Honestly, some fear and doubt has lead me writing this piece.
We as SAP BI/BW practitioners/consultants have helped achieve implement and support the BI/BW solution into organizations. We are moving (some of them have already) towards SAP Business Objects as their sole reporting platform front-end with SAP BI/ Other data warehousing solution.
Customer – “Let us implement BI.”
Elements such as implementation cost, change management, core team, ROI, resources, time like always formed a base set of factors for an organization to decide and go ahead with a successful BI implementation. Now, with technology revamping itself in so short a time that customer are still in a stage to absorb the former. This is a natural belief and I assume would be applicable in most of the cases.
Customer – “Let us look at all the BI tools available in the market.”
My intend towards writing this blog is “These scenarios are making the customers think the same elements to decide for a BI implementation in a whole new manner”. There are many BI solutions/tools available in the market to suit every customer in regards to time, effort and cost. And I guess everyone would agree to the fact, SAP BI implementations consume considerable time. Yes, depending upon the strategy and processes adopted for the implementation the time can be cut down. Still, even if it is optimized, do we really think we will be really get a report working in Production within 2 days??
Customer – “BO needs SAP BI?”
With Business Objects capability of working with practically any underlying database, I along with many believe it has established a strong integration with non-SAP sources of data. If we put the customer’s thinking cap, can we expect them to think in a way similar to this — Why not take an underlying data base with minimum implementation time, less number of implementation resources, minimal cost and later on a minimal support required too? Make Business Objects sit on top of it, and I am done.
Customer – “Then why buy SAP BI?”
If it seems, I am questioning the future of SAP BI. Yes I am. Because I have a lot of thoughts flying through my mind that I would request help me achieve clarity on. We as SAP BI practitioners need to justify our customers, in turn. Can we build a strong justification of SAP BI implementation on implementation time, costing, resources and support? We will not be able to do this keeping in mind SAP BI as a stand alone solution but need to compare it with a series of BI tools available in the market.
I strongly believe if we can work on how to target and continuously rebuild these soft elements along with the advancing technology. This will allow the customers and us feel justified resulting in the best an organization can get after the implementation. As consultants, we need to continuously rebuild the vision with such technological advancements. This in turn needs to be shared with the customers, to allow them feel at ease and comfortable in the all the resources and effort they put in towards a BI implementation.
Will not this dynamic nature be passed on to them, not as a question but as a vision for which they already have an answer.
PS: I have read a number of blogs and expert comments on future of BI, BI-BO but a realistic flavour was felt missing in those, since I still have the thinking cap of that of a customer. Because finally its not what we want, its what we help they achieve the best in what they want.