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What Really Makes SAP Cloud Analytics Special?

What really makes SAP Cloud Analytics special? It’s the depth of content and the possibility to combine this content with optional components.

It’s like buying a C-Class. SAP Cloud Analytics is a C-Class. It’s already a great car…and then you have the options, leather seats, audiophile package, and even increased horsepower…

SAP has had analytical solution for many years and, admittedly, the Cloud Analytics we now offer are an evolution rather than a revolution in what we are providing for customers to help them make better decisions.

However, the combination of value components, and the overall SAP’s strength in the area of analytics is unparalleled.  It brings together extensive content through cloud analytics, best-in-class visualizations, powerful integration tools, the ability of aggregating data coming from disparate systems and a state-of-the-art big data technology. These solutions can be used separately for individual use cases, or together, in which case they reinforce and enhance each other.

Other cloud providers started with some analytics and reporting in the context of their applications, and now they are making inroads into analytics as a platform. They have limited to no content, no aggregation capability and only basic visualization compared to the components of the BusinessObjects suite. Their claim about big data capability is inflated or at least premature. In any case, for customers with big data requirements, HANA is clearly a more powerful platform for big data.

What are the components that SAP SuccessFactors provides?

  • Extensive content. SAP provides an extensive library of purpose-built analytics applications across lines of business and industries that leverage a mature, best-in-class technologies.  Specifically in the area of HR and Talent Management, SAP leads with SuccessFactors Workforce Analytics and Workforce Planning, formerly InfoHRM and the most recognized brand in HR analytics, delivering a comprehensive library of 2000+ metrics, HR strategies and benchmarks, predictive models, and question-driven analysis etc. designed specifically around HR’s role as a business enabler.
  • Central aggregator for consolidation. Many organizations continue to manage a host of disparate solutions from which they need to bring together data for reporting, analytics and planning so the need for business warehouse continues to be prominent into the future.  There will always be a need to marry data from HR with data from  Finance, logistics, production, etc. This requires a warehouse. SAP continues to support customers with their business warehouse.
  • Integration capability. SAP Data Services delivers an enterprise-class solution for data integration, data quality management, text analytics, data profiling, and metadata management. The software allows our customers to move, improve, govern, and unlock value from their enterprise information. It provides a single platform with one development UI, metadata repository, data connectivity layer, run-time environment, and management console – enabling IT organizations to lower IT costs and accelerate time to value.
  • Best-in-class visualization. SAP is the clear leader in the BI market with a 20.5% market share, almost 40% larger than the number two vendor. (According to IDC – “Worldwide Business Analytics Software 2012–2016 Forecast and 2011 Vendor Shares” – Jun 2012).  SAP continues to innovate – New innovations for BI include SAP Visual Intelligence and SAP Predictive Analysis, and mobile tools are providing ever more easy-to-use and pleasing interfaces. A version of the Business Objects visualization can be used on the cloud (BI On-Demand) for a subscription.
  • Big data handling. SAP HANA provides a flexible, cost effective, real-time approach for managing large data volumes, allowing organizations to dramatically reduce hardware and maintenance costs. SAP HANA transforms business by streamlining applications, analytics, planning, predictive analysis, and sentiment analysis on a single platform so business can operate in real-time.  HANA is the only solution that delivers across the five dimensions of decision processing: breadth (analyze big data from multiple sources), depth (ask complex questions on granular data), high-speed (receive fast, interactive responses), simplicity (eliminate the need for data preparation), and real time (run real-time queries on real-time data).  With SAP HANA, customers have the ability to run Big Data analytics on 80 terabytes of data or more, integrate with third parties, search text content, harness the power of real-time predictive analytics, and more.

All these components can be used separately or in conjunction. Apart from the Workforce Planning and Analytics content, totally available on the cloud, variations of these different components is also available on the cloud for customers with a deliberate cloud strategy.

In terms of pricing, the cloud component WPA is offered as a subscription without cost competitive and can be up and running within a few weeks. Additional components for advanced visualization, integration or Big Data analysis are optional.

By providing an platform for analytics, competitors like Workday have finally publicly admitted to the value of SAP’s analytics strategy and the power of bringing in outside data. We have a multi-year head start on them in this area so be sure to include all our capabilities in BI, Data Service, SAP HANA, and SuccessFactors Workforce Planning and Analytics that are available today.

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  • Hi Jean-Bernard,

    Thank you for this basket of information on Cloud analytics. It provided a great insight.

    Am new to SAP Cloud solutions and Cloud analytics, so had a question on how does the Successfactor cloud solution leverage the on-premise analytics built by the client per their business over these years or should the client change their reporting structure per the Successfactor solution.