Web Intelligence, Lumira and the SAP BI Convergence Strategy
Earlier this year, we were involved in an SAPinsider Q & A event with the title “Will Your Web Intelligence Journey Lead You into Lumira?” The session featured numerous SAP subject matter experts providing live answers to questions from an online audience. This format proved to be an excellent means of getting input and insights on key topics from both the Web Intelligence and Lumira teams.
View the SAPinsider Questions and Answers here.
The unfortunate side to this very positive SAPinsider event was that, due to time constraints, many good questions were necessarily given short answers. We decided to follow up with some of the Q & A participants and explore some of the questions in greater depth.
WebI? Lumira? Both!
Naturally, given the title of the event, one of threads that ran through the Q & A was the relationship between Web Intelligence and Lumira, and most particularly whether Lumira would replace Web Intelligence in the long run. Ty and Frank were most definitely in agreement here:
There is a notion with some of our clients that Lumira will replace WebI in future? How true is that?
Frank Prabel (from the Web Intelligence Team: Not true. 🙂 Web Intelligence and Lumira serve different needs. Web Intelligence addresses the reporting market while Lumira covers the agile visualization and data discovery markets. We expect both products to continue to play a leading role on the SAP BI roadmap.
Ty Miller (from the Lumira Team): Absolutely right on, Frank. Fully agree.
The SAP BI roadmap lays out a convergence strategy for the SAP BI platform, and as the slide below makes clear, the key to that convergence is interoperability:
Where Lumira and Web Intelligence Fit in the SAP BI Convergence Strategy
Source: “Run Simple: Convergence of the SAP BusinessObjects BI Product Portfolio”
When we followed up with Gregory Botticchio (from the Web Intelligence team), he made it clear that Web Intelligence would remain a key part of the convergence strategy:
We no longer talk as much about Web Intelligence, simply because we are bringing new tools to market, and they naturally get more marketing attention, but the fact is that Web Intelligence remains by far our leading BI tool in terms of adoption by companies and by end users. We continue to invest in the development of Web Intelligence.
When we followed up with Adrian Westmoreland (from the Lumira team), he made it clear that the future would see Web Intelligence and Lumira complementing each other more and more:
Web Intelligence being the Swiss army knife of BI tools, it does everything reasonably well. Lumira will not replace Web Intelligence, but it will evolve to assume some of the use cases that are not in the Web Intelligence reporting sweet spot. It will simply be easier for users to adopt Lumira for these use cases than to try to force them into Web Intelligence workflows not designed to handle them. Lumira opens up so many possibilities for user interaction that are just not there for Web Intelligence reports.
You can do many things with Web Intelligence, and if all you are going to do with Lumira is to create graphs and charts, you might just as easily use Web Intelligence to build them. However, Lumira has data preparation, composition and layout capabilities that go beyond what are available in Web Intelligence, allowing you to accomplish some of the tasks you would normally perform in Web Intelligence more quickly, more easily, and with more flexibility.
Web Intelligence remains the means of presenting your data discovery, exploration and visualizations to targeted information consumers, while Lumira increases your ability to explore data and create compelling visualizations. So, to answer the title question from the SAPinsider Q & A, your Web Intelligence journey may indeed lead you into Lumira, but your Lumira journey won’t lead you out of Web Intelligence. Moving forward, some of the “sweet spots” may shift, and the interoperability between the two solutions will be one of the primary factors in the evolution of your data discovery, exploration, visualization and presentation workflows.
For those wishing to explore these topics on their own, the online Lumira tutorials are a good place to start.
In our next post: The Future of Web Intelligence and Lumira Interoperability.