise you on the best possible approach.

 

Comment From Daniel Juvinao

In terms of effort, is it recommended to migrate directly from BPC 7.5 to BPC 10.1? And also, how long on average would it take for the migration of a classic model of 10 dimensions? Any recommendations?

Sanjeev Mehta: BPC 10.1 has two modeling options:  the Classic / Standard Model (similar to traditional BPC) and the Unified / Embedded Model (leveraging the powerful features of BI - IP, with stronger integration with BW)

SAP has a standard mechanism to migrate from BPC 7.5 NW to BPC 10.1 classic (or standard) model. Although this method takes care of most of the objects, there are certain objects that need to be modified manually.  A typical example for this would be BADIs. The BADI implementation needs to be adapted with new internal APIs of 10.1.

Typically, for a project of medium complexity, with around 100 templates, technical migration should take less than 3 months. However, the actual duration and effort of the migration depends on the complexity of the existing solution.

 

Comment From Daniel Juvinao

Does SAP have a tool - or plan to build a tool - to perform the migration in a more natural way from BPC 10 to BPC 10.1?

Sanjeev Mehta: BPC 10.1 has two modeling options: the Classic / Standard Model (similar to traditional BPC) and the Unified / Embedded Model (leveraging the powerful features of BI - IP, with stronger integration with BW). SAP has an easy and standard mechanism to migrate from BPC 10.0 NW to BPC 10.1 Classic (or Standard) Model.

 

Comment From Karthi

A question about BPC on HANA and optimization of logic: How can it be done to improve runtime?

Sanjeev Mehta: The upgrade from 10.0 to 10.1 is pretty smooth and easy. The web interface of BPC 10.1 is much improved with HTML5, with the capability to run on iOS and Android devices.

It also offers the features of PAK/IP in the unified (or embedded) modeling of 10.1.

 

Comment From Venkata Sabbasani

We are upgrading BW BPC 10.0 on DB2 SP11 to HANA Database migration only. Is the optimization needed right away to get faster performance? Or will upgrading just to the HANA Database alone improve performance out of the box like 50%?

Sanjeev Mehta: If the DB2 database is not currently with BLU acceleration, and if it is migrated to a HANA appliance, then there will be a slight improvement in performance.

However, if the HANA BPC component is installed, it will improve the performance significantly as claimed by SAP, which is more than 50%.

By leveraging native HANA features for calculations, the approach provides additional performance benefits over the use of ABAP.

We’ve used HANA as our primary calculation tool and have implemented different kinds of calculations. Some statistics:

1. Lite Optimization process went from 45 minutes in BPC 7.5 NW to 28 seconds with BPC on HANA.

2. Copy of 1.5 million records from one category to another decreased from 12 minutes in BPC 10 to 6 minutes with BPC on HANA.

3. 50% or greater increase in backend calculation time through fiddler when running reports in BPC on HANA.

 

Comment From Karthi

With BPC on HANA - optimization of logic: How it can be done to improve runtime?

Puneet Gupta: The good news is that since BPC 10.0 SP11 there’s an option to create a native HANA data model, originally meant to improve the write-back performance and internally used, for example, for the allocations.

As a side effect, the native HANA model also provides us with the ability to directly interact with the BPC data model in the HANA database. It allows us to come up with an approach to implement the calculations using native HANA SQL Script that is triggered through an ABAP BAdI, which in turn is (as usual) triggered via Script Logic.

The ABAP BAdI is also able to pass the calculation context (e.g. Entity, Category, Time) to the HANA procedure in order to limit the calculation’s data range.

The HANA procedure queries the data through a calculation view that unions data from the BPC cube’s OLAP view as well as the delta table, which includes the write-back data that hasn’t been merged back into the main table yet. The calculation is then performed using SQL Script relying either directly on SQL statements or the procedural features, such as loops.

At the end, the procedure calculates a delta between the result data and the current cube data and writes it back into the BPC-generated write-back table.

 

Comment From CY Chiu

What is the impact of implementing BPC without HANA?

Sanjeev Mehta: From a product perspective, BPC HANA and non-HANA are pretty much the same. HANA is applicable for larger enterprises that require processing of very large volume of data.\

 

Comment From C Mooney ESB

In 2013 we successfully implemented SAP BPC 10.0. It is stable and working well. There is a policy in our company to apply upgrades/service packs every 2 years. But as the system is working well, and it only recently went live, there is a reluctance by the business to upgrade. What are the advantages of moving from 10.0 to 10.1?

Puneet Gupta:  The upgrade from 10.0 to 10.1 is pretty smooth and easy. The web interface of BPC 10.1 is much improved with HTML5, with the capability to run on iOS and Android devices.

It also offers the features of PAK/IP in the Unified (or Embedded) modeling of 10.1

 

Comment From Mohammed Ilyas Ansari

How seamlessly can UJBR & UJT_MIGRATE_75_to_10 be used for migrating from 7.5 to 10? How do EVDRE reports get converted to EPM reports during this migration? Do we need to consider any additional points for EVDRE reports conversion to EPM reports?

Karthik AJ: The UJBR program can be used to backup and restore in to your 10 environment and the UJT_MIGRATE_75_to_10 will migrate your environment (appset) from 7.5 to 10. SAP has provided an EvDre migration program to convert the EvDre reports to EPM reports. This EvDre migration comes with the EPM add-in itself.

After this migration, you will be able to use and benefit from the EPM add-in features.

 

Comment From Carlton Cheung

What are the biggest issues or traps you have found when migrating from BPC 7.5 to BPC 10.1?

Puneet Gupta: BPC 10.1 has 2 different types of modeling techniques: Classic / Standard mode and the Unified / Embedded model.

SAP has a migration methodology from BPC 7.5 to BPC 10.1 Classic model. This process migrates most of the objects. However, excel templates and BADIs need special attention.

 

Comment From Guest

We have BPC 7.5 MS version, and we need some advice on the migration to BPC 10 on NW.

Sanjeev Mehta: Migration from MS version to BPC 10 NW is primarily done manually, as there is no direct integration path. But take note that as BPC NW can use BADIs and other NetWeaver functionalities, few of the requirements can be addressed much better in NetWeaver.

So, you first need to identify which functionalities you are going to redefine and which ones you are planning to perform technical migration.

We have recently done a few projects with similar requirements and will be able to provide more specific details, if we can understand your existing environment.

 

Comment From Niranjan Kamishetti

How do we transfer the transaction data from the Unified to the Classic model? Is there any process?

Sanjeev Mehta: The unified model primarily uses BW cubes for processing. So, we can use standard load to infoprovider to move data from the unified to the classic model.

 

Comment From Guest

During migration from version 7.5 to 10, what are the special steps we need to take?

Karthik AJ,CPM Consulting: SAP has a standard mechanism to migrate from BPC 7.5 NW to BPC 10.1 classic (or standard) model. Although this method takes care of most of the objects, there are certain objects that need to be modified, manually.

A typical example for this would be BADIs. The BADI implementations need to be adapted with new internal APIs of 10.1.

 

Comment From Hery Darmawan

We are implementing SAP BPC 10.0. We have had problems with the initial BPC-Web Logon (getting hang or blank screen). We have raised an OSS Message and are working with SAP BPC support team but still no resolution yet. We have also followed several recommendations from SAP Notes and Forums. Do you have a similar experience on this?

Puneet Gupta: If the version of IE is 11, one of the common reasons we have seen for this kind of problem is the compatibility setting of IE. This can be resolved by enabling compatibility view in IE 11 for the BPC URL/IP.

 

Comment From Guest

Do we need to upgrade ERP to the latest ESP if currently we are on ESP 5.0 and would like to implement BPC 10.1?

Sanjeev Mehta: There is no dependency of ERP ESP for integration with BPC 10.1 as it uses BW data sources for integration as BW can integrated with all versions of SAP ERP.

 

Comment From Vivek

In your view, what will be the recommended approach to migrate BPC 7.5 MS to BPC 10.1 Classic - NW on HANA?

Puneet Gupta: Since, the underlying architecture is very different in NW from MS, there will be a need to manually recreate the objects. Hence, this can be considered as a new implementation.

 

Comment From Vivek

In your view, how stable is the BPC 10.1 product? What are the critical watchpoints in implementation of BPC 10.1?

Sanjeev Mehta: We have started implementing BPC 10.1 classic version for a customer as soon as GA was announced and so far we did not find any major issues that impact the project. So, it remains as stable as 10.0, with new web UI.

 

Comment From Vamsi

We have BW 7.4 SP5 and going to HANA soon. How much effort is needed to migrate the old BPC 7.5 MS Application on to BPC 10.1 on NW? Migration or reimplementation - which is the best option?

Sanjeev Mehta: Typically, we would prefer a reimplementation as it gives better chance to use HANA & 10.1 capabilities.

For example:  We have done a project where we have combined 3 detailed cubes in older version to 1 cube in BPC 10.0 on HANA and this helped in seamless data flow & in reporting as well.

We will need more specific details to give you better recommendation.

 

Comment From draksharam

Is SAP coming up with configurable components for SAP BPC rapid implementation for each industry, considering that BPC is only a technical tool right now, with all the business process including financial modeling to datasource activation to be done by consultant? It takes considerable implementation hours in its current form.

Puneet Gupta: SAP has an RDS [Rapid Deployment Solution] for the common planning scenarios like Operational Headcount, Extended Financials etc.

Based on our prior experience of 100+ successful implementations, across various industries, we have designed a few industry-specific CPM proprietary add-ons that can help expedite your overall implementation timelines.

 

Comment From Guest

We are on BPC7.5 NW and are considering upgrading to BPC10 or 10.1. We a large number of existing BPC models (20+) most of which have custom logic (using BADI/ABAP) and VBA on the input schedules.

Sanjeev Mehta: Migration from BPC 7.5 to 10.0 or 10.1 can be categorised into 3 steps...

1. After system upgrade, run the migration tool. This will migrate all the Objects, like dimensions, master data

2. Then update the BADI's with new classes - This should be straight forward

3. Update the templates to EPM Add-In reporting

Main effort in migration is dependent on the reporting effort and the testing time, and really is not based on the number of models.

Typically for 100 templates with around 10 BADIs we take 3 to 4 months to complete migration and testing.

 

Scripting, FOX, and BADIs

Comment From Karthi

A  question on BPC 10.1 script logic - What is the compatibility with old versions?

Puneet Gupta: The Classic BPC 10.1 model uses the same syntax as used in the previous versions of BPC.

On the other hand, the Unified model of BPC 10.1 provides a powerful FOX Formula for designing complex logics, as used in IP.

 

Comment From Raju

FOX can replace BADIs?

Karthik AJ,CPM Consulting:  Yes, FOX scripting can help to handle complex calculations. It can be used to perform calculations instead of BADI.

 

Comment From Jason

What is FOX script?

Karthik AJ: FOX script is the programming language used in BPC 10.1 - Embedded (Unified) models similar to the BI-IP/PAK. This will help to perform complex calculations in BPC.

 

Comment From Raju

Does the 10.1 Classic model support FOX?

Sanjeev Mehta: No. Only BPC 10.1 Unified (or Embedded) model supports FOX script.

 

Comment From Guest

Is there the inclusion of FOX programming instead of logic scripts in the unified solution?

Karthik Jayapal: Yes, FOX script programming is used in the unified/embedded solution of BPC 10.1 instead of logic scripts. Logic scripts are currently supported in the classic/standard solution of BPC 10.1

 

Comment From Javier

Is there any support to migrate script logic to FOX-like logic?

Karthik AJ,CPM Consulting: No, we have to build the FOX logic. FOX scripts will run on Embedded (Unified) solutions, which will be based on key-figure modelling. Script logic will run on standard (classic) solutions, based on Account-based modeling.

 

Looking Ahead

Comment From Snez

This is perhaps out of the scope of today's discussion - but what would you say to a Business that currently uses BW 7.3 IP as they are planning platform - should they and why migrate to BPC?

Sanjeev Mehta: As SAP recommends, go forward product for planning will be BPC and BPC Embedded or Unified version was mainly designed to address next steps of BI-IP customers.

BPC Unified version uses PAK modelling (same as BI-IP), with ability to report using EPM Add-In, define Business process flows in BPC.

So, you take the advantage of strong BI-IP + EPM Add-In Reporting or process flows using BPC Embedded/Unified.

 

Comment From Jason

We're planning to implement USGAAP starter kit for BPC consolidation. I think the automation level and upgrade version is somewhat less than IFRS kit. Do you think SAP will still go with a two- track approach with same effort?

Sanjeev Mehta:  We will need to check with SAP on this. As of now, SAP is focusing more on IFRS as it is widely adapted globally.

 

Allison Martin: Thank you very much to Puneet, Kranthi, and Sanjeev for joining us today. I’m looking forward to seeing you in Singapore in just a few weeks.

Sanjeev Mehta:  You are welcome. Thank you for all the readers for their interesting questions as well.

Puneet Gupta: Thank you for all your questions. We are happy to continue the conversations over a phone call or in a face to face meeting - please email us at infoasia@boaweb.com. Please do not hesitate to contact us, we are happy to help!

Please also feel free to contact me with any additional questions. You can tweet me on @Puneet7777. You can also visit us at SAP Financials Singapore at Booth 410. It would be our pleasure to meet you there.

Allison Martin: Thank you to everyone who joined us for today’s chat.   We’ll wrap up the Q&A now as Puneet, Kranthi and Sanjeev finalize their last posts.

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COMMENTS

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What are the system reequirements for BPC 10.1 Embedded

1/11/2017 1:39:49 PM

Is there a requirement to be on S/4 HANA Finance in order to upgrade from BPC 10 Netweaver. We are currently on Business Suite for HANA today.

Ravi1

3/16/2015 2:10:11 PM

Can anyone explain the improvements in Logic scripts while moving from BPC 7.5 MS to BPC 10 MS with SP 19 or 20? Thanks, Ravi

Kristine Erickson

1/5/2015 1:14:47 PM

Anirban DevBurma from CPM Consulting also provided a more specific response to the question of migration steps from BPC 10.0 to SAP BPC 10.0:

Step 1: Use the Tcode UJBR (For backup and restore)
Step 2: Select the BPC 10.0 NW environment (to be migrated) for backup and execute backup
Step 3: Restore the 10.0 NW environment to BPC 10.1 NW Classic
Step 4: Run the Migration program UJT_MIGRATE_75_TO_101(migrate resources used to store in BUI Layer to 10.1 web repository) to make the objects of BPC 10.0 NW compatible with BPC 10.1 NW Classic environment

Kristine Erickson

11/6/2014 10:01:47 AM

Natallia, Thanks for your question - we heard from a lot of customers in the same situation at our latest conferences and during this Q&A. I'd point you to the question from one reader here during the Q&A:

Q. Does SAP have a tool - or plan to build a tool - to perform the migration in a more natural way from BPC 10 to BPC 10.1?

Sanjeev Mehta: BPC 10.1 has two modeling options: the Classic / Standard Model (similar to traditional BPC) and the Unified / Embedded Model (leveraging the powerful features of BI - IP, with stronger integration with BW). SAP has an easy and standard mechanism to migrate from BPC 10.0 NW to BPC 10.1 Classic (or Standard) Model.

I hope this is helpful starting point.

Natallia

10/15/2014 10:10:07 AM

We are already using BPC 10.0 and planning to migrate on BPC 10.1 Classic Model. What do we need for that and what exactly the steps for migration?


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