How a Global Technology Company Streamlines their Planning Landscape with SAP Analytics Cloud

The Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A) team at a global technology company faced data multiplied across several planning systems and tools—resulting in a complex, administratively burdensome, and fragmented planning and budgeting process for their teams. To simplify the forecasting process, increase functionality, and extend their on-premise planning solution, SAP Analytics Cloud was implemented. In a short period, their planning landscape was transformed —all with SAP Analytics Cloud.

50% Costs in savings
90% Reduction in allocation calculation times
75+% Reduction in data storage footprint

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The Challenge

With multiple financial planning and analysis solutions distributed across different systems consisting of SAP Business Planning and Consolidation, a third-party cloud planning solution, other third-party sources, and spreadsheets, the company’s FP&A analysts and managers spent tedious hours compiling and comparing various datasets—constantly switching between systems—to organize meaningful reports and analysis. This manual process increased turnaround times, reduced data granularity, and diminished the ability to create timely, actionable financial plans and reports.

The FP&A team needed a way to alleviate their tedious tasks by consolidating finance data from across their systems into one, end-to-end planning solution.

The Solution

To solve their problem, FP&A first turned to a third-party cloud-based enterprise planning solution, which did not scale to meet a landscape of complex Accounting, FP&A, and Business needs without dramatic loss of details, financial history, reporting, and core FP&A functionalities. After rigorously reviewing the Gartner Magic Quadrant of Cloud Financial Planning & Analysis solutions to evaluate the comprehensive landscape of vendors and product offerings, including a full rebuild of their existing system, SAP Analytics Cloud was selected.

To maintain continuity of their financial history and reporting functionalities, SAP Analytics Cloud—a cloud planning solution that empowers users to make inputs, analyze, plan, budget, and predict, all in one place, fulfilled both short term and long-term requirements. To support the integration and adoption of SAP Analytics Cloud, the company worked with SAP’s customer innovation team to build comfort and establish a basic design. Afterwards, the FP&A team was able to implement SAP Analytics Cloud without external services.

We were able to implement SAP Analytics Cloud internally with full HR and Opex planning capabilities and transactional details, and utilized the commentary functionality for financial reviews without any outside consulting resources.

Finance Systems Manager

The “Add Member” functionality was particularly powerful and useful for line item planning to get greater detail during the annual planning and budgeting process. Users and managers are no longer limited to aggregating all projects and vendors together or tracking them separately in Excel spreadsheets.

SAP Analytics Cloud provided a central place that brought together their FP&A data from across an expanding enterprise. Whether data came from internal systems, SAP, non-SAP, cloud, or on-premise, SAP Analytics Cloud’s scalable hierarchy management capabilities made connecting and translating these sources into financial data a breeze. With their financial planning data in one centralized space, the FP&A team eliminated manual data collection efforts and increased productivity.

 

The Data Actions capability streamlined their workforce planning process. With a few simple clicks, the FP&A team could update headcount forecasts with the latest information—reducing manual reconciliations and saving time when entering data from scratch. This feature overall helped the FP&A team bring their disparate datasets from across the organization together—saving time and effort.

The Results

With their financial and operational data sources finally united, the commentary functionality was used to notate and enrich the centralized financial statements, which eliminated many Excel spreadsheets. With the altogether diminishing of tedious and manual data wrangling efforts, the company’s FP&A teams can focus their time on more meaningful tasks that will better help support their business partners and organization’s needs.

By adding SAP Analytics Cloud to their toolbelt, the FP&A team feels confident to embrace any future planning use cases that come their way.

With SAP Analytics Cloud, we expect nothing but growth—both for our organization and what we’ll be able to do with the product. In particular, we’re excited to try SAP Analytics Cloud’s Smart Features such as Smart Insights and Synonyms, as these features can align different groups to a common financial basis. So, I think SAP Analytics Cloud has all the potential to bring the company even closer together

Finance Systems Manager

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