In the previous post in our “What’s Next for Cartesis/SAP BFC Customers” blog series, we covered how many organisations are now facing the end of support for their Cartesis/SAP BFC application, currently announced for 2027. Of course, this end date could be further extended if significant pressure is placed on SAP. We also looked at some of the concerns/risks. Plus, we detailed 5 key considerations for Cartesis/SAP BFC customers who are moving towards an evaluation process.
Given the above challenges, current Cartesis/SAP BFC customers have 3 options to consider, as outlined in the first post in this series:
In this blog post, the focus will be on Choice 2.
SAP has chosen a vastly different path than OneStream for the future of SAP EPM solutions. Much like Oracle, SAP chose to continue with the legacy of the past by creating new, separate cloud solutions for each key EPM process area. This suite of applications is still fragmented – rather than innovated towards the future of EPM where all processes can and should exist in one unified platform.
The previous generation of EPM applications was dependent on the technology available at the time. Accordingly, the financial consolidation process was typically built in technology suited to processing data, running calculations and handling non-financial data/commentary. The planning process was typically built using cube technology to handle volumes of data and fast analysis. With the advancements now available, however, separating these processes is no longer necessary. The latest technology can handle the differences in data granularity, differing levels of dimensionality and distinct process steps – all in a single, unified solution.
The different path SAP has chosen results in this current fragmented suite of EPM products:
SAP does not have an entry in Gartner Peer reviews for Cloud Financial Close Solutions. Does SAP not consider Group Reporting to be in this category? SAP BFC does appear for financial consolidation, but no reviews have been posted since 2019. The former Outlooksoft product – now SAP BPC also appears but with little focus on close and consolidation, and only 52 reviews have been given in the life of the product.
SAP SAC appears on Gartner Peer Reviews as well – in Cloud Extended Planning & Analysis Solutions with 95 reviews and in Financial Planning Software with 112 reviews. I would expect to see higher numbers given the number of customers SAP claims to serve.
Some of the Gartner reviews include dislikes, as shown in the excerpts from actual reviews:
The following key considerations/questions will significantly help facilitate the evaluation process and value assessment when you’re considering what’s next for your EPM solution:
I have the greatest respect for SAP’s ERP strategy, and the company has an excellent product – one well-respected by many. Comparatively, the SAP EPM strategy is a very different story. The EPM strategy is not taking advantage of technological advancements which can change the game for EPM solutions by unifying all processes. Regarding EPM & ERP, my best advice when I speak to organisations has always been consistent: the EPM management layer is best kept separate from any ERP. This separation delivers a degree of future proofing for the organisation, and being ERP agnostic leaves room for a lot of flexibility as the organisation evolves and changes over time.
Given those considerations, consider joining the more than 300 SAP ERP customers who use OneStream. Below are just some of the reasons these organisations moved to OneStream:
Those reasons highlight why the most natural and capable successor to Cartesis/SAP BFC is OneStream.
OneStream’s Intelligent Finance platform (See Figure 1) is completely agnostic to ERP strategy. Rather than relying on a central ERP strategy, Intelligent Finance platforms integrate data from multiple sources – such as ERP, CRM, HCM and data warehouses – to create a single and governed version of the truth across finance and operational processes.
Figure 1 – OneStream Intelligent Finance Platform
This interoperability is important. Why? It keeps the management layer technology independent from the transactional layers. Any IT department that forces a move to a single tech solution is setting the organisation up for unnecessary costs and delays when future changes occur. After all, you can never say never to changes in your business model or structure.
To learn more about Choice 3 – evaluating alternate EPM strategies such as OneStream – and to understand why OneStream is the most logical move from Cartesis/SAP BFC, tune in for our next and final blog post in the ‘What’s next for Cartesis/SAP BFC Customers’ series.