By Steve Lucas, General Manager, Business Analytics and Technology, SAP
The phrase “mobile first” perfectly summarizes the new priorities around business intelligence and the end-user experience. Mobile first means that when thinking about business intelligence (BI) or analytic tools or clients, the first design process is not for a PC. In the spirit of delivering compelling, interesting, and reliable mobile solutions, we laid out our plan to make the SAP mobile experience an outstanding one.
With the possibility of a post-Flash era coming (see my recent Forbes blog), you might be asking “What’s SAP’s mobile analytics strategy?” The answer to that is actually pretty straightforward and consists of three analytics-specific experiences we are currently delivering or plan to deliver to our customers.
- A structured mobile analytics experience that will bridge existing BI content with mobile devices. Today, we enable customers to extend their existing BI investments to their mobile device with SAP BusinessObjects Mobile.
- A semi-structured mobile analytics experience called high-definition analytics, focused on new content. Today, we call this SAP BusinessObjects Explorer and some exciting enhancements are just around the corner in early 2012, including a new feature set called Exploration Views.
- A completely open mobile analytics experience, where a user can define any mobile analytic/BI app he or she dreams up using a simple design tool, like having a mobile analytics design studio.
Watch my recent presentation from SapphireNOW that covers this roadmap in more detail.
Flexible Access to Analytics
Our goal is to create an overall experience that supports a range of mobile operating systems (iOS, Android, RIM OS, Windows Mobile, QNX, etc.) and flexible ways for people to access analytics data on those devices.
- If someone wants to access predefined reports and analytics on an iPad, SAP BusinessObjects Mobile can help.
- If a user wants to have a high-definition dashboard with flexible access to any data in a single view, he or she can use SAP BusinessObjects Explorer.
- If someone wants to have a completely custom analytic app on their iPhone where a giant button turns green when a KPI is met, mobile apps from SAP is the way to go.
The good news is that both SAP BusinessObjects Mobile BI and SAP BusinessObjects Explorer have mobile apps available today in the Apple App Store and will support additional key mobile platforms, including Android and RIM in 2012. Additionally, in Q1 2012 we’re releasing a new version of SAP BusinessObjects Explorer with offline capability and a new feature called Exploration Views! A preview is available on the App Store today. Search “SAP Experience”, look for the full release in XI4 feature pack 3). We also plan on launching a new app this year that will be like a mobile analytics design studio.
SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence report visualized on the iPad:
Big data with SAP HANA analyzed by SAP BusinessObjects Explorer:
Preview of the next generation of SAP BusinessObjects Explorer, coming in early 2012:
BI Collaboration in the Cloud with SAP StreamWork
I’d be remiss if I didn’t also mention SAP StreamWork. While it’s not core analytics, everyone reading this should check out www.streamwork.com and see how users can collaborate on BI data in the cloud…absolutely killer! In fact, SAP StreamWork can be used today to collaborate within all of our mobile apps – just enable email access within an SAP StreamWork account and start collaborating instantly!
It’s pretty compelling that we have a broad offering of mobile solutions that deliver an insanely great experience. I can’t wait for all of you to see the new apps we’re launching this year.
Plans for SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards in the Works, Too
I bet you’re wondering where the comments are on SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards (the product formerly known as Crystal Xcelsius).
The most important message is that we aren’t going to leave customers in a lurch and plan to deliver an HTML 5 version in 2012. This may not make life perfect, but it’ll provide a way to get the incredibly valuable content and assets available in SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards files, over to all mobile devices. More specific timeframes will be communicated in Q1 2012. So for all of our loyal dashboard customers out there - stay tuned and rest assured that we will deliver an insanely great experience for mobile dashboards.
The bottom line, as you can see in the roadmap graphic (click for full view) below – we’re working hard to make an outstanding user’s experience…viva la mobile!