This week at SAP TechED, the KXEN team was in full force both demonstrating the continuing value of the brand which SAP acquired last month and also their new SAP employee badges after cutting over to their new teams inside the SAP Analytics group earlier in the month.
According to Saravana Chandran, Senior Director for Advanced Analytics, SAP had good position with the up-market visualization space with its Lumira product and relatively good penetration in the statistician and data scientist market with its predictive analytics tools. What KXEN brings to the table is the middle ground of business analysts who look for trends and forecasts as part of their day to day activities but who are not overtly looking to dissect the data into complex and reusable algorithms like statisticians.
“The vision of SAP Analytics is to reduce the data to decision latency, operationalize predictive model, and bring predictive analytics to broad set of users – beyond the data scientist while being open and flexible” claimed Chandran in my business influence interview this week at SAP TechED. “Customers can leverage predictive models and extend the usefulness to the end user across all levels of expertise. So you can democratize analytics and overcome the skills gap in today’s environment” where either the data is too complex (requiring more data scientists) or the application to simple to drive real trends and value to business decision making. Chandran claims that due to the skills gap currently in the market, for every $1 spent on solutions an additional $99 is spent on services needed to use those solutions productively. In today’s world you need to hire data scientists or bring in service providers to perform necessary analysis over time, pricing many companies (even large enterprises) out of the predictive analytics space.
With the addition of KXEN to the SAP Analytics brand, the middle ground of business analysts can be addressed creating a huge white space for SAP Analytics in the the field of Predictive Analysis (PA). Charles Gadalla, Senior Director of Advanced Analytics, claims that with this approach “customers can capture the 80% of the population in 20% of the time. Once the masses identify the key trends and outliers, the final 20% of the analysis [to be performed by] traditional data scientists to refine the models.” According to Gadalla, KXEN’s analysis tools and algorithms will allow business analysts to access PA with drop down and quick swipe capabilities in the past only available to the data scientist community.
Chandran and Marco Casalania, KXEN Vice President of Product Management, teamed up to share these thoughts and views in this YouTube video shot on the TechED show floor by the SAP Analytics team.
To connect via link use http://youtu.be/AXPSGRjJqhs.
Some fairly dramatic SAP customer use cases are emerging and KXEN is accelerating those conversations. These use cases include demand pricing for new generation products in high tech, predictive maintenance management in manufacturing, and maintenance repair and optimization (MRO) in the aerospace sector. Predictive analytics can even help identify new revenue opportunities, not just cost reductions. Chandran noted the phenomenon of carrier switching can be proactively addressed in the telco space, where a full view of customer value (how many lines, what services, what equipment, when do contracts end) can support customer retention and up-sell, out-sell revenue opportunities.
In the end the new positioning addresses a fundamental shift in the business market where according to Chandran the business needs to move faster than IT can support that cycle. With the forward positioning of KXEN as part of the SAP Analytics model, analytics can be put “into the hands of the line of business users.”