SAP’s BI and Analytics Strategy
SAP recently announced their SAP BI and Analytics Strategy. The key take aways are:
- SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC) will be the tool positioned for Data Discovery scenarios and will be a prominent tool in the SAP Analytics Portfolio.
- SAP Lumira Discovery will be in maintenance mode starting in 2019.
- SAP Lumira Designer will still be enhanced and will support BI application development scenarios.
- SAP BOBJ BI Platform, Analysis for Office, WebI and Crystal will still be enhanced and supported.
- There will be tighter integration between on-premise and cloud based BI solutions. SAP recommends a hybrid strategy for customers.
- SAP Analytics Cloud will have Application Development capabilities (similar to Lumira Designer) starting in H2 2018.
Source: SAP 2018
What does this mean for existing SAP BusinessObjects BI Customers?
Tool convergence does not mean SAP is going to stop investing in on-premise SAP BusinessObjects BI tools. There will be a short-term impact for customers who are using Lumira Discovery now or potentially looking at using Lumira Discovery for data discovery use cases. SAP will still support Lumira Discovery until 2024; however, there will not be any enhancements provided past 2018.
Even though there will be future investments in on-premise tools, from the recent announcements it is clear that going forward majority of SAP’s Analytics investment is going to be around SAC. Customers should look at how they can leverage the enhanced Analytics capabilities available in SAC to support their data discovery use cases and develop a hybrid model for SAP Analytics leveraging SAC, on-premise SAP BusinessObjects BI and SAP Analytics Hub.
Should you panic and start moving to cloud?
The short answer is NO! However, if you have a business use case that can be met using the current features available in SAC, then you should definitely consider it. SAP clearly states the on-premise solutions will be enhanced and supported going forward. You will see tighter integration between on-premise BI solutions and SAC. Below are some integration scenarios that are currently available and planned for the future:
- SAP Analytics Hub as single point of entry for content from SAC and on-premise BI solutions
- Using SAP Analysis for Office for analyzing SAC data models
- Using WebI as a data source in SAC stories (Planned)
- Using SAC data models in SAP Lumira (Planned)
The tight integration with SAC and on-premise BI solutions will allow you to support the existing on-premise applications, develop new on-premise applications and slowly start investing in SAC for developing new content and migrating existing content on a need basis.
Do I have to move all the data to cloud?
No. The majority of SAP customers use the following on-premise data sources:
- SAP BW
- SAP HANA
- SAP S/4HANA
- SAP BusinessObjects Universes
An interesting part of the SAC architecture is the fact it offers Live connectivity to all the on-premise data sources listed above without having to move the data outside of the customer network. This is a great feature that allows customers to leverage their on-premise investments on existing Data Warehouse and Symantec layers. Also, the Live connectivity does tackle a lot of the data security challenges that you have to address while moving data outside of the corporate firewall.
At Archius, we see SAP leveraging the latest technologies to build a next generation Analytics Platform which integrates data preparation, visualization, planning and predictive in to one single platform a very positive move. The fact SAC is based on SAP Cloud Platform will help SAP to innovate at a faster pace by rolling out new functionalities in a seamless fashion. From a customer standpoint, this will allow for faster adoption and higher ROI (no more system upgrades and patches!).
The SAP Analytics experts at Archius have been working with SAC from the very early days (Project Orca, Cloud 4 Analytics, BusinessObjects Cloud) and have seen how SAC has evolved into an Analytics Platform that does much more than just data discovery and dashboards. Some of the items in our wish list for SAC are the following:
- Merging online and offline datasets (Planned for HANA views from the same source)
- Scheduling capabilities
- Smart Insights/Predictive capability for Live data connections (Planned)
- Extendibility of SAC features using SDK (bring your own D3 visualization, custom data connectors etc.)
- More online datasources (Cloud and on-premise)
How can we help?
The SAP Analytics SMEs at Archius have been assisting customers with their SAP BusinessObjects BI initiatives (Strategy & Roadmap, Sizing & Performance Tuning, Implementations & Upgrades, Support & Monitoring, Report Development, Data Visualization, SDK Development, Training, etc.) for the last several years and we can help guide you through your migration to SAP Analytics Cloud. We do provide several SAC packaged offerings including training, PoC/Jump Start, Initial set up and Configuration.
If you have any questions on SAP’s Analytics strategy, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org .