S&OP for most of the Supply Chain stakeholders ranks to the top Supply Chain achievements, from the process perspective. When companies engage second gears, willing to convert organization and process efforts into IT solution, only few can afford going forward. Most of the player remain in Excel, because of the huge investment, available solutions represent.
Software editors argue much about big data, Cloud access, ERP integration, calculation power and advanced optimized Technics, whereas S&OP solution should normally be first and foremost simple, easy and flexible. Like Excel!!
On the other hand, many companies invested in APS solution to enhanced their planning power, which is related but not fully with S&OP intiative. Often APS came first to support DP, MPS, DRP and other planning topics.
My company DOWAP, focuses on APO since 15 years. That was about 4 years ago, I decided to create a DOWAP offer to support S&OP using APO-DP as a technical tool. SAP was silent at this time on this buzzy topic. Since they launched IBP which has many qualities however it belongs to the first paragraph above (expensive, complex and sized for the key SAP customers).
Main driver has been to design a easy to implement and comprehensive S&OP solution, for any company running APO-DP, not only the big ones. The current design covers all of the concepts of a modern S&OP also known as IBP, with Supply dimensions, Demand ones, Finance and simulation, real-time and agile.
FOr those of you interested in details, our solution is made of 4 main planning area (cubes) that communicate in real-time like in a meta-cube, allowing mixing dimensions from product, resource and BOR. Of course we developed some ABAP elements to allow this dynamism that is not possible otherwise. Result is outsanding and so easy.
To complete the picture, our customers can use our WAPPY-XSBS software that integrate SAP object into Excel, so that S&OP stakeholders may even personalize their screens and simulations to the necessary details.
You wish to learn a bit more, go http://dowap.eu/sop/
Last but not least, Data integration with other components of APO is just native whereas data collection from SAP ECC, like costs and prices, uses the normal SAP BW Technics, a matter of couple days.