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 BPC is SAP’s recommended product for those requiring an integrated on-premises planning and financial consolidation solution. The product was originally developed by OutlookSoft and based on Microsoft SQL Server as a database platform. Since its acquisition by SAP, a second version for BW has been developed. Capabilities from BW Integrated Planning (SAP’s own former BW-based planning product) were introduced into SAP BPC in release 10.1. 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 (e.g., sales, financials, etc.). The latest version uses BW/4HANA as its 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 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
70 percent of SAP BPC users are planning users – just around the survey average of 69 percent – reflecting the fact that SAP BPC is essentially an integrated planning and financial consolidation platform. This is also born out in its typical use cases. Customers leverage SAP BPC mainly for financial planning (65 percent) but also operational planning (56 percent). Here, planning takes place at different aggregation levels. SAP BPC is used for budgeting (82 percent), forecasting (61 percent) and strategic planning (42 percent). Besides planning, customers mainly use it for financial consolidation (58 percent), standard/enterprise reporting (55 percent), analysis (51 percent) and ad hoc query (50 percent). Many respondents also plan to use it for strategic planning (31 percent), forecasting (26 percent) and financial planning (24 percent) in the future.
SAP BPC targets mid-sized and large companies across all industries. 75 percent of our sample of SAP BPC customers come from large companies (more than 2,500 employees) with a median of 135 users (including 100 using planning functionality), but the mean of 416 users (227 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 BPC
Planning users (as a percentage of all users)
Company size (number of employees)
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