SAP sunsets BPC/BFC: What are your options?

Prophix Symbol 1 Col Spot 185 01Prophix Nov 20, 2023, 4:32:00 PM

SAP recently announced the end of life of their Business Planning and Consolidation (BPC) and BusinessObjects Financial Consolidation (BFC) products. This news comes as a shock to finance teams who rely on these applications for critical processes like consolidation.

As a result, finance leaders are being forced to consider migrating to SAP’s cloud platform, which is is cost prohibitive and time-consuming, or search for an alternative vendor who can meet their complex financial performance management needs.

But with so many software vendors on the market, it can be hard to narrow down your choices to a solution that will meet your needs. So today, we’ll explore:

At the end of this article, you’ll understand why SAP announced the end of life for their BPC and BFC products, why you should consider cloud-based Financial Performance Management (FPM) software, and why Prophix is well-suited to replace SAP.

Why is SAP sunsetting BPC?

SAP BPC is an on-premise application for financial planning and consolidation with multiple versions on different platforms, including SAP BW/4HANA, SAP NetWeaver, and Microsoft. BPC was built on OutlookSoft technology, which SAP acquired in 2007. As a result, the BPC application offers a sub-par user experience, despite having many beneficial capabilities.

To remedy this, SAP has decided to migrate existing BPC users to its dedicated applications for planning and consolidation, namely SAP Analytics Cloud and SAP S/4HANA for Group Reporting, which operate on the S/4HANA platform. S/4HANA offers a much more intuitive user experience than SAP’s prior OutlookSoft technology.

In January 2023, SAP announced an end to mainstream maintenance of BPC version 10.1 for Microsoft in June 2026. BPC version 10.1 for SAP NetWeaver will continue to be supported until the end of 2027, followed by an optional extended maintenance until the end of 2030. Although the company will continue to support a version of BPC for SAP BW/4HANA until at least 2040, SAP recommends that existing customers migrate to SAP Analytics Cloud if they want to continue developing new planning scenarios.

Why is SAP sunsetting BFC?

For customers in Europe, specifically France and Germany, SAP offers another financial consolidation solution called BusinessObjects Financial Consolidation (BFC), which is based on its 2007 acquisition of Magnitude, a product originally developed by the French company Cartesis.

SAP plans to continue mainstream maintenance for BFC until the end of 2030 but will migrate existing customers to SAP S/4HANA for Group Reporting, which can be used as a standalone consolidation application or in combination with SAP Analytics Cloud as part of the unified S/4HANA product landscape.

What does this mean for existing users of SAP BPC/BFC?

The product end of life timelines from SAP might seem a long way into the future. But did you know – on average, it takes two years to successfully implement a product replacement?

If you are an existing BPC customer or on one of the non-HANA platforms (Microsoft or NetWeaver), the clock is ticking, and you must make a decision now if you want to continue to drive business performance.

Why you should consider cloud-based FPM software

To remain competitive, your business must use a robust budgeting and planning solution that can go beyond basic revenue and expense planning. The most agile businesses can also manage financial close and consolidation while complying with ESG and regulatory reporting requirements.

Fortunately, cloud-based Financial Performance Management (FPM) software can address these concerns for companies who typically struggle with budgeting, planning, consolidation, and close.

Why choose Prophix to replace SAP BPC/BFC

While SAP generally caters to enterprise organizations, Prophix is ideally suited to both mid-market and enterprise companies. SAP specializes in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software, while Prophix is focused exclusively on Financial Performance Management (FPM) software.

It’s important to note: If you’re a mid-sized organization, the migration to SAP’s S/4HANA platform will likely lead to a longer implementation time and may be cost-prohibitive.

SAP is not a standalone solution

SAP Analytics Cloud and S/4HANA for Group Reporting are relatively new and untested applications, especially when compared to the robust capabilities in SAP BPC. These new solutions from SAP will force users to rely on third-party vendors, such as CCH Tagetik and Workiva, for complex financial close and regulatory reporting processes. As such, the S/4HANA platform is not suitable as a standalone solution for enterprise or mid-sized businesses.

In contrast, Prophix Financial Performance Platform has been designed specifically for finance leaders, no matter the size of their organization. Prophix’s platform brings together powerful consolidation, reporting and analysis, and budgeting and planning applications into one centralized interface.

Discover more about the Prophix Financial Performance Platform.

SAP lacks robust consolidation capabilities

Prophix’s Financial Consolidation application allows users to set up and amend their processes without the need for third-party solutions, costly consultants, or additional development efforts. In comparison, SAP BPC lacks robust consolidation capabilities and requires users to be well-versed in a 15-year-old technology.

The Prophix Financial Performance Platform has built-in logic that is designed to anticipate users’ needs. Unlike SAP, Prophix also offers pre-built solutions to help shorten implementation timelines even further and pave the way for easy onboarding.

SAP has limited reporting functionality and security

While SAP only offers basic Microsoft Office and web reporting for consolidators, Prophix has a library of out-of-the-box reports, including analysis, drill-down, and audit trail reports to ensure full transparency at any consolidation stage.

Since S/4HANA applications are hosted on the SAP Business Technology Platform, it might be difficult to maintain data security and privacy when using third-party solutions that are hosted on a different cloud platform. Prophix avoids this by using robust data encryption, advanced threat detection, and stringent access control measures to ensure security and privacy for all data, including personally identifiable information. Since the Prophix platform is hosted on the AWS cloudwe have multiple availability zones to support customers in all major countries across the European Union.

The right financial consolidation solution for you

In short, choosing the right financial consolidation software should be based on your specific business needs, goals, and the level of support you require. The Prophix Financial Performance Platform is well positioned to fill the gap that will be left by the sunsetting of SAP’s Business Planning and Consolidation (BPC) and BusinessObjects Financial Consolidation (BFC) products.

Whichever software you choose, implementing consolidation software is a huge upgrade from staying on spreadsheets and can bring your organization immense benefits, including improved accuracy, efficiency, and ability to drive business performance. 

Still unsure about financial consolidation software, or struggling to make the business case for your organization? Check out our 12 reasons for investing in financial consolidation software.

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Ambitious finance leaders use Prophix to drive progress. By improving the speed and accuracy of decision making, Prophix’s Financial Performance Platform elevates the talents of finance teams to do their best work. Crush complexity, reduce uncertainty, and illuminate insights with access to best-in-class AI insights and planning, budgeting, forecasting, reporting, and consolidation functionalities. Prophix is a private company, backed by Hg Capital, a leading investor in software and services businesses. More than 2,500 active customers across the globe rely on Prophix to achieve organizational success.

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