Deciding whether to go down the SAP BPC Standard route or the Embedded Model route is very much dependent on your requirements, your team’s skill set and – one of the most important factors – who will own the system?

When SAP moved the SAP BW-IP component into the SAP BPC area, and renamed this SAP Embedded, this opened up many options for customers, but it also raised questions, including “what is the roadmap for SAP BPC?”.

SAP BPC (Standard model) was developed originally by Outlooksoft for account-based planning, budgeting, forecasting and consolidation activities. The system had been designed to be owned by the business and not IT and this fundamental factor was a big driver in the different versions of BPC far after SAP acquired Outlooksoft.

Customers with a mature history of SAP BPC will have experts, teams and skillsets in place for many years within the business who understand how the SAP BPC Standard model works and this skillset is an invaluable asset to the business.

However, with SAP BPC Embedded models the system ownership shifts back to IT, and – with requirements and skillsets within BW Integrated Planning required – this could have a training and cost implication for the business. The Embedded model however, introduces Key Figure-based reporting to the BPC world, an option which may be required by a business, in addition to their account-based reporting. Equally, businesses where users have been used to a Key Figure-based approach in the former BI-IP or SAP BW based processes for their planning and reporting now find their skills are relevant to BPC and they too can now benefit from the rich functionality that SAP BPC offers them.

Therefore, the ability to have both Standard and Embedded models running on the same system opens up many options for customers.

With account-based modelling (Standard Model) Key Figures are nothing more than a data column. However, with Key Figure-based modelling (Embedded), Key Figures have business meanings and potentially far fewer records will exist as each key figure holds several data items.

As service pack upgrades are released more and more functionality is available within the Embedded model but there remain more mature components for certain functionalities in the Standard model.

As you can see, there are many elements to consider, so if you would like to discuss whether the SAP BPC Standard or Embedded Model is right for your requirements please get in touch.

Jay Wivell is Senior SAP BPC NetWeaver Technical Consultant at Opal Wave.

Opal Wave is the leading UK-based enterprise performance management and business intelligence software and partner-managed cloud expert specialising in SAP HANA, SAP Business Planning and Consolidation (BPC) and Analytics solutions. The organisation supports its customers with technology infrastructure, software support and training, enabling them to achieve better performance management.