SAP Re-brands Analytics again!


In a recent post SAP President, SAP Enterprise Platform, Steven Lucas, announced the re-branding of the SAP Analytics portfolio. SAP have gone back to what is arguably their most powerful and universally recognized brand – BusinessObjects.

“Going forward, the SAP analytics portfolio will now fall under a single brand, SAP BusinessObjects.”

So the changes are as follows:

  • SAP Cloud for Analytics becomes SAP BusinessObjects Cloud
  • On premise BusinessObjects products become SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise in Standard, Pro, and Premium editions
  • SAP Digital Boardroom (powered by SAP BusinessObjects Cloud)

So far so good. This is a good move from a marketing perspective. The BusinessObjects brand is well known and associated with a quality product. However, the BusinessObjects brand has been around since the early 90’s. Proponents of what Gartner defines as “Modern BI Platforms” may unkindly ascribe the term “BI-nosaurs” to those still promoting traditional Enterprise BI Platforms. Hence the challenge will be incorporating into the BusinessObjects portfolio products or product add-ons that have attributes of a Modern BI Platform: Strong Visualization, Data Discovery, and Self-Service. SAP has a Visualization and Data Discovery tool in Lumira but it is being merged with Design Studio. Will the combined product gain enough traction in the market place to elevate the BusinessObjects portfolio back into the leaders quadrant for Mode 2 BI Platforms?

“Cloud” does NOT equal “integrated.”

Further elaborating on SAP BusinessObjects Cloud and Mobile (Roambi Acquisition), Steven is in fighting form with attacks on Vendors including Domo, GoodData, and Anaplan. BusinessObjects Cloud incorporates planning capability of what was formerly known as SAP Planning Cloud. This technology is built around the HANA Enterprise Cloud (HEC) Platform. The clear message is that Cloud does not equal integrated. This is a struggle for many Cloud Vendors. Customers do not want to constantly jump between applications to get work done. The mobile capability is still a work in progress but bodes well for the future of the paltform Mobile capability as Roambi (the brain child of the late, great Santiago Becerra of Xcelsius fame) is extremely well regarded for it’s excellent design. He also mentions the recent partnership with Apple to develop native iOS apps. This is similar to the partnership between Apple and IBM. So we can assume that there will be a a plan to deliver Mobile Apps integrating with Cloud based Analytics Services and providing seamless transitions between functions.

For on premise customers what is in store for the BI Platform – SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise and the Standard, Pro, and Premium editions? Currently the SAP BusinessObjects BI Platform 4.2 comprises:

  • Web Intelligence
  • Crystal Reports
  • Crystal Enterprise
  • Dashboards (Xcelsius)
  • Explorer
  • Analysis for OLAP
  • Analysis for Office
  • Live Office
  • Mobile BI

plus you can add in Lumira and Design Studio as part of the platform. The BI Platform Convergence Strategy sees Explorer, Analysis for OLAP disappearing and Lumira and Design Studio combining. In early February, it was announced that Customers on BI Suite licenses can also get Data Integrator, Sybase IQ, and Power Designer. There was no mention of these add-ons in the new portfolio!

BusinessObjects Enterprise Premium Edition will comprise:

  • Reporting
  • Discovery and Analysis
  • Dashboards and Applications
  • Office Integration
  • Mobile BI
  • Predictive Analytics
  • SAP HANA Vora Starter Kit

BusinessObjects Enterprise Professional Edition will comprise:

  • Reporting
  • Discovery and Analysis
  • Dashboards and Applications
  • Office Integration
  • Mobile BI

BusinessObjects Enterprise Standard Edition will comprise:

  • Reporting
  • Mobile BI

So for on premise customers there is a strong story with more value available through the addition of Data Integration and retrieval Tools to take advantage of technologies such as Apache Spark on Hadoop, relational data warehouses, or HTAP In-memory technologies such as HANA. There is much talk about what comprises a Modern Data Warehouse and certainly Hadoop and Apache Spark are currently flavours of the month in the Big Data Hype Cycle.

The challenge is going to be for those customers transitioning from on-premise to cloud. SAP BusinessObjects Cloud is completely different to SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise. How does an organisation transition thousands of reports built on-premise in Web Intelligence or Crystal to the equivalent in BusinessObjects Cloud. Furthermore, how can businesses leverage the Digital Boardroom if the vast majority of their content is on-premise? Where is the transition story?

Steven has promised a website to explain all of this further. I will update this post with more detail as the information comes to hand.


Official Press Release