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Author's profile photo Timo ELLIOTT

SAP Lumira: Why Did We Change Yet Another Perfectly Good BI Product Name?

As you’ve probably heard by now, SAP Visual Intelligence has been renamed to SAP Lumira (you can find the announcement and FAQ here) and you can buy a copy online.

We know that this decision is likely to be met by some eye-rolling from our faithful customers who are still recovering from previous changes (e.g. Xcelsius changing to SAP Dashboards).

The bottom line: we know that there are downsides to such a change, and despite the inevitable disruption it may cause, we feel it’s the right choice. Here are some of the key reasons that tipped the balance:  

Family Ties. As we announced in a web cast earlier this week, the next version of SAP Visual Intelligence (sorry, SAP Lumira) will offer tight integration with SAP’s next-generation cloud BI platform, SAP Lumira Cloud (along with lots of other great new features). We feel that it’s more appropriate to use a completely new name for a completely new “network of truth” approach to business intelligence and analytics (and “SAP Visual Intelligence Cloud” sounds clunky).


Searching and Sharing. SAP Lumira is a more human-friendly yet Google-ready name. As with SAP HANA (which trips off the tongue more easily than “SAP’s new platform for real-time analytics and applications”), a distinctive name makes it easier to find relevant materials (it’s one of the reasons we took the space out of “Business Objects” many years ago).

And with community becoming increasingly important, this change should ultimately make it easier to find the information you need to deploy and use the products successfully (but no, this doesn’t mean that Xcelsius is coming back, even if the logic is the same.)


There’s Never a Good Time. Yes, it would have been better to have the right name from the start, but what can we say? Although BI has been around for a long time, we believe that analytic users are still a minority. SAP Lumira aims to change that by making it easier than ever to get powerful, self-service business intelligence into the hands of everyone. We believe it is destined for greatness, and it’s less painful to make the switch now than later.


If you’re reading this, you’re probably one of the people that know and use our products, and we’re very grateful. We know that changing names is disruptive, not only for you but for the business people in your organization that use our products to get insight.

We’re eager to help you make the change as smooth as possible. We know you have lots of questions, and we’ll be explaining a lot more in the presentations next week at SAPPHIRE NOW, which you can also watch online. Please let us know what we can do to help by taking part in the discussions in this SCN area — or commenting on this blog post!

And we’d like your help to get the word out about the changes to the rest of the world (#SAPVisi is dead! Long live #SAPLumira!).

PS. I wouldn’t bother looking for other things called Lumira – it’s the first thing we did ourselves, and we didn’t find anything interesting… 🙂

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      Author's profile photo Fred Verheul
      Fred Verheul

      Hi Timo,

      I'm sure there will indeed be a lot of people questioning the name change, so it's very helpful to have this explanation out in the open and show people the reasoning. Even if people won't agree (and there are always enough of them 🙂 ), they'll have to admit that some sound thinking went into this, and I'm sure there will be less criticism as a result of that.

      And I really love your transparency about the decision making and the open dialogue that a blog post like this one can spur.

      Cheers, Fred (who is not into analytics, and couldn't care less about the actual name of the product, though, if I understand correctly, with this product analytics is for everyone, so we'll see 😉 )

      P.S. Awesome pictures 😉

      Author's profile photo Harshil Joshi
      Harshil Joshi


      SAP Visual Intelligence.............. super like

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Sap Lumira is not serious. IMHO.

      Why not called SAP BI Visualizer ?

      Sap bi web Itelligence (webi)

      Sap bi crystall (crysti)

      Sap bi mobile (mobi)

      Sap bi dashboards (dashboards - or dashi)

      Sap bi Visualizer (vizi)

      Author's profile photo Atul Chowdhury
      Atul Chowdhury

      I also felt "SAP Visual Intelligence (Visi)" was the best fit for the product and space in which it's trying to complete.

      Lumira sounds very pharmaceutical-oriented , like something you might take for cataracts or a sleeping disorder ( ! )

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      If SAP has truly "seen the light" in renaming Visual Intelligence to Lumira, then it I has also broken away from it's previous philosophy of naming products using words found in the dictionary which , I was told, was the reasoning behind renaming Xcelsius to SAP Business Objects Dashboards. If SAP Marketing is now googling names before they rename a product and considering SEO, this is both "enlightening" and cause for celebration because , again, they certainly did not do that when they renamed Xcelsius.

      The bottom line is that I am not sure it really matters what SAP names its products any more as people both inside and outside of SAP end up calling them something else anyway. Exploration Views is more commonly known as E-Views and most people I know still call Xcelsius, Xcelsius!

      Any idea why SAP just renamed EIM to IM?

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      What ? EIM now IM ?

      Are you shore?

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Hi Timo - definitely some more eye-rolling from this customer on the name change.

      However posting a blog that clearly articulates why the name change was made with supporting rationale is a major step forward in communicating with us.  Regardless of whether or not I agree or disagree with the change, it's all there for me to see in the blog.  I congratulate you on taking this step forward in increased transparency, and facing some potential rotten tomato throwing face on - of which I can see some examples all ready above.  I think it's a major step in the right direction in SAP communicating with its customer base.

      One thing to ask though, please consider continuing this spirit of openness if (when?!) another product name is changed in the future 🙂



      Author's profile photo Nigel James
      Nigel James

      I noticed you posted this in SAP Visual Intelligence I guess the space will be renamed at some point too.

      Author's profile photo Clarissa Dold
      Clarissa Dold

      the space will be renamed as well.

      Author's profile photo Sara G Ayer
      Sara G Ayer

      Hi Timo ELLIOTT ,

      So will "VI" ,  no more be called as "Visual Intelligence"?

      Author's profile photo Henry Banks
      Henry Banks

      Correct. the VI moniker will be dropped, because Visual Intelligence branding is no more.

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Is it pronounced lum-i-ra or loo-mee-ra ?

      Author's profile photo Henry Banks
      Henry Banks

      tomehto, tomahto - it doesn't matter so long as it's not Visual Intelligence 😉

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Before this name change, it seemed SAP had the good sense to rename from meaningless names to meaningful names.


      Xcelsius became Dashboards

      Voyager became Analysis


      Now, it's the opposite:a meaningful name "Visual Intelligence" is replaced by meaningless name "Lumira"...

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Now here is a candid blog entry by SAP, did not expect to see such a blunt and honest explanation.

      Now, eventhough name changing is one of the few constants in this hectic world, I would like to ask Timo how is it that Lumira has been destined to be the ad-hoc defacto tool for the business comunity and no portal (Enterprise) export or sharing has been developed?

      Visual Intelligence was initially positioned as a quick QlikView deterrent in lack of similar comerciallly positionable products on the BOBJ stack. One has to wonder why keep an ad-hoc, user friendly, Enterprise ready, software tool siloed as a client-side front-end and not part of an integrated BI strategy and stack?

      My two cents.

      Author's profile photo Timo ELLIOTT
      Timo ELLIOTT
      Blog Post Author

      Esteban -- a good and reasonable question. The answer is that (sadly) there are always trade-offs, and the team has focused first on providing a "complete data discovery solution" and connecting it to the new You can share the data with the enterprise platform using export to Explorer today, and there will be more integration in the future..

      Author's profile photo Timo ELLIOTT
      Timo ELLIOTT
      Blog Post Author

      I should add we do already let people connect via BusinessObjects Universes (old and new formats), and there's two-way sharing with HANA...

      Author's profile photo Henry Banks
      Henry Banks

      that's the latest. the 4.1 training hasn't been productionised yet.