My takeaways from the “#askSAP Analytics Call: SAP BusinessObjects BI Strategy and Roadmap”
At the end of June, Jayne Landry posted a blog which initiated the discussions on the simplification of the BI portfolio. According to many, including myself, a long overdue step to rationalize all the elements which make the BI portfolio great, but difficult to plot to different BI scenario’s.
Today, a little over two months later, we got some great new insights on what the future direction of the BI portfolio will be. I have tried to capture them in below paragraphs. Do not hesistate to let me know in case I misinterpreted some statements.
Simplifying the end user experience
Key messages here:
- All content is safe and will continue to work
- All BI 4.1 clients will continue to be maintained and supported
- SAP will reuse metadata to facilitate adopting new concepts
- SAP will NOT plan a forced migration
SAP’s way of saying, “your investments are safe” is a very clear statement, but this also shows us that really ending tools out of the current BI suite is not something which will be done overnight.
The current portfolio will be there for many years to come and innovations ofcourse will happen, but getting that client roadmap clear, will still be a tough nut to crack.
One thing for me is clear though: Lumira is incredibly important and is here to stay. I predict (pun intended) Lumira in your enterprise somewhere, somehow if you are currently running a SAP BI platform. The rich functionality which is planned and which is already being put into the market place with rapid speed, will find a place in the many BI scenarios’ your enterprise will be running. The message SAP is putting across: you don’t need a wide variety of different tools, Lumira will support a lot of them. One important thing to note though is that SAP is not letting go of the different personas. Design studio will still be a tool of choice for IT managed dashboards, but the starting point could well be content coming from Lumira. An IT development originating from a local/LoB development!
I can not think of a better to way to start developments and as a way to fuel developments coming from your business.
An important message in the storyline from SAP is “interoperability”. If we plot that on Lumira as well, we can see some very interesting use cases emerging in the (near) future:
- Take your content from Lumira and use it across tooling
- Have live content in your reporting decks by simply copying Lumira storyboards into PowerPoint or send Lumira content into design studio for consumption on desktop or mobile
- Consume Lumira content in Webi or Crystal
- Have explorer type capabilities in Lumira (Lumira today is already largely based on “Explorer” )
My personal belief is that Lumira will be very much the spider in the web, combining the trusted data sources residing in your enterprise (think Teradata, Netezza, BW) and consume those together with all sorts of local data. As we saw today, Lumira will move closer to “Analysis for OLAP” by adding 3rd party OLAP capabilities, breeching the gap which is currently there between the two tools. We see that Lumira also in OLAP scenario’s will play a very important role as the new Swiss Army knife of the portfolio.
Another important interoperability step will be the increase of use of the BICS connectivity in HANA scenarios. No longer will it be required to use a semantic layer (HANA view) against another semantic layer (Universe), but a direct connecting to the HANA views across tooling. I believe, a direct connection from Webi willl be a scenario in the near future and it already surfaced for a brief moment in August last year during Miko Yuks “#AllAccessAnalytics” webinar as “Dr. Who” (Webi HANA Optimized).
Next to the native possibilities of Lumira towards HANA, also the connection to BW BEx queries will be extended after we saw some first steps with the 1.18 release of Lumira.
Lumira in Trusted data discovery
Managing Lumira content on the BI platform give possibilities which make Lumira truly a part of the enterprise BI suite. Think about the following possibilities:
- Viewing a storyboard on the BI platform
- Managing the life cycle of a Lumira document
- Having security and authentication in place managed by the platform
- Managing updates of Lumira desktop to keep server and client in sync
- And last but not least, connecting to existing corporate data sources via the platform
By using Lumira server in your landscape, you also have the possibility to host Lumira documents on the HANA platform. The disadvantage of this, well… HANA is needed which comes at a price.
A huge step was already made recently to include a HANA runtime license to run Lumira server as part of the BI Suite license. Additionally, today also the news has come that in the near future, Lumira server will be much less dependent on HANA. There will be no necessity for HANA to host your Lumira (lums) documents anymore, but your can store them directly on the BI platform using the repository. A great step, which in my opinion will be greatly appreciated by the community and our clients.
The future looks bright.
Till next time!