SAP BW-Integrated Planning (BW-IP)
SAP was founded in 1972 as a business applications company, long before it entered the BI market with the large acquisition of Business Objects in 2008. Today SAP is one of the largest applications vendors worldwide.
Its original strategy was to view BI as an extension of its all-inclusive ERP offerings. In 1998 SAP launched SAP Business Warehouse (BW), a completely packaged BI solution designed to complement SAP ERP applications. SAP’s BW offering was previously in line with the vendor’s general long-term policy of offering all-inclusive enterprise software. The goal was to provide a plug-and-play BI solution that would make it fast and easy for SAP customers to benefit from BI. However, to meet the growing BI needs of its customers, SAP acquired Business Objects (BO), OutlookSoft and Pilot Software back in 2007 and 2008. The portfolio of BI and analytics solutions, also called SAP BusinessObjects Analytics, today encompasses solutions in the following categories: business intelligence, predictive analytics and performance management on-premises and in the cloud.
SAP BW-Integrated Planning (BW IP) is BW’s inherent planning environment and was strategic for SAP and its BW customer base for a long time. However, due to the acquisition of OutlookSoft in 2007 (now SAP BO Planning and Consolidation (BPC)) and the subsequently developed BW version of BPC, BW IP is no longer a strategic product. BPC is now SAP’s strategic planning product and was merged with BW-IP in its current version (10.1). BPC 10.1 runs on BW on HANA and combines IP’s BW integration and back-end functionality with BPC’s ease of use and front-end functionality.
For planning applications, BW-IP uses BW’s on-board functionality to create data models (cubes), define planning logic and set up input-ready queries in BW. Such technical tasks are not suitable for business users and should be done by skilled IT users. This is why planning applications created with BW-IP typically support centralized and standardized planning scenarios for collecting planning data from a large number of planners in a bottom-up planning approach. In contrast to BPC, BW-IP is not business user oriented and does not support flexible planning in business departments.
User & Use Cases
SAP BW-IP is a pure planning product. Apart from planning, the most frequent use cases with BW-IP are standard/enterprise reporting, ad hoc query and basic data analysis within planning scenarios.
84 percent of SAP BW-IP users are planning users – compared to the survey average of 60 percent – reflecting the fact that BW-IP is essentially a planning tool and not a BI tool.
SAP BW-IP is mainly used by mid-size and large companies in all industries. 74 percent of our sample of BW-IP customers come from large companies (more than 2,500 employees) with a median of 100 users (with 90 of them using planning functionality), but the mean of 456 users (239 for planning) indicates there are also significantly larger implementations.
Current vs. planned use (besides planning)
Percentage of employees using SAP BW-Integrated Planning
Planning users (as a percentage of all users)
Total number of users per company
Planning users per company
Company size (number of employees)