Wednesday, June 30, 2021

SAP Analytics Business Intelligence Statement of Direction

For information on the latest SAP Business Intelligence Statement of Direction, click here.

SAP’s periodic statements of direction bring both inspiration and trepidation in their user and partner communities. They bring inspiration, because the future direction is always positive, especially in a transformational sense. But they bring trepidation because technologies to which we have become accustomed, and on which we rely for the smooth operation of many of our business processes, may become the collateral damage of this positive transformation.

SAPPHIRE is always an important event on the business calendar, because it is the time of year when our hopes of inspiration are fulfilled, and our trepidation is level set. You can read the new statement of direction delivered during SAPPHIRE NOW 2021 here.

SAP Analytics BI Statement of Direction

Now, many past product deprecations by SAP have been entirely due to the phasing out of an underlying technology such as Flash, but many organizations that rely on, and are very comfortable with, SAP BusinessObjects get nervous when a new statement of direction appears. They want to know what the future holds for BusinessObjects, because whatever digital transformation plans they have, they may not include a forced migration away from a dependable and versatile business intelligence platform.

The Future of SAP BusinessObjects

It’s no surprise that SAP Analytics Cloud will receive the majority share of analytics investment from SAP. The future is bright for SAC and SAC users. It is an integral part of SAP’s Intelligent Enterprise strategy, and is being embedded in their other Cloud solutions to provide analytics context specific to those solutions.

What is welcome news for organizations committed to SAP BusinessObjects is that SAP too is committing to this venerable BI solution beyond scheduled end of maintenance in 2027.

As we define the future of SAP Analytics Cloud, we are committed to our existing SAP BusinessObjects customers. We have delivered major innovations with the BI 4.3 release and the Support Pack 1, and will continue to enhance BI 4.3 on premise until the end of maintenance in 2027. The product will then evolve into a managed cloud subsc ription only, as part of the SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise, Private Cloud Edition (BOE PCE). Available today, BOE PCE allows more and more of our customers to shift their on-premise workloads to a managed cloud environment and will continue to evolve and be supported beyond 2027.

There is elegance to this solution. While SAP still prefers that all organizations make the move to SAC, the continued availability of BOE makes the process much easier for organizations not ready to make that leap. And for SAP, maintaining a Private Cloud Edition of BOE is much less onerous than supporting many different versions of the platform on premise, because they control much of the upgrade process. Rest assured that the SAP Partner Ecosystem will also continue to support SAP BusinessObjects into the foreseeable future.

The Present & Future of SAP Analytics Cloud

Embedding cloud-based analytics in cloud-based solutions such as S/4HANA is a step toward making analytics ubiquitous throughout the enterprise, and the future direction of SAC leverages this ubiquity with:

  • Augmented Analytics – Machine learning is a key area of investment.
  • Support for Information Workers – Make self-service analytics available to, and easy to use by, application / line-of-business users.
  • Enterprise Readiness – Expand SAC’s core capabilities to improve user experience, increase productivity, and provide a path for users coming to SAC from Bex Web, Web Application Designer (WAD), SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards (Xcelsius), SAP Lumira and SAP BusinessObjects Explorer.
  • Intelligent Enterprise – Provide embedded analytics across the SAP Cloud solution landscape.
  • Cloud Extension Policy – Provide flexibility in licensing to allow organizations to achieve a changing balance between SAP BusinessObjects and SAP Analytics Cloud.

All in all, this year’s statement of direction achieves an inspiring vision of the future, provides a clear path to that future, and minimizes the trepidation of those organizations that wish to tackle digital transformation at their own speed.

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