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SAP Analytics BI: Statement of Direction 2020 – 2021

The updated version of our public Statement of Direction for SAP Analytics BI 2020-2021 is available here. In September 2019, SAP delivered on our promise to provide a Statement of Direction (SoD), sharing our investment intent and focus for our BI solutions. We also committed to provide annual updates to that SoD in a spirit and commitment of transparency.  Here today, we once again deliver on our promise.

About this Statement of Direction

The SAP Analytics portfolio includes SAP BusinessObjects BI Suite, and SAP Analytics Cloud.  This document focuses on the future direction for our Business Intelligence customers.

SAP Analytics Cloud is our strategic direction

SAP Analytics Cloud delivers BI self-service use cases, augmented analytics including application design, which lets developers customize, integrate and extend the product capabilities into analytic applications that can integrate with the business process.  Customers can leverage their existing data assets using live connectivity to systems like SAP HANA, SAP BW, SAP S/4 HANA, SAP Data Warehouse Cloud and SAP BusinessObjects universes.  Connectivity extends outside of SAP systems so that customers can have a complete view of their business, wherever their data resides.

Key elements of note include:

  • Augmented Analytics
    Automation and augmentation via machine learning – continue to enhance the richness of the insights provided automatically and to ensure that it works against live data sources.
  • Self Service Data Exploration
    Easier for users to explore data by introducing a new data wrangling experience around Datasets – providing flexibility and allows users to start from the data, cleanse it, augment it and easily do What-If style analysis.
  • Enterprise Readiness and Reporting
    Expand the core capabilities with a focus on user productivity, time handling, performance and overall experience and interactivity for the users. Reporting enhancements and innovations around alerting, improved life-cycle management, and auditing – allowing customers to manage analytics at scale.
  • Innovative Path Forward for Popular Applications
    SAP Analytics Cloud now provides a great path forward for users of Bex Web, Web Application Designer (WAD), SAP BusinessObjects Xcelsius Dashboards, SAP Lumira Discovery and SAP BusinessObjects Explorer.
  • Intelligent Enterprise
    SAP Analytics Cloud is available in 2 editions: as regular full version and embedded:

    • SAP Analytics Cloud embedded edition across SAP Intelligent Enterprise applications including S/4 HANA, SuccessFactors, SAP Customer Experience, Ariba and Fieldglass, providing operational analytics and live connectivity to the underlying data in that application.
    • SAP Analytics Cloud providing the full range of functionality of SAP Analytics Cloud, allowing customers to extend analytics beyond the scope of the application data, and to address typical scenarios analyzing data from multiple sources.

Strengthening SAP BusinessObjects BI Suite  

SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.3 is the latest version of the BI Suite. We recognize the ongoing need for an on-premise solution as customers make their journey to the cloud.

Key areas of note include:

  • SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence and SAP Crystal Reports will see further development, including enhancements to the user experience, and continued improvements in the hybrid capabilities.
  • SAP Analysis Office 2.8 is available as an Excel add-in, both as part of SAP BusinessObjects BI on premise, and a limited edition is also included as part of the SAP Analytics Cloud subscription.
  • SAP Lumira 2.4 was released in August 2020, with selected feature and performance enhancements in Lumira Designer. Guidance on maintenance and future direction provided.
  • SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards (Xcelsius) and SAP BusinessObjects Explorer will no longer be supported due to Adobe Flash discontinuation. Those use cases are now supported via SAP Analytics Cloud.

Extend Analytics using SAP BusinessObjects BI and SAP Analytics Cloud Together

The Extend Analytics program outlines the steps and options in the journey to the cloud. SAP provides options to leverage their on-premise investments:

  • SAP BOE Live Data Connect enables a live connection to on-premise data sources (including universes and Web Intelligence models) to reuse existing data, queries, and security without moving the data to cloud.
  • SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.3 administration for easily onboarding on-premise users to the cloud and to keep them synchronized with their identity provisioning system.
  • SAP Analytics Hub provides a single view of all your analytics, including third party content, for such hybrid environments. SAP Analytics Cloud now integrates similar functionality with its Catalog feature.

SAP Assistance in Making the Move to the Cloud

SAP offers a conversion program called the Cloud Extension Policy to allow for a partial termination of on-premise maintenance when replaced with a new cloud contract and a less expensive Web Intelligence focused license.

Stay Current and Get the Complete Story

The full SAP Business Intelligence Statement of Direction (SoD) can be found here. The SoD comes with this accompanying FAQ document where you can find answers to additional questions.

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