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Author's profile photo Tammy Powlas

Empower Your Business with Crystal Solutions 2013 Webcast Summary

I watched this webcast today with SAP’s Paul Clark.  My notes are below.

Paul said that challenges when using information and analytics to drive business – use the signals to drive better decisions and deal with large volumes of data and use it to drive a more successful business.  He said we’re doing a good job looking in the mirror at how our financials and sales did last quarter and historical is a good place to start. 

He said businesses want to go beyond that and not just what happened in past but what is happening now and use real-time information.

Gartner says only 10% of employees have the access to what they need; 90% of people are making decisions based on limited information.  By 2020 75% will need analytics information.  Nucleus Research says that ROI is 1000% on analytics investment – strong return on investment

Paul took an interactive Online Poll – how many people have access to analytics? 35% have a widespread use of analytics; majority are at 10% level

Paul quoted an Oxford economics survey of SMEs around the world and their top conclusions to survive and thrive – transform their business to keep competing.

64% say transformation was a competitive necessity; 59% feel they are more innovative than competitive and 56% felt they were more nimble than competitors

Driver was technology – analytics was #1 and #2 in survey.

How turn into business value?  What signals do you want to track?  Paul said real-time analytics is key, Brand sentiment analysis such as social media – capturing their comments to communicate is becoming important as well.


Figure 1: Source: SAP

Figure 1 shows the Analytics maturity cycle, beginning  on far left side with data.  Where are you today on the curve and where would you like to be in 2-3 years time, asked Paul?

Crystal Solutions for Small and Medium Enterprises


Figure 2: Source: SAP

Figure 2 shows the webcast attendees familiarity with Crystal.


Figure 3: Source: SAP

Figure 3 covers the Crystal Server.  Paul said the big difference is mobility, with unified mobile apps into single Crystal app and scanning mechanisms.  Also Dashboard designs on HTML5 and devices now support dashboards

He said with admin and development it is easy to set up with migration tools

There is a system configuration tool that guides you through steps after system is installed

It is integrated with SAP Jam for “deeper collaboration”.

Dashboards – mobile support; more language support, including right to left Arabic languages


Figure 4: Source: SAP

Figure 4 shows the SAP Crystal Server – uses similar technology at BI enterprise

All backend admin handled by Crystal Server and deliver it out through portal interface (BI Launchpad)

Crystal Server supports add-ons such as Crystal 2013, Lumira and MobI

Desktop tools include Crystal Reports 2013 and Dashboard Design

Banking customers use Crystal Reports to generate monthly banking statements


Figure 5: Source: SAP

Crystal Server, reports, dashboard design, Lumira comes together and named user and concurrent

Named users have guaranteed access to user; the rest can use concurrent users.

Paul said to “Start BI journey with Crystal Server; does not require an SAP operational system such as Business One”.  He also said there are over 10 million total Crystal users in the world

Question & Answer

Q: How does Crystal Server and BI4.1 differ?

A: Underlying technology is the same; biggest difference is the Crystal Server is designed to run on a single server; if organization goes beyond that look at BI4.1 (scalability)

Web Intelligence is on BI4.1 but not on the Crystal Server

Q: SAP Crystal and GRC interact?

A: They can interact

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