by David Williams, Head of EPM Product Marketing, SAP        @daveswilliams 

Clouds, Dusseldorf, North Rhine-Westphalia, GermanyToday at our second annual SAP Conference for EPM in Chicago, we made a big announcement. Hints were dropped along the way, competitors speculated, but the cat is now finally out of the bag. I´m very happy to announce SAP Cloud for Planning, a brand new, built-for-SaaS planning and analysis application (heavy emphasis on “and analysis”).

Our mission was simple; build a modern planning app in the cloud with the look and feel of a consumer app and bring collaboration and analytics where they belong – within the context of your planning process. Usability was a key design principle of the solution from the start – not an afterthought – and to make this happen, an entire design team was brought into the development process from day one to focus on user ergonomics.

The app is centered around the user, financial planning and analysis, and other business planners/analysts, so there’s a natural flow between analyzing, planning, collaborating, and consuming information through the Web and on mobile device. This is in contrast to a technology-first approach that determines how one does business modeling or drills into detailed information.

SAP Cloud for Planning introduces a new generation of enterprise performance management (EPM) in the cloud.  Just watch the SAP Cloud for Planning video, and you´ll immediately see we didn´t just try to recreate what was already out there and put it in the cloud. This is different.

But, it´s not just another pretty face. Any customer, whether they run SAP or not, can get up and running quickly with a future-oriented planning and analysis app that performs how and when you expect – no matter how many users or the level of detail. And SAP customers who are already running our widely deployed SAP Business Planning and Consolidation application, and are looking to complement it with a public cloud planning app in a business unit(s), can leverage bi-directional integration between the two solutions for a hybrid approach.

Stay tuned for our next blog which will go behind the scenes of SAP Cloud for Planning with solution owner Ivo Bauermann.