SAP was founded in 1972 as a business applications company. The vendor today employs more than 100,330 people worldwide and has a turnover of €24.74 billion, making it one of the largest business software vendors in the world. The vendor’s portfolio of analytics solutions encompasses cloud-based and on-premises solutions for business intelligence, predictive analytics and planning.
SAP’s original strategy was to view analytics as an extension of its all-inclusive ERP offerings. Therefore, the company launched SAP Business Warehouse (BW) in 1998, a completely packaged and plug-and-play analytics solution designed to complement SAP ERP applications. Today, integrated analytics, planning and predictive capabilities are available in SAP Analytics Cloud for cloud or SAP BusinessObjects BI and SAP Business Planning and Consolidation (BPC) for on-premises deployments. SAP is investing heavily in developing SAP Analytics Cloud, which is the central component of its analytics, planning and predictive portfolio. SAP Analytics Cloud offers functionality for all individual planning activities in companies including strategic, operational, functional and financial planning, which integrates with all major SAP enterprise applications (e.g., SAP S/4HANA). SAP also continues to provide on-premises solutions such as SAP BusinessObjects BI and SAP BPC. In the cloud analytics segment, additional solutions such as SAP Digital Boardroom and SAP Analytics Hub (both part of SAP Analytics Cloud, which is built on the SAP Cloud Platform) are available.
SAP BPC – SAP’s recommended product for those requiring an on-premises planning and financial consolidation solution – was originally developed by OutlookSoft and based on Microsoft SQL Server as a database platform. Since the acquisition, SAP has developed a second version for BW. Since release 10.1, capabilities from BW Integrated Planning (SAP’s own former BW-based planning product) have been introduced into SAP BPC. The product is an integrated, Microsoft Excel and web-based solution for planning and financial consolidation that can be used to develop individual, workflow-based planning applications for various kinds of planning topics (sales, financials, etc.). The latest version (11.1) uses BW/4HANA as a basis. 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 planning 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/4HANA through write-back enabled queries.
Additional on-premises analytics capabilities in the SAP portfolio are available via SAP BusinessObjects BI. These are designed to work together with SAP Analytics Cloud. SAP BusinessObjects BI incorporates various end-user tools with a moderate level of integration. The suite contains strong individual products as well as several clients for various types of analysis and capabilities for building custom guided analytics applications that can be published to the web or mobile devices.
User & Use Cases
Besides planning, customers mainly use SAP BPC for standard/enterprise reporting (71 percent), ad hoc query and reporting (69 percent), basic data analysis (64 percent) and financial consolidation (64 percent). 26 percent of respondents plan to use it for advanced analysis in the future. SAP BPC targets large and mid-sized companies across all industries. 70 percent of our sample of SAP BPC customers come from large companies (more than 2,500 employees) with a median of 150 users (including 75 using planning functionality). However, the impressive mean of 516 users (341 for planning) indicates there are also several significantly larger implementations. 64 percent of SAP BPC users are planning users – very close to the survey average of 65 percent – reflecting the fact that SAP BPC is essentially an integrated planning and financial consolidation tool.
Current vs. planned use (besides planning)
Percentage of employees using SAP BPC
Planning users (as a percentage of all users)
Total number of users per company
Planning users per company
Company size (number of employees)
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