SAP Analytics Cloud
SAP was founded in 1972 as a business applications company. Today, the vendor has a turnover of €27.84 billion, employs more than 110,000 people, and is one of the largest business software vendors in the world.
SAP’s analytics portfolio encompasses cloud and on-premises solutions for BI, analytics and enterprise planning. From a strategy perspective, SAP is investing heavily in innovation in the cloud while still supporting and developing its on-premises solutions. SAP’s analytics and EPM solutions are spread across different product lines. For planning and budgeting, SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC) and the on-premises solution SAP Business Planning and Consolidation (BPC) are the core offerings. Both are supplemented by SAP S/4HANA Finance for Group Reporting for financial consolidation and close. SAP Analytics Cloud plays a central role in the company’s BI and analytics portfolio and combines comprehensive capabilities into one cloud environment. It is built inside the SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP) and on top of SAP HANA in-memory technology.
SAP Analytics Cloud, SAP’s strategic cloud offering and analytics platform, brings together capabilities such as BI, augmented and predictive analytics, and planning for different user roles into one integrated platform. The product is continuously becoming richer in features such as application design, planning and predictive functionality as well as being enhanced with prebuilt business content packages (e.g., solutions for finance, sales and marketing, HR and various industries). The product is fully web-based with an HTML5 web client and a Microsoft Office 365 Excel add-in. SAP Analytics Cloud has a modern and user-friendly UI and offers functionality for all individual planning activities including strategic, operational, functional and financial planning. It integrates with all major SAP enterprise applications (e.g., SAP S/4HANA, SAP HANA, SAP Data Warehouse Cloud (DWC), SAP Integrated Business Planning (IBP)). In addition to using it with its own data models, SAP Analytics Cloud can also be used as a front end to query selected SAP data sources (e.g., with SAP HANA, SAP BW/4HANA, SAP Universes, etc.). Customers can take advantage of this live connection to implement hybrid cloud scenarios without moving, caching or persisting the data into the cloud. In recent versions of Analytics Cloud, SAP has strengthened the product’s integration and connectivity with SAP and non-SAP sources, its planning, predictive and workflow functionality as well as its reporting and dashboarding capabilities through a new optimized story experience.
SAP BPC is SAP’s recommended product for those requiring an integrated on-premises planning and financial consolidation solution. As an additional front end option, SAP BPC customers can combine SAP Analytics Cloud with the product’s planning engine. SAP Analytics Cloud can access SAP BPC’s Embedded model (data and structures) using a ‘BPC Live Connection’ without replicating data, thus providing write-back options for planning data directly into SAP BPC’s planning model in BW through write-back enabled queries.
User & Use Cases
Just 40 percent of SAP Analytics Cloud users are planning users – significantly below the survey average of 69 percent – reflecting the fact that SAP Analytics Cloud is essentially an integrated platform with planning but also strong analytics functionality. This is also born out in its typical use cases. Customers leverage SAP Analytics Cloud mainly for operational planning (63 percent) but also financial planning (50 percent). Here, planning takes place at different aggregation levels. SAP Analytics Cloud is used for budgeting (53 percent), forecasting (48 percent) and strategic planning (31 percent). Besides planning, customers mainly use it for dashboards/BI applications (88 percent), standard/enterprise reporting (78 percent) and ad hoc query (55 percent). Many respondents also plan to use it for strategic planning (62 percent), forecasting (48 percent), financial planning (44 percent) and budgeting (44 percent) in the future.
SAP Analytics Cloud targets mid-sized and large companies across all industries. 67 percent of our sample of SAP Analytics Cloud customers come from large companies (more than 2,500 employees) with a median of 250 users (including 50 using planning functionality), but the mean of 1,716 users (323 for planning) indicates there are also several significantly larger implementations.
Current vs. planned use (planning use cases)
Current vs. planned use (besides planning)
Total number of users per company
Planning users per company
Percentage of employees using SAP Analytics Cloud
Planning users (as a percentage of all users)
Company size (number of employees)
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