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SAP BPC 10.0 Q&A with BPC Bootcamp experts Scott Cairncross, David Dixon & Jarrett Bialek (transcript)
Friday, October 5, 2012, 5:05 PM Categories: BI-BW , Financials , SAP BusinessObjects , Budgeting and Forecasting ,Consolidation , Financial Closing , Business Planning and Consolidation , SAP BusinessObjects, BI BW Reporting , IT , Implementations and Upgrades , Integration

How is BPC 10.0 changing the way your analysts & finance teams handle annual budgets, forecasts, and consolidation? My colleague Allison Martin at BPC Bootcamp recently moderated a Q&A here in Insider Learing Networks Financials Forum on SAP Business Planning and Consolidation (SAP BPC). On October 3, some of our top BPC experts at this months upcoming BPC Bootcamp Scott Cairncross, David Dixon and Jarrett Bialek of TruQua Enteprises took an hour to answer your technical questions about BPC 10.0. You can review the forum posts here or read our edited transcript below. Enjoy! Allison Martin, BPC Bootcamp: Welcome to today's forum on BPC 10.0! Today, we have BPC and EPM experts Scott Cairncross, David Dixon and Jarrett Bialek of TruQua Enterprises here to take your questions. Scott, David, and Jarrett are all speaking at our BPC Bootcamp at the end of the month in Las Vegas, and are also regular speakers at our SAPinsider Financials events. These three experts will be here, reviewing your technical and functional questions on BPC 10.0, and will be posting their answers here in the forum. Welcome! David, Scott and Jarret will start in with the first questions that have already come in well before start of today's Q&A. suryanarayana teki: Are there any step by step configuration guides available for various functionalities BPC 10 ( Ex: Foreign Currency Translation, Distributions, Inter-company eliminations, etc)? Scott Cairncross: There are many guides for specific sets of functionality that you refer to in the service marketplace. There are the following guides available for BPC 7.5 in the instguides area. The configuration steps are very similar. BPC 10.0 help documentation has quite a bit of this absorbed into the online help at

KathyKohut: Questions: 1) Is there a comparable reference document from SAP on report building to the very old document called "The BPC for Excel function EvDRE Reference Documentation"? Looking for a document that will provide specifics on report building. 2) Is it possible to auto import master data changes from SAP R3 to BW to BPC? Example: cost center master data record in SAP R3 has an updated profit center and this field needs to be updated in BPC Func Area dimension. Our current process does not provide auto updates via the master data import process (BPC NW 7.5) Jarett Bialek: Hi Kathy, Good to hear from you again! 1) There is a great document for EPM10 Add-in functionality here. There have not been any updated materials for BPC 7.5 with the same level of detail as the document you are referencing. 2) Yes, you can schedule process chains that trigger these master data updates at regular intervals in BW, or you can develop listeners to trigger these chains upon changes in the source R/3 system, but this will require custom code.

RoseParatto: Is there a document for BPC10 on NetWeaver, similar to this one: 1) There is a great document for EPM10 Add-in functionality here. Jarrett Bialek: Hello Rose, This document also applies to the BPC 10 NW version

suryanarayana teki: Do we have SAP course material released for BPC 10 like that of BPC 7 (Ex: BPC310 - Application Configuration)? What is best reference material or links available for the freshers in BPC and would like to learn BPC 10 directly? Scott Cairncross: There are a bunch of new courses that SAP Education has created. These courses cover the EPM 10 topics.

Rodrigo.Espana: Hi Scott, David & Jarrett Is possible to run BPC 7.5 NW on HANA without BPC 10 NW?

Scott Cairncross: Hi Rodrigo, Yes, but you won't get the application specific enhancements. The cubes that BPC NW sits on top of will be "HANA Optimized" InfoCubes, but you won't get the benefits that are delivered with the HANABPC component. The HANABPC component can be leveraged only with BPC 10.0, version for SAP NetWeaver.

KathyKohut: I have only had a limited exposure to BPC 10.0, but is it possible to type members directly into a selection area when building a report vs. only using the drop down menus or search functions? Jarrett Bialek: Yes, you can use the "Activate Member Recognition" option under Sheet Options in EPM10 to enable direct entry into the report. Once you enter these members, they will show up as members in the Report Builder screen. However, there is no way to manually type in these members directly in the Report Builder, you can only use the Search/Filter functions.

suryanarayana teki: Is there any way that BPC10 helps in eliminating the profit margin in inventory valuation for the stock transfers among the legal entities? Scott Cairncross: Yes there is eliminations functionality built into BPC (all versions).

Rodrigo.Espana: What's the required or minimum BPC 7.5 NW SP prior to migrate to BPC 10 NW ? Scott Cairncross: The upgrade process is fully outlined within the upgrade guide on the service marketplace. Depending on the number of systems you have and your transport processes, you use one of the following upgrade approaches: - Direct upgrade on the same server System copy from Planning and Consolidation NW 7.5 production system to a new system Upgrade SAP NetWeaver from 7.01 to 7.3 For information on the steps involved in upgrading the SAP NetWeaver platform from version 7.01 to 7.3, see the SAP NetWeaver 7.3 ABAP Upgrade Guide.

Upgrade Planning and Consolidation for SAP NetWeaver 7.5 to 10.0 Pre-customize system based on 10.0 requirements, for example RFC destination and service user BPC_SERVICE Execute migration program to migrate 7.5 data into 10.0 - Clean install on server and import data from Planning and Consolidation 7. 5 Install SAP NetWeaver 7.30 and Planning and Consolidation for SAP NetWeaver 10.0 from scratch Pre-customize system based on 10.0 requirements, for example RFC destination and service user BPC_SERVICE Backup environment (application set) on 7.5 production system with the Backup & Restore tool (transaction UJBR) Restore environment (application set) on new 10.0 system with the Backup & Restore tool (transaction UJBR) Execute migration program to migrate 7.5 data to 10.0

rahulkulkarni: What are the considerations for implementing planning solutions using BPC on BW (on HANA) and BPC on native HANA (like EPM on-demand solution from SAP)? For greenfield planning implementations, which option would you recommend? Thanks, Rahul Scott Cairncross: Hi Rahul, BPC 10.0 on BW on HANA and the EPM on demand solutions like Expense Insights are complementary solutions one does not preclude the need for the other. Expense Insights and the other on demand solutions have many great features that can be leveraged to enhance your BPC 10.0 implementation. I would recommend that all new planning implementations look to EPM 10.0 solutions for either the Microsoft or the SAP NetWeaver platform based on the skill sets within your organization and the level of ERP integration you are looking to achieve. Cheers, Scott

Rodrigo.Espana: 1. What are features between BPC 10 NW and BOBJ 4.0 and Dashboards Design? 2. Is connectivity between BOBJ 4, BPC 10 and HANA native, or do you have to install a connector? Scott Cairncross: 1. The SAP Dashboards integration is more seamless. No need for the Analyzer Add-In any longer. 2. BOBJ can connect directly to HANA and it can connect direcly to BPC which can be on HANA as well. The EPM Connector is still an add-in that is delivered however it is now delivered with the EPM Add-In.

mchris: Are there any new consolidation features (elimination rules, journals, etc) in BPC 10 in comparison with 7.5? David Dixon: The answer is "yes," but there are functionality differences between the version for the Microsoft platform (MS version) and the version for SAP NetWeaver (NW version). For example, in 10.0 for both versions, the Dynamic Hierarchy Editor (Excel-based) is replaced with the Ownership Manager (Web-based) with additional ownership calculation functionality. But in the 10.0 NW version there is also a Consolidation Monitor not included in the MS version. The new Consolidation Monitor was inspired by SEM-BCS functionality and is alternative to Business Process Flow driven consolidation. The business rules (e.g. eliminations) are essentially the same in 10.0 aside from the new webbased administration interface for the NW version (in the MS version this is still done via the same Windows-based Administration Client). The journal functionality has been enhanced in both versions. In the MS version, there are new creation, validations, balancing, reporting and grouping capabilities. In the NW version, there is new template functionality. What is described above is just a sampling of what is new; hopefully it gives you an idea.

Rodrigo.Espana: What would be your recommendation in order to load "Actual" data into BI -I mean the DataSource from ECC to BI, and then later load it into BPC 10 NW? Scott Cairncross: Hi Rodrigo,

1. If you are talking about data flow from BPC to BW there is a Retractor BAdI framework that is delivered with BPC that you can leverage in order to map and write data back from BPC into SAP BW. 2. If you are referring to moving data from SAP ERP into SAP BPC there are a few methodologies that you can follow. The tried and true approach which has been leveraged since the inception of SAP BPC, version for SAP NetWeaver is loading your data into SAP BW using the standard Business Content Extractors and then subsequently executing the delivered LOAD_FROM_INFOPROVIDER or LOAD_FROM_INFOPROVIDER_UI data manager packages to then move your data into SAP BPC. As of BPC 10.0, version for SAP NetWeaver there is a nice new set of data manager packages that allow you to load data directly from ERP into BPC directly. I myself am a fan of the "one hop" approach of loading data into SAP BW first in order to have a staging layer that you can reconcile against and/or the option to perform data transformations directly within SAP BW if necessary. Plus with BPC 10.0 you can use the SAP BW delta mechanism and perform delta loads from BW into SAP BPC. Cheers, Scott

mchris: How does BPC handle the case of step consolidation? For example when a Group of entities consists of 2 subgroups which have different currency from the top Group currency? Is there a simpler way to solve this, instead of creating dummy entities (which represent the subgroups - store_entity=Y in Group Dimension), transfer their data to main consolidation tree and then translate them in group currency? David Dixon: You don't have to step-consolidate although it is an option. Use the Group Dimension (mandatory now) to define your consolidation hierarchy. The Group dimension enables you to separate currencies per group as well as have multiple reporting currencies per group (in the currency property specify multiple currencies separated by commas). When you execute consolidations it will automatically post data to every level of the hierarchy where the property STORE_ENTITY=Y is defined (otherwise, it will automatically roll up the data to that level during reporting which reflects a performance trade-off). This approach avoids the stepwise process and reflects more of a "simultaneous" and "in parallel" process to accelerate your financial close.

jspigarelli: Hello,

I have a situation where some intercompany sales between two companies are not eliminating properly, yet others do get eliminated. There are a couple different accounts being used. The data entered in SAP does have the proper trading partners in both accounts, yet one of the accounts does not get eliminated after the upload into BPC. Yes, I am running the elimination module at the end of the upload. Am I missing something? How can I resolve this problem? Scott Cairncross: Hi jspigarelli, There could be a number of different things that could cause this account to be excluded in the elimination. The first thing that pops into my mind is that it is simply not being selected when you are running the elimination business rule from Script Logic. Have you tried using transaction UJKT in order to get more detailed logging of your Script Logic / Business Rule allocation? David Dixon: Try reviewing the Method-based Multiplier (10.0 speak) assigned to the missing account within the Eliminations and Adjustments business rules (assuming your are not talking about a "US elimination" rule) and make sure the Method Code for Entity and Intco is properly assigned to the relevant entities.

SylviaCarriere: Hello Folks, What do you believe are the key items that should be considered when architecting a planning solution in BPC 10.0 as compared to how you would approach the design using 7.5 (apart from reports)? Scott Cairncross: Hi Sylvia, Hope things are going well in Canada! The overall themes are similar in the architecting however there are key backend differences. BPC 10.0, version for the Microsoft Platform 3. Huge performance gains with the Global Cache 4. As of SP7 being able to leverage SQL Server 2012 BPC 10.0, version for SAP NetWeaver 5. Capability to leverage SAP HANA 6. Streamlined Calculation Engine - better parallel processing

7. Not backend related but still very important is the Consolidations Monitor (BCS like Central area for Consolidations) These new platform capabilities will drive what you can and can't build with BPC. For Example, BPC on HANA can handle very large data volumes and the measure formulas have been pushed down into the actual HANA engine for processing. My understanding as well is that this is a planned feature for Dimension Member Formulas as well. Cheers, Scott

KathyKohut: We use BW broadcasting to distribute reports. Is there a similar process in BPC10.0 that is not a system performance drain? We briefly saw Collect and Distribute (may not be the exact name) function. Is this a broadcast type of process? David Dixon: Conceptually similar, yes but with the distinction that the BW Broadcasting is one-way push-out of reports versus also being a consolidator of manually inputted data. Its also similar in that it can be an intensive process.

Vasu Mullapudi Good afternoon! 1) Data Retraction to other modules: Is there a way to trigger BPC data retraction to other SAP modules whenever BPC data is saved? I've tried using the BADI (UJD_RETRACT) but I've had to run the process chains every time I want to retract data. 2) Are there any workarounds to display member properties in the reports/input forms as columns (just like the member name)? Scott Cairncross: Hi Vasu, 1) Yes - you can leverage a separate BAdI known as the Write Back BAdI, which is executed every single time data is saved. Within this "User Exit" you can call any BAPIs you would like to write data into SAP ERP or any other system. 2) Yes - you can use a local member as a column axis within the EPM Add-In to achieve this. Use the EPMMemberProperty. Cheers, Scott

KathyKohut: We are implementing BPC 10.0 for Consolidations as a replacement for HS9, how long do you anticipate the implementation period be?

David Dixon: SAP offers a Rapid Deployment Solution (RDS) based off of the IFRS Starter Kit that also includes Disclosure Management. The RDS from SAP is defined to go-live in 12 weeks. I would use that as a "best-case" baseline for your planning needs.

nikhil.anand: Hi Scott, David & Jarrett What are the key challenges in a BPC 10 implementation? I know BPC 10 is full of features and flexibility, but what are the key consideration we should mind while going for BPC 10? Regards Nikhil Jarrett Bialek: Hello Nikhil, Many of the key challenges for BPC10 are the same as with prior versions and have more to do with knowing your business process, data integrity, and system infrastructure. Specific challenges to BPC10 are that - with the additional features and level of granularity available certain processes (like transports) are properly managed. This is more difficult if you have a large team with overlapping roles. Earlier versions of the BPC Add-in (7.x) are easier to customize, but EPM 10 Add-in is ultimately easier for end users to learn.

rahulkulkarni: What are the considerations for implementing planning solutions using BPC on BW (on HANA) and BPC on native HANA (like EPM on-demand solution from SAP)? For greenfield planning implementions, which option would you recommend? Thanks, Rahul Scott Cairncross: Hi Rahul, BPC 10.0 on BW on HANA and the EPM on-demand solutions like Expense Insights are complementary solutions - one does not preclude the need for the other. Expense Insights and the other on-demand solutions have many great features that can be leveraged to enhance your BPC 10.0 implementation. I would recommend that all new planning implementations look to EPM 10.0 solutions for either the Microsoft or the SAP NetWeaver platform based on the skill sets within your organization and the level of ERP integration you are looking to achieve. Cheers, Scott

rahulkulkarni: Thanks Scott. Are you suggesting that customized planning solution can't be implemented using BPC on Native HANA (at least at present)? Rahul Scott Cairncross: Hi Rahul, You can surely build your own custom planning solution with Excel on top of SAP HANA natively and use Data Services to integrate data from ERP into your own custom HANA application. BPC currently does not run natively on HANA. BPC on HANA is built on SAP BW which runs on HANA. The EPM on demand apps (e.g. Expense Insights) do run natively on HANA in the cloud. Cheers, Scott

nikhil.anand: 1. Can we use VB macros in EPM Reports. I am aware that EVMNU have been replaced with the new APIs and I know how to use them. Can we use custom macros in EPM reports apart from API's? 2. I want to create a variance reports b/w versions. The two versions to be compared have to be dynamic and not hard coded. In EVDRE I could have given a drop down for the versions and referenced it to MEMBERSET. How can we achieve this in EPM 10 as Report editor is used? One way is that users will go and select the members from memeberselector, but is there something that can be done in sheet itself? 3. I often face #NAME? error in my EPM reports. I get the numbers from database but my master data from dimension gets replaced by #NAME?. Not sure why this happens. I build my report and save it. Next time when I open it and refresh, I get this error. Please guide me if the cause of the error is known. Jarrett Bialek: 1. Yes, you can use custom macros, but be careful not to corrupt your row and column axis. 2. Yes, you can use the "Activate member recognition" and insert Excel formulas to define the row/column or page axis that reference a drop-down list/validation list.

3. Is this in the description or the ID? This error can occur if you have formulas off of cells that are defined by Description that are shared between members. One way to avoid this is to use the "Use EPMMemberID in EPM formulas".

Benjamin Tan: Are there any best practices regarding security configuration for a company with 500 - 800 users? There is awful lot of maintenance work to configure individual access profiles and I'm wondering if there are any suggestions to manage security efficiently. Scott Cairncross: Hi Ben, This is a great question and is a concern for many different organizations. There are a few howto guides (custom developments built by the CSA, formerly the EPM RIG at SAP) which detail how to perform mass maintenance of security for BPC that should help with this however if you are interested in some other ideas around this feel free to contact me. Cheers, Scott

Rodrigo.Espana: Hi there, What exactly replaces the .NET Server (BPC 7.5 NW)? Is there a Web server (BPC 10 NW) that is needed to be install and this server runs on Linux RedHat 6.1? Scott Cairncross: Hi Rodrigo, There is a web server embedded inside of every SAP ABAP server (the WAS, web application server). The WAS is used versus IIS as of EPM 10.0. This is supported on any flavor of Linux supported by SAP NetWeaver. Cheers, Scott

SomarBhangay: Hi, Not sure if this the right forum, Do you have plans for 'EPM mega elite enablement' Event just like the one last year? Thanks. Scott Cairncross: Hi Somar,

David did teach part of the EPM Enablement Event however SAP Training has taken this over so I would reach out to SAP Education in order to find out details regarding when the next scheduled Training is. BI Mega Elite is scheduled for early November in Vancouver. Cheers, Scott Rodrigo.Espana: Is it possible to get a complete zero signdata elimination using light or full optimize process on BPC 10NW ? Scott Cairncross: If you change the settings inside of the process chain that is underlying the optimize package so that zero elimination is flagged during the compression process the answer is yes! Cheers, Scott

Jack: In EPM 10 NW, I am using the EPMAxisOverride function to make my Time and Version dimensions flexible based on property settings. The reports often contain Excel formulas (not Local Members) that reference these properties to perform various functions. Whenever I test the template by changing a property value, the formulas break (I see a#NAME?). Is this a product issue or does the refresh impact the formula link? Jarrett Bialek: Hello Jack, This functionality is trickier to pull off in EPM10 compared to BPC 7.x versions, You can use the Excel function INDIRECT in your excel formulas - that will not break when reference an axis that is generated from the report definition.

Allison Martin: Thanks for joining us, and thank you, again, to our experts Scott Cairncross, David Dixon and Jarrett Bialek of TruQua Enterprises for taking these questions today. Weve reached the end of the hour, and were wrapping up final responses to the last few questions. Thank you all - Im looking forward to seeing you in person in Vegas at the BPC Bootcamp! Also, if you cant make it to Vegas, we will be running the BPC Bootcamp in Amsterdam, Dec 3-5. A full summary of the forum will be posted on Insider Learning Network tomorrow, and you can post questions here in the Financials Forum at any time.

If you want to hear Scott, David, and Jarrett at work in person, be sure to join them for their BPC Bootcamp sessions, in Las Vegas, October 29-31, where theyll be joined by Jens Koerner and David Williams from SAP as well as consultants Penny Silvia from IBM, Ty Jessup and Steve Kolka from Column5 and Tamara Emerson and Anand Surange from Accenture. You can find more details on all the BPC Bootcamp tracks & sessions and you can follow the event on Twitter at #BPCBootcamp Thanks again for joining us, and I hope to see you in person at one of our events soon!
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