Bilafer’s BHAG: New Year, New Role with Predictive Analytics
BI is the second single best selling SKU at SAP, second only to ERP. It will soon become third behind HANA, but it’s still an important piece of the business, representing about 65% of Analytics revenue globally.
To be clear, Analytics at SAP includes Business Intelligence, Predictive, and also our solutions for CFOs–Enterprise Performance Management (EPM), Governance Risk and Compliance (GRC) solutions, and our finance line of business solutions.
What excites me most about this role is not just the size and importance of the business, but also that it drives a more focused conversation and at the same time has broader applications. Business Intelligence can fit into virtually anything that we do where customers need to have better visibility with what’s going on in their business. But really, what’s most exciting is the focus on Predictive, which is considered the next wave in the advanced analytics space.
I’m excited about the possibilities for Predictive. SAP is innovating a lot in this area. We already have a number of Predictive solutions, and toward the end of 2013 we bought a Predictive Analytics company called KXEN. The relevant SAP road maps will come together with Infinite Insight from KXEN and become one solution. The code bases will be combined in the near term.
KXEN is a very exciting solution, because it is designed to bring Predictive capabilities to business users. It can run on HANA, and in the cloud. It can run on other databases as well, so you don’t have to have HANA.
My role is still evolving, but one of the main things I’ll be doing is leading the sales teams that joined us from KXEN. It’s a relatively small team, about 40 or so folks that will be selling our Predictive solutions globally, working not only with direct sales, but with the ecosystem and partners to make sure that people understand the offering and helping them create and close deals. We’ll also be wrapping KXEN into our Global Business Intelligence Center of Excellence and helping the COE become more of a strategic resource as we go to market with the combined Predictive solution.
This is very similar situation to what I experienced when I sold my company, Pilot Software, to SAP. I know what it’s like to go from a big fish in a small pond to a tiny fish in the massive pond that is SAP. This is what a lot of what the KXEN team is experiencing now, and they don’t know what to do. There are all these new systems and vocabulary, and how do they navigate them and be successful? They were successful when they were independent, and we want to make sure they continue that success.
So that’s certainly a personal experience that I can draw on to help them all be successful. But it’s also a big change and it’s a personal change and helping them through that is a big part of it too.
I’ll be going through my own change at the same time, as my family and I will be saying a bittersweet goodbye to Singapore, but not to friends and colleagues there. California is still home, but we had an amazing adventure in APJ. We’ll be returning to Palo Alto but I’ll be traveling globally and dropping in from time to time.
The other thing that we’re going to focus on this year is Analytics Plus, a program I helped launch in APJ, which was about offering our existing customers in the region an outstanding opportunity to get on to the latest platform, Analytics 4.1, in order to take advantage of all the technology innovation that’s been happening at SAP. We’re going to take the same program and run it globally, focusing initially on getting the largest SAP Business Objects customers that are still running on the 3.0 platform over to 4.1.
That’s the role. I’m hopeful that it means that I will get to spend more time with the mentors, which was one of the highlights of my time in APJ. It means I’ll definitely be doing the TechEds, Sapphires, and Insiders—the whole SAP social calendar, only on a global scale.
I’ll be traveling as usual, and, I’ll be social as usual. It’s all part of building a community, so follow me on Twitter @bilafer, connect with me on LinkedIn and read my blog kurtbilafer.com as I share my new adventure.
This article previously appeared on KurtBilafer.com.