In the current business environment where competition is fierce, and the struggle to survive is increasingly challenging due to the global pandemic, business agility is no longer a “nice-to-have”, but absolutely fundamental for businesses to be able to remain responsive to the ever-changing business landscape. Business agility is not simply a buzz term for being productive and reaching business goals. It describes the ability of a business to compete and thrive in the digital age by quickly responding to market changes and emerging opportunities with innovative, digitally-enabled business solutions. This helps businesses gain a competitive advantage without losing momentum.
SAP Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) plays a critical role in supporting business agility through connecting every part of a business for more cohesive decision-making across the organisation. Let’s explore how SAP EPM drives business agility in the current business environment.
WHAT IS SAP EPM?
SAP EPM can be described as corporate performance management (CPM) software because it helps businesses manage tasks, improve accessibility and collaboration, and automates business processes. It is particularly useful in streamlining tasks commonly performed by finance departments such as budgeting, planning, and forecasting. SAP EPM solutions can be installed in the cloud or on a local server.
According to Gartner, EPM is a process of monitoring enterprise performance to improve it through better decision making. Typically, planning, budgeting, forecasting, and reporting processes are considered EPM processes.
Put simply, EPM is a system that integrates and analyses your data from multiple sources. The sources may include data warehouses, external data sources, front and back-office applications, business intelligence, and e-commerce platforms. It offers a single comprehensive view of information that enables business users to prepare budget estimates and forecasting, plan effective and goal-oriented strategies, develop profitability models, and generate more accurate reports. EPM not only measures success in a complicated business landscape but also provides insight into what steps need to be taken to reach business goals.
SAP EPM Solutions also support a wide variety of applications such as SAP Disclosure Management, Planning, Consolidation, SAP Financial Consideration, SAP Financial Information Management, and much more.
Some of the main SAP EPM functionalities include:
- Business Planning and Consolidation
- Strategy Management
- Spend Performance Management
- Disclosure Management
- Financial Consolidation
- Profitability and Cost Management
- Intercompany Relationship
- Supply Chain Performance Management
Now let’s explore some of the applications in the SAP EPM suite in more detail.
SAP BUSINESS PLANNING AND CONSOLIDATION (BPC)
The SAP Business Planning and Consolidation (BPC) tool is used to support all operational and financial activities in an organisation by automating and streamlining business forecast, planning, and consolidation activities.
SAP BPC supports SAP NetWeaver and Microsoft Excel migrations, enabling users to perform modelling, application maintenance, data imports and transformations, creating scripts. Additionally, SAP BPC provides support for existing Microsoft functionality and various enhancement features like the drag and drop report builder.
The benefits of SAP BPC include:
- Business users are enabled to make better business decisions through “what-if” analysis and scenario-based planning.
- The ability to work collaboratively on data means that business planning is more accurate, and plans are more effectively linked to strategic goals. This also decreases process cycle time.
The following can be achieved by using SAP BPC:
- Business Forecasting
- Analytical Reporting and Analysis
- Budget Planning
- Predictive Analysis and Recommendations
- Improve Compliance
- Business Process Flows and Smooth Collaboration
SAP EPM STRATEGY MANAGEMENT
The SAP Strategy Management application helps organisations close the gap between strategy and execution. It enables users to publish their company’s corporate strategy, showing how it cascades down the different levels of the company, with strategic goals and key performance indicators providing insight into the necessary actions to be taken to meet those objectives. The SAP Strategy Management application integrates the following pillars of strategy management: goals, initiatives, and key performance indicators. It can link these to accountable individuals, enabling organisations to hone their decision making and achieve their objectives.
SAP DISCLOSURE MANAGEMENT
SAP Disclosure Management is another application available within the Enterprise Performance Management suite. It is used to improve organisations’ reporting where multiple users need to contribute to reports, and accuracy and consistency are critical, particularly when presenting annual reports and accounts. It offers flexibility and collaboration of disclosures amongst teams and data resources to accomplish financial close and compliance and helps in managing production, as well as filing and publishing financial disclosures. Reports can also be published in any format and organisational workflows can be automated making it easy to share information across the organisation.
SPEND PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT
SAP Spend Performance Management, or SSPM, is essentially an analytical and strategic reporting tool that consolidates spend data from various sources across an organisation into a single application. Users can access multiple metrics to generate invoices, purchase orders and various other spend-related tasks.
With pre-built spend analytics and metrics based on the SAP Business Warehouse model, SSPM collects and integrates spend information from SAP and non-SAP sources. The application can also be accessed via a web-based interface.
SAP EXTENDED ENTERPRISE CONTENT MANAGEMENT
The SAP Enterprise Content Management Solution provides a comprehensive view of enterprise information including unstructured content. The SAP Extended Enterprise Content Management (SAP Extended ECM) application by OpenText covers document and records management needs, including information retrieval and collaboration by connecting e-mails, documents, and other content to core business processes.
SAP ECM enables businesses to:
- Simplify access to all relevant information: Gain a 360-degree view of all information as part of your business processes across departments and office locations.
- Improve business efficiency: Streamline IT, cut application and administration costs, and optimise resource consumption, while shortening cycle time by integrating content with transactions and workflows.
- Mitigate compliance risk: Reduce regulatory compliance risk by implementing a DoD 5015.2-certified records management solution for unstructured content, including physical records.
SAP PROFITABILITY AND COST MANAGEMENT
Profitability and Cost Management is a SAP software product designed to allow financial analysts, reporters, and end-users to create financial models of their organisation, and to analyse the data in a flexible and responsive manner.
The integral part of the application consists of four different modelling types:
- Profitability and Costing
- Objectives and Metrics
- Transactional Costing
- Bill of Materials
Businesses are enabled to eliminate and resolve performance-based issues related to products, services, and customers, and get an in-depth insight into costs and profits across multiple dimensions for better business decisions.
SAP FINANCIAL CONSOLIDATION
SAP Financial Consolidation is an advanced platform for streamlining compliance and meeting management/global regulatory requirements when it comes to reporting your financial close. The solution will help you meet accounting standards such as IFRS and GAAP and seamlessly navigate across currencies, mergers and acquisitions.
As you can see, the SAP Enterprise Performance Management suite offers a plethora of functionalities that help businesses connect and analyse data and strategies to meet business goals and respond to rapidly changing business requirements. Through the automation of budgeting, planning, forecasting, and consolidating performance a business’ strategic goals and objectives can be met more effectively, efficiently and conveniently.