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How can IT ensure a successful migration to SAP BPC?

Successfully implementing Business Planning and Consolidation requires understanding data requirements and getting the input of various business users.

As with most software implementations, moving to Business Process and Consolidation, SAP's product for streamlining planning and financial consolidation, requires more than just technical know-how. Although the major beneficiaries of implementing SAP BPC are financial planners and analysts, many other stakeholders will affect the ultimate success -- or failure -- of the BPC project.

This is true whether your company opts for the lean-down Classic version of BPC or the elaborate Unified version for the implementation. Indeed, successfully implementing SAP BPC requires not just the technical team's involvement, but also the functional team's involvement. This enables an alignment of stakeholders and project expectations and allows for the required change management that is so key to a project's success

To that end, here are three tips to make your BPC implementation journey smooth:

  • Get insight from an array of functional business users. A critical success factor of the BPC project is defining the functionality you'll need, that is, getting clear and comprehensive visibility of the required financial insights and analytics you'll want from the new system. To achieve this, you need functional business users from various departments including sales, procurement, production and human resources to weigh in on whether the requisite business processes are well-defined and executed and whether they are indeed capturing the data required for analytics.
  • Leave some data behind. Too many companies make the mistake of undergoing rigorous and often painful extract, transform, load (ETL) operations to move data from their existing systems to the BPC system. This problem seems compounded by the mind-set that S/4HANA can handle enormous data for speedy processing. But ETL dramatically increases the resources, time and cost required to have the data in the new system. To avoid this, let the existing data remain where it is and focus on how best to read and analyze it to get the needed financial insights.
  • Understand the necessary data granularity. You can't analyze data you don't have. Yet so many companies fail to define the level of data granularity needed to improve or to control less-than-optimum business processes, and end up having misaligned expectations from the BPC system. For example, if the company records only daily production figures, it shouldn't expect to get insight for production figures related to eight-hour shifts and associated production losses in financial terms, simply because the required data granularity just isn't there. Realigning the business processes and focusing on change management can significantly help to overcome this challenge.

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