Transforming finance processes and modernizing finance systems are key initiatives for many organizations. These initiatives should include operational systems – such as ERP, CRM, HCM and Supply Chain – to support operational excellence. They should also include corporate performance management (CPM) applications that enable better, faster management decision-making.
Modern CPM solutions support effective planning, consolidation, reporting and analytics across systems and departments – in one unified platform that supports faster and more confident decision-making. This approach is essential for driving management excellence in today’s rapidly changing business environment. Read on to learn why over 100 SAP ERP customers looking to modernize finance have evaluated their options and selected OneStream as the proven alternative to SAP BPC, Oracle Hyperion and other legacy CPM products.
Legacy CPM Solutions No Longer Cutting It
While they may have been state of the art 15 years ago, the fragmented approach taken by legacy CPM 1.0 vendors such as SAP, Oracle Hyperion and IBM have limited the ability of finance organizations to execute effective CPM processes. These disconnected application architectures force finance organizations to spend most of their time managing multiple products, integrating data from source systems and moving data between CPM products instead of analyzing data and supporting decision-making.
Forward-thinking organizations are adopting unified, CPM 2.0 solutions that simplify and align the key CPM processes such as financial consolidation, reporting, planning, forecasting, analysis and data quality. These solutions integrate data from multiple sources – ERP, CRM, HCM, Supply Chain and others – to create a single version of the truth. They also provide the ability for users to seamlessly drill all the way back into those source systems to support faster and more informed decision-making and streamlined processes.
SAPs Flawed CPM Strategy
Let’s look at SAP’s historic and future approach to CPM, or EPM as they call it. Having failed to deliver viable CPM solutions through internal development, SAP amassed a portfolio of CPM 1.0 products based on a series of acquisitions. These include:
- Consolidation: SAP BusinessObjects Financial Consolidation (BFC – acquired from Cartesis)
- Reporting/Disclosures: SAP BusinessObjects Disclosure Management (acquired from Cundus)
- Planning: SAP Business Planning and Consolidation (BPC – acquired from OutlookSoft)
- Profitability: SAP BusinessObjects Profitability and Cost Management (former Cartesis product)
- Account Reconciliations: Blackline (recommended partner solution)
None of these products were designed to look the same, work together or share data. And to make the EPM picture even more complicated, there are four different versions of SAP BPC in the market:
- BPC 10 Microsoft
- BPC 10.1 NetWeaver (Standard and Embedded)
- BPC 10.1 Optimized for S/4HANA
- BPC 11 for BW/4HANA (Standard and Embedded)
In addition, SAP has recently introduced SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC) – a newer planning and analytics cloud offering – and SAP Group Reporting – a rebuilt version of its 2002 BCS consolidation and reporting product for S/4 HANA.
The question on many SAP customers’ minds is, what’s the roadmap for all these SAP CPM applications, and what is the strategic direction for existing customers? Well, at its 2018 Sapphire conference, SAP provided the answer. They announced they will be winding down maintenance and support for SAP BPC and BFC starting in 2024. Its vision for CPM (or EPM) is based on a combination of the new Group Reporting product for consolidations and SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC) for planning and budgeting.
SAP Group Reporting and Analytics Cloud for Planning require that customers move to S/4 HANA Cloud for their ERP. And because SAP Analytics Cloud is not as mature as SAP BPC, SAP proposes a “hybrid” strategy during the transition – where on-premise BPC customers use the existing BPC product in conjunction with Analytics Cloud, until the functionality matures to the same level as BPC. This vague product strategy is one reason many SAP customers are evaluating other CPM or EPM options in addition to the path recommended by SAP.
OneStream as the Proven Alternative
OneStream is the proven alternative to legacy CPM applications, and hundreds of organizations have made the leap from SAP BPC, Oracle Hyperion, IBM Cognos and other legacy applications – and never looked back!
The OneStream XF SmartCPM™ platform (XF stands for extensible finance) unifies and simplifies financial consolidation, planning, reporting, analytics and financial data quality for sophisticated organizations. Deployed via the cloud or on-premise, OneStream provides customers with a choice regarding their deployment model. Customers can deploy OneStream in the cloud today, or deploy the platform on-premise, then migrate to the cloud when they’re ready – in just a few hours.
Through its integrated Financial Data Quality engine, OneStream provides seamless integration with multiple ERP, HCM, data warehouses and other systems. This includes SAP R/3, ECC, BW and S/4 HANA with drill-through capabilities to transactional details. Most of OneStream’s SAP clients say OneStream integrates with SAP ERP better and easier than SAP’s CPM solutions integrate with SAP.
Over 100 SAP ERP customers use OneStream’s SmartCPM™ platform, and many have replaced legacy CPM solutions such as SAP BPC, BFC, Oracle Hyperion and others with OneStream. These customers discovered that OneStream integrates seamlessly with SAP R/3, ECC, BW and S/4 HANA and provides a modern, unified CPM platform that offers a powerful bridge to the future – even for customers considering an eventual upgrade to S/4 HANA.
Modernizing finance systems requires focusing on ERP (and other operational systems) and corporate performance management (CPM) systems that encompass budgeting and planning, financial close and consolidation, financial and management reporting, and analysis. While SAP has been investing heavily in its next-generation ERP system with S/4 HANA, the direction for next-generation CPM solutions is not nearly as clear. Customers using SAP BPC and other legacy SAP CPM solutions have a short runway of support ahead – and in the next 5 years, they face a major decision: invest in SAP’s HANA-based CPM solutions OR consider other non-SAP options.
Many SAP customers have already evaluated their options and have chosen OneStream as the proven, better alternative to legacy CPM solutions from SAP, Oracle/Hyperion, IBM Cognos and others. To learn more, download our free white paper titled “SAP ERP and OneStream – The Path to Modern Finance.”