Moving SAP BusinessObjects to the Cloud with SAP BusinessObjects Private Cloud Edition and SAP Analytics Cloud
For many years SAP BusinessObjects has been the market leader for Enterprise BI and Ad-Hoc reporting with many 1,000s of organisations relying on it to run their businesses. However, in recent years the market has seen a big shift from traditional ‘reporting’ to ‘augmented analytics’ as business users demand a next generation, self-service user experience. Anticipating this shift 5 years ago SAP developed SAP Analytics Cloud which has today become our go-forward platform for enterprise analytics. This strategy is clearly called out in our public Statement of Direction.
Many SAP customers see the huge potential offered to business users by SAP Analytics Cloud (like integrated BI, predictive and planning in One application, self-service access to insights and exploration of live data..), plus the TCO advantages of a cloud SaaS application (no hardware, platform operations and updates/upgrades no longer a concern) – but a common question we are asked is ‘how do I transition from my current on-premise SAP BusinessObjects platform over to SAP Analytics Cloud?”……considering…..
- Many customers have 1,000s (sometimes 10,000s) of business critical reports developed over many years. Re-imagining them in another analytics tool may be a multi-year initiative requiring significant time and resources.
- The intellectual property, definitions and metrics contained in those reports took years to develop and agree – unpicking and replicating this can be hard
- Many organisations have 1,000s of reports but are not clear as to the business value and usage of those reports today – they are therefore nervous about replacing them
- While traditional reporting use cases have diminished, demand for ‘reports’ remains. for many organisations the goal is a blend of ‘reporting’ alongside ‘augmented analytics’ and ‘data discovery’ use cases
For people recognizing these challenges, keep reading!
Introducing “SAP BusinessObjects Private Cloud Edition”
In Q1 2021 SAP announced general availability of SAP BusinessObjects Private Cloud Edition. What is BusinessObjects Private Cloud Edition?
SAP Business Objects Private Cloud Edition is a new service from SAP that offers customers the opportunity to move their existing SAP BusinessObjects on-premise platform(s) to a private cloud environment managed for you by SAP. In a nutshell SAP BusinessObjects Private Cloud Edition provides:
- Full SAP BusinessObjects platform capabilities (ie: Lumira, Web Intelligence, Analysis for Office, Crystal)
- Pre-configured, dedicated SAP BusinessObjects system landscape hosted on hyperscaler (incl. Azure, AWS, Google..) or SAP cloud infrastructure, including everything required to run the application as part of a standard service package
- Pre-defined “T-Shirt” sizes (Small, Medium, Large and Extra Large) available based on deployment size (based on number of users or concurrent users)
- Platform services provided by SAP including yearly upgrades (according to flexible time frame chosen by customer)
- SAP service level agreement (SLA) covers the entire stack end-to-end (99.5% for Prod)
- Standard offering provides 2-tier landscape (Test/Development and Production), other configurations available on request
- High availability, back-up and restore included within standard service scope
- Shared system governance between customer, SAP and partner
- Customer receives dedicated technical engagement lead / single point of contact
- Offering includes SAP Cloud Agent, Live Data Connect and SAC Agent to enable connection to SAC, SAP BusinessObjects On-Premise and other SAP cloud applications as required
Commercially the SAP BusinessObjects Private Cloud Edition offers customers the opportunity to cancel their existing on-premise agreement and replace with a simple cloud subscription (per user or concurrent user). The subscription includes the software licence + infrastructure + operational services required to run SAP Business Objects.
Why switch to SAP BusinessObjects Private Cloud Edition ?
Moving to Private Cloud Edition offers customers the quickest and simplest mechanism to start their move to the cloud, essentially an opportunity to ‘lift and shift’ their existing SAP BusinessObjects estate. As the Private Cloud Edition environment is pre-configured, a typical project can take a matter of weeks to execute.
- Gain immediate TCO benefits of platform, infrastructure and services provided by SAP
- Upgrade to latest (SAP BusinessObjects 4.3) platform in the process with associated enhancements introduced since July 2020 (4.3 ‘What’s New’ Blog)
- Can be ‘lift and shift’ or an opportunity to rationalize and modernize the SAP BusinessObjects platform, considerations include:
- Consolidate multiple SAP BusinessObjects platforms into 1 global instance
- Rationalize/cleanse unused/inactive reports, content, users, universes
- Review/simplify approach to life-cycle management to drive development agility
- Change licence model/mix: opportunity to change current mix of named/concurrent users and move to better fit model
Having switched workloads to the cloud, and achieved some degree of modernization ……this provides a robust foundation from which to begin a phased modernization to SAP Analytics Cloud.
SAP Business Objects Private Cloud Edition and SAP Analytics Cloud – Side by Side!
Recognizing the reality that many (particularly larger) customers cannot instantly switch 1000s of SAP BusinessObjects reports to SAP Analytics Cloud without an associated business change programme/project, an alternative is to subscribe to SAP Analytics Cloud & SAP BusinessObjects Private Cloud Edition side-by-side to operate the 2 services in parallel and then commence a phased migration over time.
Leveraging SAP Analytics Cloud, Analytics Catalog (more about Analytics Catalog here) as a central point-of-access to both SAP BusinessObjects and SAP Analytics Cloud content the opportunity exists to modernize content use case by use case, department by department or project by project. As requirements are delivered in SAP Analytics Cloud the associated content and workflows can be migrated from SAP BusinessObjects. Over time the usage of SAP BusinessObjects will likely change, while in parallel the SAP Analytics Cloud adoption and usage will increase.
Importantly, the cloud subscription model for SAP Analytics Cloud and SAP BusinessObjects Private Cloud Edition provides a flexible commercial framework and options as usage patterns change over time.