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Three solutions of Portfolio and Project Management?

Hello there,

I am a student who is doing a research about the Portfolio and Project Management and the Internal Orders in SAP S/4HANA. I have a question about the Portfolio and Project Management.

PPM Solutions For core PPM, SAP offers three solutions that can be combined to cover the business requirements of different scenarios:
- SAP Project System for SAP S/4HANA
- SAP Commercial Project Management for SAP S/4HANA

I don't understand this completely. Are all these 3 points in the Portfolio and Project Management or is it just the PPM?

Thank you!

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5 Answers

  • Posted on Oct 29, 2018 at 08:50 PM

    I've been working in SAP for 25 years and this is a hard question to answer mostly due to SAP's shifting marketing strategy.

    All three are separate products. PS is a module within SAP ERP (aka, ECC) and now it's successor S4HANA. CPM was originally sold as a separate bolt-on solution that integrated some data from CRM and PS to provide a holistic view of projects from a bid-to-project-closure view. It has done so well that SAP now ships it as a standard module within S4HANA. It's separate from PS... CPM reads data from PS as well as CRM and offers some reporting. But CPM is mostly an integration solution; the heavy lifting is still done in PS. PPM is not as successful as the other 2. There are some items within it that are no longer supported and I'm a bit surprised to see it moved to S4HANA but SAP might have added some functionality to it. PPM was supposed to replace Investment Management but IM is still used productively in S4HANA so I'm not sure about PPM's future.

    SAP has rebranded their project solution. It used to be PLM or PPM but is now EPPM (Enterprise Project and Portofolio Management). I honestly don't know the 100% right answer here because, like I said, SAP Marketing has messed around with this that it's hard to remember where things were assigned. Even now, PS is a module in ECC and S4HANA but they cover as part of the PLM solution even though PLM is a separate product. They do a good job of confusing the product vs. topic area.

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    • Nathan, PS, PPM and CPM are complementary modules and each of them has been developed for specific use cases. There are various project types in a company (Product Development Projects, Capital Projects, IT Projects or Customer Projects) and each of them requires unique capabilities in project management that are adressed either by a single product or by a combination of products.

      An feature and function comparison among these tools will not help customers to identify the right tools for their needs. It's crucial to understand what is the project type that the customer is dealing with, since this decides which products are needed to cover the full end-to end process. E.g. If a company is building and delivering custom specific products/services (e.g. construction industry, machine components etc.) they will need a project management tool that integrates with sales, billing and logistic processes as well tracking progress and earned values. This is exactly the focus of CPM which was built as an extension to PS and PPM to better manage the commercial aspects of projects. You may have realized that CPM isn't a standalone project management solution but it always requires either PS or PPM as the underlying operational project management solution.

      On the other side the focus of PPM is to provide capabilities for budget and capacity planning for entire project portfolios and link that with a tactical project management tools, such as PPM's own embedded Project Management or PS.

      The strength of PS is it's deep integration into Finance and Logistic processes. PS in fact is the core of any project solution architecture because it links the project management with the company's ERP processes.

      Your statement about the success of individual products (PPM vs. CPM) is completely wrong and misleading. PPM (aka xRPM, cProjects) is a product which is more than 15 years in the market, with a large customer base across all regions and industries. The reason why PPM/CPM have been merged into S4HANA is the goal to further improve the integration with ERP processes and such enable companies to establish a single source of truth for their project-related information in the digital core.

      BTW: EPPM is not a product name, it is the name for a Solution Area which summarizes all project-related solutions by SAP (PPM, CPM, PS, Innovation Management, EPC etc).

  • Posted on Nov 07, 2018 at 09:54 AM

    I'm afraid you are mixing the terms, as it is not that difficult to get confused with the enormous number of products and abbreviations SAP is using. However, PS and PPM are two different products, though they both speak of project management. To see the difference between them, please, consult this blog, for example.

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  • Posted on Nov 15, 2018 at 08:11 AM

    Hello All,

    Its been a difficult situation for deciding between PS/PPM/CPM, however all three are made for different purpose. but i would say SAP PS is backbone for other two products.

    PPM is getting all data from PS for any dashboard for Project Managers

    CPM is combined for Reports from PS as well as CRM for top management.

    please correct if wrong.

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  • Posted on Nov 29, 2018 at 01:36 AM

    I never said CPM wasn't successful. The fact that it's now part of the core S4HANA solution and no longer an add-on speaks for itself. The customer that I implemented it at loves it but I feel that it's mostly an integration solution. It has some features unique only to CPM but the main reason/justification to implement it is to integrate the CRM-to-RevenueProject flow. Also, I referred to EPPM as a 'project solution' and not an individual product. Lastly... I mis-spoke on cProjects. I meant cFolders, which to my understanding is no longer delivered with S4HANA.

    I think the fact that we've having this discussion just highlights the difficulty in clarifying the total solution. And when SAP names a product and a solution as the same thing (as they did with PPM) for awhile, it makes it a lot harder. Hopefully, the usage of EPPM and the inclusion of these different solutions within S4HANA will clarify that going forward.

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  • Posted on Feb 22, 2019 at 05:30 PM

    Additional reference to understand more about CPM, PS and PPM (EPPM) as complete PMIS.


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