Recently SAP has announced that the maintenance windows of SAP BPC products will be extended, giving customers more time for migration or upgrading. These are the new maintenance windows:
The maintenance of SAP BPC, version for Microsoft 10.1 will continue until end of 2024;
The maintenance of SAP BPC, version for NetWeaver 10.1 will continue until end of 2027;
The maintenance of SAP BPC, add-on for S/4HANA will continue until end of 2027;
The maintenance of SAP BPC, version for BW/4HANA 11.1 will continue until end of 2027;
The new extended windows provide some extra time, but we do not recommend to postpone taking action on BPC too long, especially when working on an older version. As the product is in ‘maintenance mode’, no (major) investments are made in the further development of the software, especially the NetWeaver and Microsoft versions. For BPC Microsoft clients, the lack of priority-one support could also be a trigger to start planning ahead. So, what do we recommend?
Please find our recommendations per version below for the Microsoft and Netweaver versions. As the S/4HANA version is less common and more integrated into the ERP platform, the upgrade advice is more tailor-made. In any case, please contact us for the best advice for your organization.
Advice for clients running SAP BPC 10.x for Microsoft
Situation: For clients running BPC on the Microsoft platform, we recommend to start orientating on next steps. Although the support is extended, the platform support for new versions of Windows Server and Office versions can, in the long term, not be guaranteed. This limits your IT organization to keep the infrastructure up-to-date, leading to possible security, compliance and integrity issues. As priority-one support is not available, the reporting continuity and security can be at risk.
Advice: We advise clients running BPC on Microsoft to start planning an upgrade to BPC 11.1 on BW/4HANA or migration to another tool. The reason is that support is limited. Especially for clients who like to extend their BPC implementation with new functionality, we advise building new features directly in a new environment. Using this approach, (double) expenses in-migration of new functionality to a new tool can be avoided by taking the big step immediately.
The best direction depends on the client’s situation. An upgrade to SAP BPC 11.1 on BW/4HANA is a sensible approach for all clients, possibly combined with using SAP Analytics Cloud for visualization, augmented analysis (AI, ML) and dynamic forecasting solutions. The upgrade leverages the investments made in the past and provides a robust, proven solution for the coming seven-plus years.
For clients who are not running a SAP landscape, it might be worthwhile also to consider looking at best-of-breed CPM solution. Multiple best-of-breed CPM solutions are in the market, which can support many CPM processes from consolidation to forecasting and reporting. A package selection can help to evaluate which solutions best fit the needs. Feel free to contact us to organize or support such processes.
Advice for clients running SAP BPC 10.1 for Netweaver
Situation: When running a NetWeaver version on SAP BPC, the effort to upgrade can vary depending on the scale of the Netweaver/BW platform on which the BPC implementation was build. In case the system is only used for BPC, the upgrades time and budget can be limited. And, if Netweaver is running on a traditional database, the performance benefits of the newest BPC 11.1 on BW4/HANA can be considerable.
Advice: Especially when running Netweaver on a traditional database, we advise upgrading to the newest platform. For a limited upgrade effort (depending on the Netweaver/BW implementation), a significant performance boost is reached, while maintaining the investments in BPC made in the past. Later on, a step for Group Reporting and SAP Analytics Cloud can be considered. SAP Analytics Cloud will also be a great extension for both visualization and business-owned planning and forecasting implementations.
The extended maintenance is giving organizations extra time. However, especially for BPC for Microsoft clients, it is obvious where the road leads. We recommend not to use the spare time to wait and postpone, but use the time for a decent package selection and migration. This ensures all future investments in adding new functionality are not lost when the inevitable step has to be taken anyway. Please contact us to discuss your organization’s landscape so that we can advise on the best next steps.