Integrate Your SAP Data into SAP BusinessObjects Planning and Consolidation

  • by Jens Koerner, Product Manager, Mobile Platform, SAP Labs
  • September 11, 2009
The purpose and the semantics of transaction level data in SAP ERP can differ significantly from what business users expect to see in SAP BusinessObjects Planning and Consolidation when they perform their forecasting and consolidation activities. Taking these differences into account when integrating data into SAP BusinessObjects Planning and Consolidation is often more complex than it seems at first glance. The key to successful data integration is to understand the semantic and technical aspects of it, as illustrated by several examples.
Key Concept

Originally SAP Business Planning and Consolidation (formerly Outlooksoft) was mainly used for departmental implementations. Therefore, data integration challenges were simplified by taking a data mart approach instead of an enterprise approach. Going forward, however, SAP shops want to take SAP BusinessObjects Planning and Consolidation to the next enterprise level. The question of data integration becomes much more prevalent as different departmental data mappings and business rules start to contend with each other.

SAP BusinessObjects Planning and Consolidation projects are more susceptible than most SAP NetWeaver BW implementations when it comes to neglecting data integration. This is not only because SAP positions SAP BusinessObjects Planning and Consolidation as an application that the business (usually the finance department) can own, but also because much more business process integration needs to be addressed to deliver an SAP BusinessObjects Planning and Consolidation project successfully.

Anyone who has implemented SAP ERP knows that even in an enterprise application designed for end-to-end integrated business processes, a great deal of time is spent data mapping within and between SAP modules — whether it is different functional teams arguing over the material master views, the sales and distribution (SD) team deciding how to design its sales areas, or the Financial Accounting (FI) team deciding how to map its chart of accounts to logistical processes. Yet many SAP BusinessObjects Planning and Consolidation projects treat data mapping as a simple file download-and-upload exercise, trivializing the differences in business process conventions between source and target.

These conflicts can make the data integration task into SAP BusinessObjects Planning and Consolidation a complex and potentially costly endeavor. SAP ERP rules conventions are often different from what is required in SAP BusinessObjects Planning and Consolidation because they were designed for different processes. Currency conversion in SAP ERP, for example, may be different from the currency conversion process in SAP BusinessObjects Planning and Consolidation where a fixed currency conversion rate might be used for planning to exclude currency fluctuations, or where currency conversion is performed to fulfill special requirements of the legal consolidation process.

Jens Koerner

Jens Koerner is product manager, Mobile Platform, at SAP Labs. Previously, he was senior director, leading the SAP Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) and Business Intelligence (BI) Customer Solution Adoption team. He also was a senior director-level SAP enterprise architect and project manager focused on the development of SAP solutions such as SAP Business Warehouse (SAP BW) or SAP Business Planning and Consolidation (SAP BPC). He has led global implementations with various customers in the US, the UK, and Germany and was a member of the Inforte BI leadership team.

See more by this author


Comments

No comments have been submitted on this article. 


Please log in to post a comment.

To learn more about subscription access to premium content, click here.