SAP BusinessObjects 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 first thing to understand is that there are 4 modules that can be ordered here: SAP BusinessObjects Cloud for Planning, SAP BusinessObjects Cloud for Business Intelligence, SAP BusinessObjects Cloud for Predictive, and SAP Digital Boardroom.
BusinessObjects Cloud is available through an annual subscription fee. Customers are subscribing to a “Number of Users, per Module, per Month” structure. SAP Cloud infrastructure, maintenance, and support are all included in the price. There is no distinction between ‘named user’ or ‘concurrent access’ licence types.
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.
Note that the SAP Digital Boardroom (whilst being built on a SAP BusinessObjects 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).
Customers get the option to choose (at the initial point of order) which data center they would prefer – at time of writing, this equates to a choice of Europe, Asia or North America locations.
The BusinessObjects Cloud product is only hosted by SAP itself, on its own HANA Cloud Platform (HCP). There are no other partner-hosted options beyond this (and no alternative cloud providers being considered). There is also no downloadable alternative for customers who prefer an on-premise installation.
Customer can choose a deployment option either to Public cloud (which is the default choice) or – as a cost-option – they can specify a Private Cloud option.
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 whilst a Public tenant allow 1 GB of shared storage per user; the Private edition includes 32 GB as a ‘baseline minimum’ memory specification (increasing in standard ‘bundles’ up to 1024 GB). Beyond that, further ‘expansion packs’ can be specified incrementally.
Note that there is no ‘automatic’ elasticity built into the application’s resource allocation (i.e. nothing is ‘gifted’, if you go over your quota) – you are bound by the initial specification of your tenant; but SAP can always extend this footprint as required for an additional charge.
Whilst these metrics are continuously monitored by SAP’s own cloud operations team, your tenant’s Administrator does also have Monitoring capabilities to help assess system utilization and resource availability on the tenant. From this console you can ascertain: user types, storage space, transaction throughput etc.
There are several User options for BusinessObjects 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):
Probably the most subtle differentiation here is the planning Professional vs. planning Standard user. The important distinction here is that the planning professional is setting-up & configuring the plans, whilst the standard user is only executing those planning tasks.
Another consideration here is the “connection strategy” being used to access your data sources: Because “Live connections” are not ‘acquired’ into BOCloud (i.e. data is not replicated), these online sources do not have the option to be re-modeled locally as “Planning-enabled models”.
Therefore, Planning licenses are unnecessary in the case of online analytical models when reporting from live sources (for example, when consuming a HANA data-source in HCP). And in the specific case of customers already having a footprint in HANA 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.