** Blog now updated with 2018 info: I wanted to clarify a few points with regards to new commercial models – I’ve tried to document these below in BOLD. Please check with your account executives to confirm your suitability (BTW this process applies predominantly to customers who already have a footprint with SAP, so not necessarily applicable to our all e-store or ‘digital’ customers).
SAP Analytics Cloud is an agile analytics tool that lets you explore, visualize, plan & predict in one single product. Built as a native HANA solution on SAP Cloud Platform (SCP), it offers ground-breaking ‘software as a service’ (SaaS) business intelligence to our customers.
Aside from describing the product’s capabilities (of which there are many!), I find myself frequently explaining how the product is licensed. This is not unexpected because we’re increasingly seeing new commercial models in this age of hybrid landscapes, remote sources and flexible hosting.
The source information for this blog can be found in the example SAP Analytics Cloud Agreement. I also recommend checking the Solution Brief FAQ. ** 2018 Updated links to Product Agreements from Cloud Trust Centre
The first thing to understand is that there are essentially 3 modules that can be ordered here: (1) SAP Analytics Cloud for Business Intelligence, (2) SAP Analytics Cloud for Planning, and (3) SAP Digital Boardroom.
SAP Analytics Cloud is available through an annual subscription fee. Customers are subscribing to a “Number of Users, per Module, per Month” structure. SAP Cloud infrastructure, software maintenance, operations and support are all included in the price.
There is no distinction between ‘named user’ or ‘concurrent access’ licence types**
** As of 2018, i understand that we will see the emergence of ‘concurrent licenses’ (CSL) for SAC (here in the 2016 article above, i said it was ‘named users only’). I believe CSL will be sold in blocks of 10 and will be a 3x more expensive seat than a NUL (named user license).
License agreements are typically bought for “production only” access. In some agreements “test tenants” (i.e. development, or validation environments) are provisioned for customers as part of their contract, but this needs to be specified explicitly during the contract definition, which are typically between 1 and 5 years long.
** As of 2018, I can confirm that customers can retrospectively purchase additional separate Test or Development tenants – these are new license orders on new ‘paper’. Also the option to obtain Test tenants is not only for ‘private option’ customers, anyone can buy it, even customers who’ve traditionally been ‘public cloud’. A Test tenant is limited to 50 users, and is technically offered as ‘private tenant’ infrastructure.
Note that the SAP Digital Boardroom (while being built on a SAP Analytics Cloud foundation) is a super-set of all of these, and is licensed separately. This option can also benefit from a (recommended) triple, or single, touch-screen setup which requires additional hardware procurement (purchased separately).
** 2018 Update: To confirm, DiBo is licensed “per physical installation of a ‘boardroom'” – whether its’ 1, 3, or n screens per setup – it makes no difference, that’s counted as one. One BI or planning user is required to access digital boardroom.
Customers get the option to choose (at the initial point of order) which data centre they would prefer – at time of writing, this equates to a choice of Europe, Asia or North America locations.
The SAP Analytics Cloud product is only hosted by SAP itself, on its own SAP Cloud Platform (SCP). There are no other partner-hosted options beyond this as of today
(and no alternative cloud providers being considered).**
** the 2018 Roadmap shows that our solution will become accessible from 3rd-party infrastructure providers (i.e. Amazon, Azure, Google, beyond our own SAP data centres) which is the kind of openness i’m personally very excited about – watch this space!
Customer can choose a deployment option either to a Public cloud (which is the default choice) or – as a cost-option – they can specify a Private Cloud option. There is also no downloadable alternative for customers who prefer an on-premise installation. That’s not the goal of SaaS.
A Private tenant option offers dedicated tenant hardware, which is not partitioned (shared) with other organisations. Justifying the Private option also mandates a minimum number of ‘seats’ (users) be subscribed for, typically between 5-25 planners and between 50-100 analytics users (*these are approximate guidelines only, details of which should be discussed with your account manager*)
The other point of distinction is that while a Public tenant allocates 1 GB of shared storage per user; the Private Edition stipulates a ‘minimum baseline’ storage specification of 128 GB. Beyond that, further storage can be bought as an ‘add-on’. In the Public edition these are in incremental units costed at 10 GB per month, whereas in the Private edition these are larger blocks of 256 GB.
** 2018 clarifications : It is also worth mentioning that neither Public nor Private SAC customers can control the update schedule. All updates are proliferated automatically.
While these metrics are continuously monitored by SAP’s own Cloud Operations team, your tenant’s Administrator also has basic auditing capabilities to help assess system utilization and resource availability on the tenant. From a simple System console you can ascertain user types, storage space, transaction throughput, license consumption etc.
There are several user options for SAP Analytics Cloud, and these can be licensed individually to help answer your use-cases. These different ‘user-types’ refer to the modular ‘building blocks’ of the application, and are required to unlock the desired functionality. The image below showing these functional demarcations (approximately):
** 2018 Update: Please note that we no longer have a boardroom metric to restrict the numbers of stories / agenda per month (as previously suggested in 2016). Also, a new portal “Analytics Hub” has been introduced as the de-facto entry-point for hybrid analytics in your organisation. More info can be found here: https://www.sap.com/products/analytics-hub/features.html
** 2018 Update: Please note that we now no longer differentiate having a ‘predictive standard user’ – these capabilities have been rolled-up into the BI persona. So a BI user license gets all the smart-assist and machine discovery features effectively for free!
Probably the most subtle differentiation here is the planning professional versus the planning standard user. The important distinction here is that the planning professional is setting-up models and configuring the overall plans and allocations; whilst the standard planning user is only executing those tasks that are distributed to them.
Another important consideration here is the “connection strategy” being used to access your data-sources. For example, since “Live connections” do not acquire query results into SAP Analytics Cloud (i.e. no data is being replicated to SAC), such online sources do not have the option to be re-modeled locally as “Planning-enabled models”. However, on the flip side, with Live Data connections there is no storage consumption in SAC since the data is never stored there.
Therefore, Planning licenses are typically unnecessary in the case of ‘online’ analytical models when reporting from live remote sources (for example, when consuming a HANA view in SCP). However, having a few of these Planning licenses is still recommended, to be able enable planning and predictive features on-top of Imported data. In the specific case of lucky customers who already have a footprint in the SAP Cloud Platform, a lesser integration license would be required (not shown here) called an ‘analytics service user’.
I hope this information is useful to you. I welcome any questions you may have.
** 2018 Update. Closing remarks: Existing customers can consider license-conversion options to evaluate cloud (i.e. effectively returning unused on-premise licenses to adopt new cloud ones) – that ‘cloud extension policy’ concept has been around for a while now.
Furthermore, I’m led to believe that SAP Analytics will soon be saleable in terms of ‘hybrid licenses’: combination-bundles which encompasses both: (a) the licenses for On-premise business intelligence (BI) and/or On-premise planning (BPC) stacks, and, (b) the licenses for SAP Analytics Cloud, all in one contract.
Beyond that, I’m expecting that subscription-based licensing will be introduced top-to-tail for the aforementioned on-premise SAP Analytics solutions too, which will be great for continued BI and BPC adoption.