Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Snowflake and the SAP Analytics Cloud Opportunity

The role of the Snowflake Partner community is to smooth the way for organizations to adopt, use, and benefit from the Snowflake Cloud Data platform. To do so, we need to identify which organizations stand to benefit. We need to follow the data.

Where does the data take us when we ask where the vast majority of transactional data is used for AI, ML, BI, Planning, and Predictive Analytics? It takes us to SAP Analytics Cloud.

SAP Analytics Cloud is the go-forward BI and Analytics solution for SAP customers. SAP has invested heavily into this cloud-based Analytics platform, combining Business Intelligence (BI), Planning, and Predictive Analytics reporting, with AI and ML capabilities, all in one platform. SAP Analytics Cloud is embedded within all SAP ERP and Line of Business applications, so with this level of emphasis within the massive SAP customer base, current and future adoption of this analytics platform will be huge.

In 2022, SAP reported that:

  • SAP customers generate 87% of total global commerce ($46 trillion)
  • 99 of the 100 largest companies in the world are SAP customers
  • 97 of the 100 greenest companies in the world run SAP

Given the size of this existing and potential market, it makes eminent sense for the Snowflake community to cultivate connectivity with SAP solutions in general, and with SAP Analytics Cloud in particular.

The Importance of Live Data Connectivity

Why live data connectivity?

The Holy Grail of BI and Analytics has always been to serve a single, unified version of the corporate reality to an organization’s users. Data latency has always been the enemy of this quest. The quest can only draw close to its objective when all data is as current as possible.

If we think of Analytics as the engine driving an enterprise, then live data connectivity is the means to ensure all pistons are firing on the same rich mix of data.

SAP recognizes the importance of live data connectivity: they provide this connectivity natively for SAP data assets. However, they do not provide live data connectivity for most non-SAP data assets. SAP relies on their Partner Eco System to provide such capabilities, and particularly on the APOS Live Data Gateway.

APOS Live Data Gateway

APOS Live Data Gateway provides high-performance, live data connectivity to petabytes of data residing on the Snowflake Data Cloud platform for organizations that have standardized on SAP Analytics Cloud for BI and Analytics. Organizations can focus on getting their data into the solid data foundation presented by Snowflake rather than replicating data for use in BI and Analytics.

From the SAP Analytics Cloud perspective, APOS Live Data Gateway provides fast, efficient, transparent, and live data access to the Snowflake Data Cloud, leveraging Snowflake’s existing data modelling while respecting Snowflake’s security structures.

Using APOS Live Data Gateway’s live data connectivity ensures:

  • SAP Analytics Cloud users have high-performance live data connectivity to Snowflake. (See impressive results here.) with queries on a 10+ TB Snowflake Data Cloud deployment returned in under 2 seconds.
  • Data remains in Snowflake (no need to move data to SAP Analytics Cloud).
  • Snowflake Data Cloud data is always current for SAP Analytics Cloud users.
  • All SAP Analytics Cloud queries are governed by Snowflake Data Cloud security provisions and Snowflake roles are respected.
  • SAP Analytics Cloud users have a business-oriented semantic layer through which to view Snowflake Data Cloud data.

What Is APOS Live Data Gateway?

APOS Live Data Gateway is a middleware platform which provides virtualized data connection and data transformation to enable live data connectivity and expanded data source options for SAP Analytics Cloud. Its layered architecture performs:

  • Data Virtualization
    Connecting to data assets via OData, XMLA, JDBC, JSON, REST, or APIs.
  • Data Preparation
    Defining measures and dimensions and which fields are exposed; managing table links and joins; and setting meaningful field names to assist self-service data modelling and Analytics story creation.
  • Semantic Data Consumption
    Connecting to Analytics using native protocols and presenting data in a highly usable form.
Use Case - UNX Adoption at a US Division 1 University

Advanced Features of APOS Live Data Gateway

Looking beyond the product’s core functionality, we can see some of the advanced functionality that makes APOS Live Data Gateway such a popular solution for live data connectivity:

  • Single Sign-On
    Unified security authentication enforcing data source security and simplifying user experience.
  • Shared Connections
    Single point of SSO for multiple connections with master connections spawning multiple child connections and removing the need to multiply Analytics connections.
  • Date Dimension Support
    Hierarchical and custom data dimension support to enable drill down, time series charts, and variance charts.
  • Custom Hierarchy Support
    Custom dimensions and hierarchies on non-hierarchical data to simplify user navigation and improve analysis.
  • Variables Support
    Data filtering and custom variables to simplify user experience and improve analysis.
  • Geospatial Support
    Supply data for geospatial representations, including multiple projection support, for highly visual Analytics.

About APOS

APOS Systems has a decades-long track record of providing high-impact, value-added solutions in the Business Intelligence, Analytics, and Location Intelligence spaces. What does that mean for the Snowflake community? It means expanded and simplified live data connectivity to Analytics platforms, particularly within, but not limited to, the SAP solution landscape. Learn more


Learn more about APOS Live Data Gateway

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