SAP was founded in 1972 as a business applications company. Today, the vendor has a turnover of €27.34 billion, employs more than 100,000 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. SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC) and the on-premises solution SAP Business Planning and Consolidation (BPC) are its core offerings for planning and budgeting. Both are supplemented by SAP S/4HANA Finance for Group Reporting for financial consolidation and close. Together with SAP BusinessObjects BI (on-premises), SAP Analytics Cloud also plays a central role in the company’s BI and analytics portfolio. Advanced analytics functionality is also available in SAP Analytics Cloud.
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 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 through write-back enabled queries.
User & Use Cases
65 percent of SAP BPC users are planning users – just around the survey average of 64 percent – reflecting the fact that SAP BPC is essentially a planning tool with integrated financial consolidation functionality. This is also reflected in the reported use cases this year. Customers leverage SAP BPC for financial planning (65 percent) and operational planning (59 percent). Here, planning takes place at different aggregation levels. SAP BPC is particularly used for budgeting (81 percent) and forecasting (52 percent). Besides planning, customers mainly use SAP BPC for financial consolidation (63 percent), standard/enterprise reporting (54 percent), ad hoc query (54 percent) and data analysis (52 percent). Many also plan to use it for forecasting (33 percent), strategic planning (31 percent) and operational planning (30 percent) in the future.
SAP BPC targets mid-sized and large companies across all industries. 67 percent of our sample of SAP BPC customers come from large companies (more than 2,500 employees) with a median of 100 users (including 50 using planning functionality), but the mean of 359 users (191 for planning) indicates there are also several larger implementations.
Current vs. planned use (planning use cases)
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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