SAP announced this week the official release of SAP Integrated Business Planning 6.1 for response and supply. With this latest release, SAP claims that all of the major components of this broad based application, first announced in 2012, are now available.

This Cloud based application runs on the SAP HANA platform and includes support for sales and operations planning (S&OP), product demand sensing and planning, supply and allocations planning, response planning and inventory optimization. SAP Integrated Business Planning is actually a set of five Cloud based applications deployed via a subscription model.  Variants include S&OP, supply, inventory, demand and SAP Supply Chain Control Tower.

SAP claims that this application suite has grown in cross-industry adoption and functional depth.  This author reserves judgement on that claim since SAP installed based feedback continues to indicate reservations in adoption. One ongoing concern is obviously the deployment of all mission critical integrated business planning in a hosted Cloud based platform as well as the implications of user training for the SAP HANA platform.

To help in that effort, SAP continues to offer a rapid-deployment service, described as a set of best practices and enablers to facilitate time-to-value.  In this week’s release announcement, the enterprise technology provider indicates introduction of a promotional package to be offered to existing SAP Advanced Planning and Optimization (SAP APO) and the SAP Enterprise Inventory and Service-Level Optimization Analytics application. Supply Chain Matters will be reaching out directly to SAP to seek more knowledge regarding the composition of these promotional packages.

Readers contemplating this application may want to partner with an experienced third-party systems integrator and supply chain consulting firm with strong credentials and knowledge of SAP supply chain management applications, especially if considering a transition from one planning platform to the other.

Bob Ferrari