Dead end SAP Integrated Planning

SAP Integrated Planning is a mature application with a great framework enabling usage of global data warehouse objects out of SAP BW for planning. It integrates global objects and data such as master and transactional data into the planning application. Authorization out of the current system can be reused and frontends, like SAP Bex Web or Analysis for Office, are ready to use partially without further licenses.

Gazing into the crystal ball of the future of the SAP Integrated Planning is showing a very nebulous picture

Near future forecast

In the near future SAP BW 7.* should migrate to BW/4HANA. With that move SAP IP Planning can survive the migration, but with some impacts at the first glace. To be able to use SAP IP in SAP BW /4HANA a license for BPC is needed (with additional costs). With BPC license you can use your existing solutions and get a framework supporting planning process.

With the migration to BW/4HANA the SAP BEX Web Frontend is not fully integrated and/or supported. This leads to a new frontend if you currently use SAP BW Bex Web, that was already included within the SAP BW license.

As web frontend you can use Lumira or SAP Analytics Cloud.

If you go for Lumira you need an SAP BusinessObjects BI to run your Lumira Application (new hardware and licenses). Lumira will get out of maintenance by 2026.

If you go for SAP Analytics Cloud you will most likely miss some features and you need new licenses. Especially missing new line feature (add a new line in planning layout without having already the combination) and triggering planning sequence with variables feature out of SAP Analytics Cloud makes it hard to migrate existing applications.

The make the picture complete BPC embedded will be out of maintenance by 2027.

Get new SAP planning applications future proofed

The question arises how to make your planning application future proof.

With the end of BPC embedded in 2027, it is more likely not building a new planning application in BPC / SAP IP.

Recommended way by SAP is currently SAC Analytics Core Planning.

Going that way, you will need licenses for planning users. All master data and actual data out of an existing SAP BW System must be replicated into SAP Analytics Cloud.

As a matter of fact, no reuse of global SAP BW Data Warehousing objects or functions or authorizations. Objects must be rebuilt such as conversions (like currency or unit), planning sequences (as data actions), authorizations and so on. Bringing back data can be hardly managed with ODATA interface ( described in https://www.zpartner.eu/sap-analytics-cloud-sac-planning-write-back-to-sap-bw-with-odata/).

Looking in the glass sphere of SAP Roadmap for Planning

SAP Data Warehouse Cloud is announced as the new future product for planning. Currently it is not available and a release date to enable planning in SAP Data Warehouse Cloud is not announced so far. Due to the movement into the cloud a reusage of the exciting SAP IP investments without additional costs is very unlikely.  

Conclusion

As of now, it does not look good for the future of SAP Integrated Planning and therefore investments in SAP Integrated Planning are not future prove. In my opinion, it is very hard for customers to deal with the current situation, especially when starting new bigger planning projects. It seems that the only SAP product which is “more” future proof for a current project is SAP Analytics Core Planning with the need of replicating data. But with that hurdle and the missing integration also other third-party tools can be an option now.

Posted on August 3, 2021 in BWBLOG

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