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 acquisition of Business Objects (BO) 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. Therefore, SAP launched SAP Business Warehouse (BW) in 1998, a completely packaged and plug-and-play BI solution designed to complement SAP ERP applications. Today, SAP is investing heavily in building SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC), its next generation analytics platform which combines BI, planning and predictive analytics in one decision-making platform delivered as software as a service. It also continues to provide on-premises solutions such as SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise and SAP Business Planning and Consolidation (BPC). In the cloud analytics segment, SAP offers additional solutions such as SAP Digital Boardroom and SAP Analytics Hub (both built on SAP Analytics Cloud) and SAP S/4HANA Finance for Group Reporting.
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 Business 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 on-premises planning product and release 10.1 saw capabilities from BW Integrated Planning introduced into BPC. BPC 10.1 runs on BW on HANA and combines IP’s integration in BW with BPC’s ease of use. 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 performed 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 aimed at business users and does not support flexible planning in business departments. With SAP Analytics Cloud, SAP’s strategic cloud planning product, a third planning product offering is now available to SAP customers.
Additional BI capabilities in the SAP Analytics portfolio are available via SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise for on-premises deployments. These are designed to work together with SAP Analytics Cloud. SAP BO 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 BI applications that can be published to the web or mobile devices. The suite currently consists of the following products: SAP Crystal Reports, SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence, SAP Lumira and SAP Analysis for Office. Some products leverage the central Universe semantic layer to access data sources, while others access data sources directly. Organizations can access and manage both on-premises and cloud content from SAP and third parties with SAP Analytics Hub, part of SAP Analytics Cloud.
User & Use Cases
Besides planning, customers mainly use SAP BW-IP for standard/enterprise reporting (79 percent), ad hoc query and reporting (72 percent) and basic data analysis (64 percent). 36 percent of respondents plan to use it for advanced analysis and 33 percent for dashboards/scorecards in the future. SAP BW-IP targets mid-sized companies and large corporations across all industries. 70 percent of our sample of SAP BW-IP customers come from large companies (more than 2,500 employees) with a median of 100 users (with 75 of them using planning functionality). However, the mean of 1,659 users (418 for planning) indicates there are also some significantly larger implementations. 63 percent of SAP BW-IP users are planning users – exactly equal to the survey average – reflecting the fact that SAP BW-IP is essentially a planning tool rather than a BI tool.
Current vs. planned use (besides planning)
Percentage of employees using SAP BW IP
Planning users (as a percentage of all users)
Total number of users per company
Planning users per company
Company size (number of employees)
Want to see the whole picture?
BARC’s Vendor Performance Summary contains an overview of The Planning Survey results based on feedback from SAP BW Integrated Planning (BW-IP) users, accompanied by expert analyst commentary.Purchase the Vendor Performance Summary