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SAP BPC vs. SAC – which horse should I bet on?

SAP now offers various tools for the implementation of planning applications:

  • The well-established BPC (Business Planning & Consolidation) variant, which offers very flexible options and is operated on-premise based on an SAP BW system.
  • The newer Cloud-based variant via the planning component of SAP Analytics Cloud – SAC.

But when does which tool make sense? Which planning requirements can be implemented with which tool? – All questions that come up when it comes to deciding on the tool.

Simple questions - complex answers

As always, there are no easy answers to questions that seem easy to answer. This is certainly true with the question of whether SAP Analytics Cloud or SAP BPC is the better option. The answer here has to be: “It depends!”. And here it depends on what planning scenario I want to map. In this article, I would like to roughly break down three possible scenarios to illustrate when you should use which tool.

Scenario 1: Mapping of corporate planning as a whole

This scenario is the most complex of all three. It involves the integration of the planning for the various organizational units. As well as providing corporate management support through a complete overview of all of the subsystems. The key requirements for a system to map corporate planning can then also be derived from this:

  • Process and workflow control are relevant.
  • The possibility of integrating operational budgets must exist.
  • The possibility of central control is important.

The complexity of this scenario makes it necessary for the IT department to be on board and provide support from the outset.

Scenario 2: Mapping of departmental planning or planning in an SME

If you only want to map a subsection, such as the planning for a department or the planning in an SME, instead of corporate planning as a whole, then it becomes easier. In this scenario, you are dealing with a less complex planning process with fewer operational budgets that need to be integrated.

If you want to map such a scenario, it is extremely important that the departments concerned also have control over the actual planning or that the department is familiar with IT.

Scenario 3: Mapping of agile planning scenarios (forecasts)

In a VUCA world* with constantly changing economic conditions, agile planning scenarios are becoming increasingly important.

Planning forecasts are mapped at monthly or three-monthly intervals based on annual planning. These forecasts work with probabilities and what-if simulations and make use of AI and machine learning capabilities. In this scenario, the department can run through future scenarios independently and make flexible adjustments without affecting the entire process.  

*VUCA is an acronym that refers to “volatility”, “uncertainty”, “complexity” and “ambiguity”.

In the following graphic, we have allocated the three scenarios to the appropriate tools. It is important to note that this represents the status quo. SAP Analytics Cloud for Planning is under continuous development. It is worth keeping up to date with the development of new functions here. Reading the blog article series “SAP SAC: What’s new?” by our expert Oliver Dworschak, which will appear once a quarter from now on, will give you an overview and a brief introduction of its new functionalities.

SAP BPC vc. SAC scenarios
Checklist for decision support

Checklist for decision support

If you want to go into tool selection in more detail, use our checklist. This, together with the information about the various scenarios, provides a good basis for deciding on a tool.


In addition, we offer a package of workshops in which we set out on the path to the financial budgeting of the future, starting from the company-wide planning process (xP&A). Tool selection is included in Module 3 – Tool Strategy.

If you have any further questions, feel free to contact me or leave a comment at the end of the article.

Planning - workshop offers

An effort is being made to optimise the planning process in some departments or by some people with responsibility for this. However, there is still a lack of understanding across departments for the need for this optimisation and the motivation to tackle and also implement a corresponding project.

Time required: 4-8 hours, online or as a face-to-face event

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In the workshop, we work out the current situation for today’s planning. Who is responsible for planning, what is planned and which tools do you use?

Time required: 4-8 hours, online or as a face-to-face event

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In the workshop, optimization potential in the planning process and tool-related support is developed.

Time required: 4-8 hours, online or as a face-to-face event

More Details

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About the author
Martina Ksinsik
Martina Ksinsik
I am Customer Success Manager at PIKON Deutschland AG and Account Manager at many of our key accounts. I have supported many of our customers from the beginning and develop solutions for their individual challenges together with them.

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