Posts Tagged ‘roadmap’

SAP Discusses Latest BI Roadmap

August 15th, 2013 3 comments


Yesterday, many SAP BusinessObjects customers, mentors, partners and even a few competitors listened in as Steve Lucas as he unveiled SAP’s bold, new analytics strategy.  The twittersphere as active as tweets were tracked using #allaccessanalytics, we had a lot of fun.  Zimkhita Buwa quipped:

Steve emphasized that SAP isn’t delivering a ‘mission accomplished’ banner.  It’s just a ‘mission’ banner.  “Where we are and where we are going.”  There is a bunch still to come…  One of the first bold things he did announce was that the personal edition of SAP Lumira is free and you can download it now.  In addition you can also register for free access to the SAP Lumira Cloud.  You can register for free here.

New Mindset

It was clear to hear Steve’s passion for analytics.  His passion goes way, way back… and is always welcome.  In fact, I think this is an old picture of Steve’s car back in 2003.

He talked about BusinessObjects founder Bernard Liautaud and the rich legacy from which this SAP BusinessObjects BI Suite comes.  Steve took a note from Visha Sikka to say that SAP is and will innovate and that the Innovator’s Dilemma is crap.  Customers will continue to see great new innovations from SAP.

The new mindset from SAP delivers three pillars:

  • Enterprise Business Intelligence – For the Entire Organization
  • Agile Visualization – For the Business
  • Advanced Analytics – Data Science for Everyone

Enterprise Business Intelligence

With 60,000 customers, SAP continues to have to largest market share within the Business Intelligence space.  SAP BusinessObjects didn’t invent Business Intelligence but our experience in the space is very rich… and if not SAP BusinessObjects then who?  SAP is going to continue to build out capabilities for the Enterprise organization.  This is squarely focused on our SAP BusinessObjects product line.

At the same time the market has shifted and everyday business users want to be able to connect to their data quickly and easily and get new insights and share those insights with colleagues… and perhaps not have IT involved at all.  That brings us to agile visualization.

Agile Visualization

In SAP’s mind, Agile means it’s incredibly easy to adopt and deploy.  It should be light-weight.  Visualization means that its high quality and there is storytelling behind it.  The visualization tells a story.  It gives new insights.

So is this just Lumira?

No.  Steve was clear about this.  This is not just Lumira.  Lumira and Lumira cloud are a part of the agile visualization strategy, but the agile visualization strategy.  He promised that more would be shared at TechEd, etc.  I think this is great news!  We are beginning to see integration today between Lumira Cloud and on-premise systems and it sounds like this will continue.

Advanced Analytics

Steve said that this is more than just predictive.  As with Lumira, Predictive is a part, but there’s more.  SAP’s view is that this is not just for data scientists but data science for everyone.  It sounds we might begin seeing more ‘smart’ functionality build into the analytics.  We’ve already seen predictive leveraging the interface of Lumira for easy data access.  I can definitely envision a lot of possibilities here.

Key SAP Executives

Michael Reh (@reh_michael) – is leading development.  Passionate about analytics.

Christian Rodatus (@crodatus)  – Go to market executive for analytics.  18 years at Teradata.  Brings big data perspective.

Shekhar Iyer (@shekharlyer111) is leading the BI organization.  Brings a predictive perspective.

Jack Miller (@jackmillerIII) is Chief Customer Officer – in charge of generating successful, happy customers.

Jayne Landry (@jaynelandry) is Crystal Kiwi, working closely with Shekhar.

Other Highlights

SAP BusinessObjects BI Suite 4.1 is out of ramp-up.  All the KPIs were hit, so I would expect a GA release soon with the release of SP1.

There was a great video of a WebIntelligence-like product that was running on top of HANA.  It was written completely in HTML5.  I’ve never seen this before.

Screenshot of HTML5 WebI-like Tool

There was another nice video of Lumira doing geospatial analysis using the new Lumira Visualization Extensions which were released with SP11.  Timo Elliott recently did a nice blog post talking about this topic.

Lumira with Geospatial Capabilities

Lumira with Geospatial Plug-in

On September 9th, SAP is planning to launch a new BI online support site.  It looks as if they are following in the footsteps of the HANA launch site.  They briefly showed a mock-up of what it might look like.

Magic Bus

Steve revealed the new bus.  Yes, it’s a literal Big Data Bus.  SAP will be rolling out a mobile briefing center that will be used to showcase SAP’s latest and greatest. I think it’s one of SAP’s ways of saying there’s  50 ways to leave your… niche BI tools.   So hop on the bus Gus!

I couldn’t resist.

My Thoughts…

If you are an SAP customer and haven’t yet purchased SAP BusinessObjects, there is no better time than now.  The integration between SAP and the BusinessObjects BI Suite is second to none.  Here are a list of just a few of the unique advantages you can leverage when reporting against SAP ERP and SAP BW with SAP BusinessObjects:

  • Support for SAP CTS+
  • Integration with Solution Manager
  • Support for RRI (Report to Report Interface)
  • Support for BICS (3x faster than legacy BAPI interface)
  • Best Heterogeneous data source support
  • Best Slice/dice performance within MS Excel
  • Embedded Analytics within SAP Business Suite EP6
  • Crystal Reports options for Advanced List Viewer (ALV)
  • Semantic layer support for Infosets, ABAP functions and ABAP Queries
  • 100% In-memory support for all your SAP data

If your organization is committed to SAP Business Suite, then leveraging SAP BusinessObjects to provide reporting off those solutions is a no brainer.

Secondly, have a look at Predictive Analysis.  Although this product is relatively new, SAP has come a long way very quickly.  SAP has combined the core self-service Lumira (Visual Intelligence) product together with the power of R to deliver world class predictive analytics to the data analyst.  The interface is extremely easy to use and if you haven’t seen it, check out the post I did where I provided a product walk-through.  It may not necessarily replace SAS today, but it can deliver tremendous value by shortening the length of time it takes data analysts to build, model and run predictive algorithms.  Users are no longer wholly dependent on the small number of statisticians to provide predictive  and statistical analysis.  Predictive Analysis is a game changer.

Thirdly, get familiar with SAP’s simplified licensing.  Back in the day, when BusinessObjects was just one product, licensing was easy. Over the years as the BusinessObjects BI portfolio has grown, not everyone was ready to leverage the new technologies such as WebIntelligence, Dashboards, Explorer, etc.  As a result, BusinessObjects allowed customers to buy products à la carte to keep the pricing competitive.   A lot has changed.  Today, Business Intelligence is ubiquitous.  Everyone needs it and organizations should want to leverage the same solution for multiple types of users who have different analytic needs.  Back when the only product was had was Crystal Reports, I used to show how Crystal Reports provided enterprise reporting, adhoc reporting and dashboards. SAP’s approach was to simplify this licensing through bundles.  At the beginning of 2013, SAP offered BI Suite licensing which provided two important changes:  concurrent user licensing and a powerful software bundle of nearly every product in the SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Product Suite.


This #allaccesswebinar didn’t answer all our questions but one thing was clear:  SAP is fully committed to an easy-to-adopt analytics product suite for all users that serves the enterprise through both on-premise and cloud.  They are committed to delivering solutions that: compete head-to-head against the newcomers, deliver customer value and are agile and easy to adopt and use.

If you want more information on the latest published roadmaps from SAP, go here.

Now… hop on the bus Gus!

«Good BI»

BusinessObjects BI Decision Tree

May 21st, 2012 1 comment

UPDATE 10/5/2012:  Things have continued to evolve since May and therefore this post has been updated based on the latest roadmap information coming from SAP together with, as always, some of my own thoughts and opinions.

The good news, bad news about the SAP BusinessObjects product suite is that although there is a lot of best-of-breed functionality there, it can sometimes be a challenge to know what tool to use in every situation.

As a result, I did some research, leveraged some pre-existing content from SDN and came out with this updated BI Decision Tree.

BI Decision Tree

I have updated this decision tree to include the two recent product announcements

  • SAP Visual Intelligence
  • SAP Predictive Analysis

This chart is not meant to be a definitive guide to selecting the right tool because there are always additional factors to consider, but by and large this will get you there most of the time.

Click on Chart to Enlarge

10/5/2012 CLARIFICATION:  If you are doing Business Intelligence of SAP BW, you should be always look at using Analysis for Office for OLAP Analysis within Excel and Analysis for OLAP for OLAP analysis over the web.  These solutions are premium alternatives to the legacy BEx Analyzer for Excel and BEx Web respectively.  Personally I prefer Analysis for Office for all my BEx Analysis just because I prefer the performance and interface of Excel to the one delivered on the web.

Analysis for Application Design (Code named Zen) is still under development and will be the premium alternative for Web Application Designer.  Here is the official SAP SOD for dashboarding.  So glad Miko pushed for this webinar!

WebIntelligence Rocks

Since I discovered Business Intelligence using Crystal Reports and consider it my “first love”, this admission hurts.  I had this blog 90% written when it hit me.  Does anyone even use Analysis for OLAP?  Why put it on the chart? Everyone uses WebIntelligence for connecting to OLAP data.

Today,WebIntelligence provides OLAP connectivity through the semantic layer and the WebIntelligence user interface is OLAP aware with a grown up OLAP look & feel.  It can feel like a native OLAP tool instead of a relational tool that just flattens OLAP data.

10/5/2012: WebIntelligence is not a native OLAP tool so there are limitations.  If you are using SAP BW, only Analysis for Office and Analysis for OLAP are native OLAP tools and will give the full richness of an OLAP experience.  Some capabilities that are not supported by WebIntelligence are:

  • The ability switch hierarchies without “refreshing” the report
  • Ranking data at a given hierarchy level

The End of Analysis for OLAP?

SAP customers that I’ve worked with are using WebIntelligence to do their formatted reporting and Analysis for Office to keep their finance users happy.  I see some Crystal Reports, but WebIntelligence came a long way in BusinessObjects v4.0 with formatted reporting.

Did you see any Analysis for OLAP sessions at Sapphire this year?  I didn’t think so.  And typically session content is driven by customer interest.

It’s a lonely time for Analysis for OLAP (a.k.a. OLAP Intelligence, OLAP Analysis, Seagate Analysis – boy I’m feeling old).

10/5/2012: I’ve received some feedback from folks saying that Analysis for OLAP is alive and well and has parity functionality with Analysis for Office.  Well, it’s not quite parity when it comes to all the shortcuts and right-clicks, but if you can’t use Analysis for Office, then it does get the job done.  

Your Thoughts

Please let me know your thoughts on this topic.

Do you find it pretty easy to help customers know what tools to use when?

«Good BI»


Best of 2011: Lucas Articulates Value of Analytics for Utilities

December 16th, 2011 2 comments

Back in September, Steve Lucas, Global Senior Executive for Business Analytics, stole the show with a hugely entertaining and well articulated discussion of innovation for Utilities.


From beginning to end, Steve Lucas entertains as he communicates why better information is the key to creating real change.

If you are interested in:

  • Seeing Why BI is a Strategic Enabler for Utilities
  • Moving from a System of Record to a System of Engagement
  • Following a path to flawless information execution

This is a great 30 minute keynote for helping communicate what SAP is doing in the Utilities industry.

SAP helps utilities run better.

«Good BI»

End of Life Dates…

July 26th, 2010 6 comments

For end of life days about SAP BusinessObjects products go here:

On the left had side you should see a tree menu with a link for “Product End of Life Dates”.  This will bring you to the page which displays the original GA (general availability) dates, patch support end-of-life dates and tech support end-of-life dates.

As of July 26th, 2010 here are the dates:

Product and Version GA Date Patch Support EOL Tech Support EOL
BusinessObjects Enterprise XI R2 24-Nov-2005 23-Apr-2007 30-Jun-20111
BusinessObjects Enterprise XI R2 SP1 30-Mar-2006a 31-Aug-2007 30-Jun-20112
BusinessObjects Enterprise XI R2 SP2 23-Apr-2007 31-Mar-2008 30-Jun-20113
BusinessObjects Enterprise XI R2 SP3 20-Nov-2007 30-Sep-2008 30-Jun-20114
BusinessObjects Enterprise XI R2 SP4 31-May-2008 30-Nov-2009 30-Jun-20115
BusinessObjects Enterprise XI R2 SP5 31-Dec-2008 30-Jun-2010 30-Jun-2011
BusinessObjects Enterprise XI R2 SP6 16-Dec-2009 30-Jun-2010 30-Jun-2011
BusinessObjects Metify ABM 3.0 Various 30-April-2011 30-April-2011
BusinessObjects Planning 10.83 31-Jan-2007 31-Dec-2010 31-Dec-2010
BusinessObjects Planning XI 11.00 31-Jun-2006 31-Dec-2010 31-Dec-2010
BusinessObjects Planning XI 11.10 31-Dec-2006 31-Dec-2010 31-Dec-2010
BusinessObjects Planning XI R2 11.20 31-May-2007 31-Dec-2011 31-Dec-2013
BusinessObjects Planning XI R2 11.50 30-Sep-2007 31-Dec-2011 31-Dec-2013
BusinessObjects Planning XI R2 11.60 27-Jun-2008 31-Dec-2011 31-Dec-2013
BusinessObjects Planning Extended 5.0 30-Sep-2006 31-Dec-2011 31-Dec-2011b
BusinessObjects Planning Extended 5.3 30-Sep-2007 31-Dec-2011 31-Dec-2011b
BusinessObjects Planning Extended 5.4 30-Sep-2007 31-Dec-2011 31-Dec-2011b
Composer XI Release 2 (version 11.7) 13-Apr-2007 1-Jun-2009 1-Jun-2010
Crystal Decisions Professional 4-Jun-2007 30-Jun-2010 30-Jun-2011
Crystal Decisions Standard 2-Feb-2007 30-Jun-2010 30-Jun-2011
Crystal Decisions Standard (SP2) 4-Jun-2007 30-Jun-2010 30-Jun-2011
Crystal Reports for Eclipse 31-July-2006 31-Dec-2009 31-Dec-2010
Crystal Reports XI R2 24-Nov-2005 30-Jun-2010 30-Jun-2011
Crystal Reports for VS .NET 9.1 NA NA 31-Dec-2012
Crystal Reports for VS .NET 2005 NA NA 31-Dec-2015
Crystal Reports for VS .NET 2008 NA NA 31-Dec-2018
Crystal Reports Server XI R2 31-Mar-2006 30-Jun-2010 30-Jun-20111
Crystal Reports Server Embedded XI R2 NA NA 30-Jun-20111
Crystal Vision 30-Jun-2006 30-Jun-2009 30-Jun-2011
Crystal Vision Server 30-Jun-2006 30-Jun-2009 30-Jun-2011
Crystal Xcelsius 4.5 30-Jun-2006 30-Jun-2009 30-Jun-2011
Data Federator XI R2 Accelerated 30-Jan-2007 1-Jan-2010 1-Jun-2010
Data Federator XI Release 2 2-May-2006 1-Jun-2009 1-Jan-2010
Data Insight XI 3.0 30-Sep-2008 31-Mar-2011 31-Dec-2011
Data Integrator XI R2 Accelerated (11.7.3) 8-Nov-2007 31-Dec-2011 31-Dec-2011
Data Integrator XI Release 2 30-Sep-2005 30-Jun-2009 30-Jun-2010
Data Quality XI 30-Aug-2007 31-Mar-2008 31-Mar-2011
Data Quality XI 1-Oct-2007 1-Oct-2008 31-Mar-2011
Data Quality XI 20-Feb-2009 N/A 31-Mar-2011
Data Quality XI for Informatica 8.1, 11.7 26-Sep-2007 31-Dec-2009 31-Dec-2010
Data Quality XI for Informatica, 11.5 19-Sep-2006 19-Sep-2009 31-Dec-2010
Data Quality XI for Oracle E-Business Suite, 11.7 26-Sep-2007 31-Jan-2009 31-Dec-2010
Data Quality XI for Oracle E-Business Suite, 11.5 31-Jan-2007 31-Jan-2009 31-Dec-2010
Data Quality XI for Oracle’s PeopleSoft Campus Solutions 8.9, 11.5 26-Sep-2007 31-Dec-2008 30-Sep-2010
Data Quality XI for Oracle’s PeopleSoft CRM 8.9, 11.5 25-Oct-2006 31-Dec-2008 30-Jun-2010
Data Quality XI for Oracle’s Siebel CRM 7.7 & 7.8 Applications, 11.7 26-Sep-2007 31-Aug-2008 31-Dec-2010
Data Quality XI for SAP Solutions, 11.6.x 25-Jun-2007 31-Jul-2009 31-Mar-2010
Data Quality XI for SAP Solutions, 11.7.x 28-Mar-2008 31-Jul-2009 31-Mar-2011
Desktop Intelligence XI R2 24-Nov-2005 30-Jun-2009 30-Jun-20111
Edge Professional 4-Jun-2007 30-Jun-2010 30-Jun-2011
Edge Standard 2-Feb-2007 30-Jun-2010 30-Jun-2011
Edge Standard SP2 4-Jun-2007 30-Jun-2010 30-Jun-2011
Edge 3.0 Professional 16-June-2008 30-June-2011 30-June-2012
Edge 3.0 Standard 16-July-2008 30-June-2011 30-June-2012
FUZZY! Analyzer 5.0 30-Jun-2005 30-July-2011 30-July-2011
FUZZY! BoykottCheck 5.4 02-Aug-2007 30-July-2011 30-July-2011
FUZZY! DIME 1.5 30-July-2007 30-July-2011 30-July-2011
Global Data Quality Connector for SAP, 3.x 1-Sep-2006 30-Sep-2008 31-Mar-2010
Integration Kit for Baan XI R2 6-Dec-2005 6-Dec-2008 30-Jun-20116
Integration Kit for PeopleSoft XI R2 5-Dec-2005 5-Dec-2008 30-Jun-20117
Integration Kit for SAP XI R2 9-Dec-2005 9-Dec-2008 30-Jun-20118
Integration Kit for Siebel XI R2 1-Dec-2005 1-Dec-2008 30-Jun-20119
Intelligent Question XI R2 21-Nov-2005 30-Jun-2009 30-Jun-2010
Live Office XI R2 24-Nov-2005 30-Jun-2009 30-Jun-20111
Live Office XI R2 Productivity Pack 23-Apr-2007 23-Apr-2010 30-Jun-201110
Metadata Management XI R2 (version 11.7) 4-Feb-2007 1-Jun-2009 30-Jun-201111
OLAP Intelligence XI Release 2 24-Nov-2005 30-Jun-2009 30-Jun-20111
Performance Manager XI R2 24-Nov-2005 1-Jun-2009 30-Jun-201111
Performance Manager XI 3.0 31-Mar-2008 31-Mar-2011 31-Mar-2012
Predictive Analysis XI R2 24-Nov-2005 1-Jun-2009 30-Jun-201111
Predictive Analysis XI 3.0 31-Mar-2008 31 Mar-2011 31-Mar-2012
Watchlist Security Various 30-Jun-2009 31-Mar-2011
Web Intelligence XI Release 2 24-Nov-2005 30-Jun-2009 30-Jun-20111

a For the Russian and Polish language editions of BusinessObjects Enterprise XI R2 SP1 the GA date is 4-Oct-2006.
b For selected customers extended maintenance is available for calendar years 2012 and 2013. The extended maintenance is offered for an additional 5.0% for each year.
1 30-Jun-10 – Original EOL date before extended support. For more information about extended support click here.
2 31-Aug-07 – Original EOL date before extended support. For more information about extended support click here.
3 31-Mar-08 – Original EOL date before extended support. For more information about extended support click here.
4 30-Sep-08 – Original EOL date before extended support. For more information about extended support click here.
5 30-Nov-09 – Original EOL date before extended support. For more information about extended support click here.
6 06-Dec-06 – Original EOL date before extended support. For more information about extended support click here.
7 05-Dec-06 – Original EOL date before extended support. For more information about extended support click here.
8 09-Dec-06 – Original EOL date before extended support. For more information about extended support click here.
9 01-Dec-06 – Original EOL date before extended support. For more information about extended support click here.
10 23-Apr-11 – Original EOL date before extended support. For more information about extended support click here.
11 01-Jun-10 – Original EOL date before extended support. For more information about extended support click here.

«Good BI»

Categories: Administrators, BI Platform, Help! Tags:

Need to Feel Good about BusinessObjects?

December 17th, 2009 2 comments

Looking Forward to 2010

Over and over again I get questions from customers wondering what the future for the BusinessObjects product suite holds now that it has been acquired by software giant SAP.  Much of what we have heard over the last twelve months has been about product roadmaps and integration centered clearly around SAP Customers.  But what about those of us who aren’t SAP customers?  What should we do?

The Future of SAP BusinessObjects

SAP has the challenge of providing deeper, native integration with the SAP BusinessObjects tool set to meet the needs of their ERP Customers.  This cannot however be done at the exclusion of the rest of classic BusinessObjects large ecosystem which includes significant numbers of OEM partners and integrators who need the type of openness that has made BusinessObjects a trusted platform for Business Intelligence.  I don’t have a crystal ball, but based on what I have seen, SAP understands that there is a large customer base of BusinessObjects customers who neither currently have or will ever have classic SAP as part of their environments.

The preliminary indications are positive.  The buzz from the GBN conference in October was positive.  SAP BusinessObjects XI 3.1 introduced more features for non-SAP platforms that for SAP platforms.  SAP BusinessObjects continues to enhance WebIntelligence providing all but a few of the remaining features from DesktopIntelligence.  SAP BusinessObjects Explorer will allow for accelerated non-SAP data in early 2010.  I believe this will continue to be the case for the next major release of SAP BusinessObjects due out next year.  Time will tell.

Feeling Not So Special

I like many customers have been disappointed with the consolidation of SAP’s ASUG and BusinessObjects’s GBN.  During the recent GABOUG meeting, I was invited to visit Atlanta’s ASUG user group meeting in January.  I glanced at the current agenda and had to smile.  Of the 15+ topics that would discussed during the all day event, only one topic sounded BI related, Emerging Urgencies within SAP’s Business User Solutions.  I hope the lack of non-SAP related content is only a part of the initial growing pains and not an indication of things to come.

To ASUG’s credit, they have since added one additional BI session in the afternoon lead by Gabriel Orthous from McKesson.

Need to Feel Good about BusinessObjects?

I learned something more about SAP BusinessObjects from this video… the end might catch you by surprise.  [UPDATE: Oh Man!  No sense of humor?  It would appear that for reasons of either “inappropriateness” or “excessive political correctness”, depending on your point of view, somebody at SAP told YouTube to pull the video…  Shame.  It was really funny]

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