An Introduction to SAP Business Planning and Consolidation: The Reporting Features

  • by Ryan Leask, Senior Director, Solution Strategy for SAP’s Business User and Line of Business Sales Organization
  • Prakash Darji, Vice President and General Manager, Data Warehousing Solutions and SAP HANA Platform, SAP
  • October 15, 2008
Learn about the reporting features available in SAP Business Planning and Consolidation, including how to use existing report templates and how to build your own.
Key Concept

Organizations use a mix of business intelligence (BI) and analytic applications. Business intelligence refers to underlying technology and tools used to analyze, transform, store, and report on data. Analytic applications are the use of those BI tools for a specific business use case. SAP classifies analytic applications into three further categories: vertical analytic applications, horizontal analytic applications, and embedded analytics. Vertical analytic applications are designed for a single industry, such as retail, manufacturing, or banking. Horizontal analytic applications are targeted for different lines of business in an organization, such as finance, purchasing, or sales. Embedded analytics refers to insight that is embedded directly into the transactional products found in the SAP Business Suite, including SAP ERP, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and Supply Chain Management (SCM).

Performance management is about the methodologies, processes, and systems that companies use to drive and monitor organizational performance. Organizations have to decide on the right strategies to pursue; how to make sure the workforce is aligned with the corporate objectives that were set; how to allocate scarce resources to various strategies being pursued; how to track actual performance against the planned objectives; and many other such complex decisions.

SAP Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) for Finance is a horizontal analytic application targeted largely toward finance. As finance is a shared department that directly affects all other business units in an organization, so too do the EPM applications. That is, despite being designed largely for finance, the applications in the EPM suite are regularly used at the senior executive level and across all other departments. For information on market consolidation related to EPM, see the sidebar, “EPM Acquisitions."

We’ll introduce you to SAP Business Planning and Consolidation (BPC), which is designed to deal with planning (including budgeting and forecasting) and consolidation (both legal and management) requirements. In addition, BPC also solves reporting (particularly financial reporting) requirements. Technically, there are two separate versions of BPC — one for Microsoft technology and one for SAP NetWeaver technology. In this article, we’ll specifically focus on the reporting capabilities common between the two, and in our next article, we’ll look at planning and consolidation features. For more on the different versions of BPC, see the sidebar “BPC Versions.”

Ryan Leask

Ryan Leask currently runs the SAP BusinessObjects Planning and Consolidation solution management team for SAP, based out of Palo Alto, CA. Prior to this position, he led the EPM solution architecture team with a main focus on the design of SAP BusinessObjects Planning and Consolidation 7.0, version for SAP NetWeaver. Ryan has also worked on SAP xApp Analytics, SAP NetWeaver Visual Composer, SAP NetWeaver BW, SAP SEM, ABAP, SAP CRM, analytics/data mining, and whatever else seemed interesting. He has also co-authored SAP xApp Analytics (SAP PRESS, 2006), written many articles, and presented at numerous conferences.

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Prakash Darji

Prakash Darji is an experienced professional with more than 10 years of end-to-end experience in enterprise software. He has a broad depth of experience including corporate strategy, sales, product management, architecture, and development. He has experience in product launch activities, including positioning, packaging, and pricing. He has delivered numerous product releases in a variety of capacities through his career. He thrives on building high-performing, scalable teams to achieve strategic deliverables, whether they close strategic sales deals, roll in product features, or roll out new releases. He is a recurring author for several publications and a speaker at SAP conferences around the world. Prakash is on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/in/prakashdarji.

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