Earlier this week attended the SAP Business Analytics Release 4.0 Pre-briefing by Steve Lucas (GM Business Analytics ) SAP, below are some notes from the meeting:
Key focus of release 4 is the integration of the areas of Business intelligence & EIM. SAP has been working on this for the last 3 years. This whole thing is developed post acquisition under the SAP roof.
Steve Lucas an former BO employee indicated that he was very impressed by the Quality & Process rigor followed in development within SAP.
The vision of this release was to look at What the customers need the most? - The hardest things to do for customers ? and deal with them head on, Though it has taken longer to get the release out of the door, it has Substantial value.
Business Analytics / Intelligence was an key area since SAP 2009 ,2010 has seen explosive growth - 50% of SAP license revenue came from the business analytics space in North America. SAP analytics business had more license revenue Q4 of 2010 than most competitors did in the whole year. They have also setup a dedicated non billable team called "Customer success team" - Focused on delighting the customer with their use of SAP Business Analytics.
2011 - Is expected to be the most significant in their history.
Trends to watch for in this space:
- Mobility (Explore on IPAD etc, stuff on the play book)
- Data Challenge (BI hasn't kept pace with growth of information - too many layers to implement given the enormity of data - SAP addressing it differently with In-Memory stuff like HANA etc - dealing with 100's of billions of records)
What's most exciting in 4.0 (Differentiating / Customer asking for)
- Information Steward - All about trusted information - Driving information governance / process.
- Event Insight - Collect process and manage events that integrate with your BI / Analytics system
- Mobility - wherever / whenever - broader set of capability (other devices - committed across all platforms)
- In Memory - The killer app , particularly when paired with mobility. Mobility wont work if it takes forever to get the "information"
- Overall UI improvement - Each of the tools separate - UI standardized across client technology.
- Specifically for SAP ERP customers - Brand new way to access the SAP backend (BICS) - 2/3 times faster then anything else our there.
- BI / EIM integrated - Deep user / date integration - in scenarios like multi source universe creation
- 64 bit / virtualization / support for deployment on AWS (specifically for mid sized / small customers)
- Look at Streamwork (SaaS solution) integrates with BI - Key indicator of where SAP is going - Information sharing / Collaboration - primarily integration around data
- Broad data integration capabilities like FB / Twitter etc. (Sentiment analysis) / Data spun off from Social
- Evenly across customers that have SAP as their ERP & more agonistic customers. Absolutely laser like focused to bring the best BI/EIM solution for all customers not just SAP ERP customer.
- Leverage SAP Industries expertise / Business insight - Best run intimacy will be leveraged.