In this article, we will solely cover planning and simulation functionalities, excluding the consolidation part, as SAC Planning lacks native consolidation features. We assume the reader is familiar with BPC; nonetheless, we will provide a brief introduction.
As of today, doubts frequently arise among customers who have BPC regarding whether to migrate to a more modern planning tool that adjusts more dynamically to challenging times, governed by business needs, with helpful graphical elements facilitating easily built simulation scenarios, and so forth.
It’s true that BPC is a tool that many companies have chosen to create robust plans filled with complex logic, validations, authorizations, and workflows where you can get lost. Therefore, we understand the concern about not making the snowball bigger and wanting to adapt to the new tools available in the market.
One of those tools comes from SAP and its strong commitment to SAC. It’s about SAC Planning, which resolves a large part of these uncertainties that hover over the heads of those responsible for Budget and other planning scenarios.
SAC is not just a planning tool, as it allows us to have dashboards and advanced analytics simultaneously.
About the tools we are comparing, there are several versions, and next, we would like to position you:
BPC (Business Planning & Consolidation) – the current planning and consolidation tool from SAP. It has two quite distinct aspects.
- BPC Standard. On BW. With its own models. It’s a standalone tool.
- BPC Embedded (BPC 11). On BW (on/4 Hana). It is the evolution of BW IP, using the new suite of BW objects. It’s a fully integrated tool on BW.
- BPC Optimized (On S/4 Hana). Directly on the transactional system.
SAC Planning. New SAP tool that allows for more visual, collaborative planning, with new elements for simulation and advanced analytics.
- Cloud Version: Cloud-based version of the tool that enables all available options. It includes the creation of versions, what-if analysis, value driver trees, execution of process logics, user comments, workflows, and more. Data can be read from multiple sources and can be downloaded back to the BW.
- Live Version: It is used as a front-end tool with BPC, consuming the data directly. Many functionalities of the cloud version are not available in this version. Since comparing BPC with this version doesn’t make sense, we will address separately how to use SAC Planning in its LIVE version in another chapter.
At BIMEX we see the following key factors, if you want to replace BPC with SAC Planning Cloud version:
It’s basic, but it’s something to keep in mind.
Do you want to keep your data in the cloud?
2. Level of complexity
SAC Planning is a powerful tool but it doesn’t cover all the functionalities that SAP BPC currently provides. Data slices, characteristic relationships, BADIs, ABAP logic, interconnectivity with BW, and more.
3. Level of detail
The number of dimensions and data used in planning influences the choice of planning tool. SAC has certain limitations regarding the dimensions and the number of rows to load.
BPC is a tool that, in its Standard version, is quite independent from IT, but in its Embedded version, the dependence increases.
In the case of SAC, it’s easier for a business user to take the lead with the tool.
If complex simulation exercises are necessary, both the classical visualization tools of SAC and the specific Value Driver Tree planning element can be extremely helpful in decision-making.
In conclusion, there’s no single answer as to whether you can replace your current BPC planning with SAC Planning. It heavily depends on the factors mentioned earlier.
We always advise our clients to start with small-scale implementations, especially when it comes to these planning tools, where there is a certain degree of uncertainty and risk.
Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll assist you in evaluating how complex it would be to begin using SAC Planning in your company. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you’d like to see a demo as well.