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.
Here is the link for the blog SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.3 : What’s New
Can I find that product on the partner pricelist?
The SAP Business Objects Private Cloud Edition is available to partners, but additional accreditation's are required and it is a slightly different model - but yes it is on the indirect price list.
we are partners, how do we get the information for such an installation?
Hi Sascha, best approach is to contact your partner manager and they will be able to provide further details on the Private Cloud Edition solutions. Depending upon your existing partner authorizations you may need additional authorizations. Kind regards, Jonathan
Thanks for your answer.
Which additional accreditation's are required?
What are mean with "slightly different model"?
Given the breadth of the SAP portfolio each partner will have authorizations for certain solutions. You will need to double check with your partner manager if you are authorized for this particularly solution. If not, you will need to get it added to your list. This solution falls under the analytics authorizations category.
What I mean by 'slightly different model'....because Private Cloud Edition is a managed service from SAP any engagements are jointly run by SAP and the partner. Part of the enablement process is helping partners understand the respective roles and responsibilities for SAP, the partner and the customer.
My recommendation as first step is that partners speak with their partner managers.
Is there any impact on existing live connections to backend system after moving on-premise landscape to private cloud ?
After moving to Private cloud edition, is there any way to migrate any of the existing report/application to SAC or we just need to do redevelopment?
As part of the planning to move to PCE cloud architects do need to review connections and location of data, but provided you have sufficient pipe/connections in place to the new data center it should not be a problem.
There is no direct way to migrate BusinessObjects content (reports/dashboards) to SAC, and often customers prefer to take the opportunity to re-develop and refresh their BI in SAC anyway as there is so much you can do to re-imagine the content.
For those customers with significant value locked up in WebIntelligence reports or universes one good option is that you can re-use these now with SAC in hybrid mode. The WebI reports can become a data source for SAC visualizations/dashboards, and/or the universe can be used to accelerate SAC developments. This can be a big time saving and ensure consistency as you are re-using the same definitions etc.
Situation: We have several Customer on SAP BO Edge with DataService (on Premise) and DWH on SQLAnywhere.
2 Topics I didn't find any answers:
B. DEV and PROD Systems
I'm looking forward to the answers.
For Data Services and Data Warehousing:
For Dev & Prod systems:
Thanks for your answer.
I'm thinking how to migrate to PCE and still using DS - this new questions came up 😉
"Yes, you can continue to run DS on-premise and BO in the cloud"
-> OK - Question1:
But how would be the setup for this case, if there is no DB on BO PCE
(Scenario 1, 2 or an other one)?
Question2: Is it possible to connect the universe on PCE to the OnPremiseDWH on SQL anywhere?
Question3: Is it possible to connect the universe on PCE to the DWC?
Question 2: yes.
Question 3: yes. DWC supports ODBC/JDBC connections to DWC Spaces.
To get to the point, SAP BO PCE is a SAP BO installation on an Amazon AWS server which is administered and updated by the SAP team ...
Did I understand that in the proper way?
That would imply, SAP BO PCE means, SAP provides beside the Business Objects software also the operating system and the hardware on which the software is installed, in form of a server hosted in the AWS Cloud ...
Does not Amazon also offer this? Just without SAP BO Administrator?
PCE can be on a choice of Hyperscalers not just AWS.
Hyperscalers (like AWS) and others can offer infrastructure (and sometimes some operational services) to host BO. What we provide is an end-to-end pre-defined package that includes infrastructure, services and importantly the software - all as a simple subscription.
SAP is also offering the customers a commercial opportunity to convert their existing BO software agreement into PCE. Again, this is only available via this model.
First of all thank you for the Blog and strategy on SAC adoption with sidewise trial & use of cataloge and gradual adoption!
Coming back to the PCE - is this a rebranding of HEC (Hana enterprise cloud) with differences it can be on other hyperscalers too apart from SAP?
Regarding cloud offering upgrades are more frequent and seamless e.g SAC and there is not much regression testing needed whereas for Business Objects with annual updates this would not change and more regression is necessary compared to SAC upgrades - is the services include regression efforts as part of the existing contract? or is this something the customer would manage before go live?
Hi, PCE isn't a rebranding of HEC. PCE goes much further, the key difference being in PCE that sap have put together all the technology and service elements you need to run a solution (eg: SAP BusinessObjects in this case) into one simple, standardized package and this is then offered a simple subscription.
Regarding upgrade: SAP will provide the platform/software upgrade within the services agreement. The customer/partner would still need to do the content testing themselves.
Hi Jonathan - long time, no speak and hope you are doing well. What is the minimum contract term for BO PCE? I know it was under review. This, along with aggressive pricing and future roadmap beyond 4.3, is going to be very important for the uptake and success of this new offering.
Hi Paul, good thanks. I'm not permitted to publish pricing but it is true to say we have just quite significantly reduced the prices for BO PCE to make the decision easier for customers to move. The the standard contract term is 5 years but the minimum is 3 years.
Nice whitepaper on the Hybrid approach: https://saphanajourney.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/SAP-Extend-Analytics-eBook.pdf
I am new to SAP or BOBI. I am a cloud data architect and helping a customer to move from on-prem BOBI to Azure.
I see that you have mentioned "Pre-configured, dedicated SAP BusinessObjects system landscape hosted on hyperscaler (incl. Azure...)"
Is there a how to documentation on Azure part?
Some are suggesting to do a fresh Azure setup and move content, but not sure how to do.
Any help is appreciated.
Hi Ram, as the BOE PCE Azure Infrastructure is fully managed and pre-configured by SAP we don't release how-to guides. Should this be relevant to your migration to Azure I'd recommend you contact your SAP representative and they can provide you with more details.
Hello Jonathan, does the upgrade in case of the cloud version looks just like in SAC with 2 tenants (Quality and Production)? I mean does that take place at the same time, without option for testing if you don't have the Preview tenant?
With PCE the customer has more flexibility as it is a private environment. They will work with their technical account manager to agree which environment to upgrade and when.
Hi Jonathan Freeland ,
Could you please provide more details on the DS ( Data Services/BODS ) PCE offering, do we have any links which provides detail info on how to migrate the on prem DS to cloud using the PCE offering. Your response is much appreciated.
Also have below questions -
Hi, Data Services is a separate, independent PCE option. It is a different solution to Data Intelligence and quite common to be combined with SAP BusinessObjects as many customers have historically had both. The DS cloud product is the same as the on-premise DS, therefore migration is fundamentally the same. I'm not aware of any specific documentation on this topic I'm afraid. If you need more you would need to contact your SAP account manager/representative.
Thanks for insightful and needful Blog.
Could you suggest STANDARD QUESTIONNAIRE Document with regards to requirements gathering while migrating from
1)SAP BOBJ Reports to SAP Analytics Cloud
Hi Bose, unfortunately I'm not aware of any such questionnaire or helpful places to point you to. Sorry but I don't think I can help on this occasion. Jonathan
Hi Bose g you might find this document helpful: https://saphanajourney.com/sap-analytics-cloud/learning-article/sap-analytics-cloud-hybrid-implementation-best-practice-recommendations/
there are sections covering Web Intelligence or Crystal reports, Lumira content, Explorer infospaces, Xcelsius etc.
What's the difference between SAP Analytics Cloud and SAP BO PCE?
And how "Private" is this SAP BO PCE (Private Cloud Edition)? After reading the article, PCE still seems pretty much like a Public Cloud to me.
Our company is planning to upgrade to SAP BO 4.3. Almost all 4 challenges you mentioned at the beginning of your article are what we are facing. So we decided to stick with SAP BO, not changing product.
But we planned to still adopt on-prem model, because our company's policy does not recommend using Public Cloud for processing internal data. Any opinion that SAP BO PCE might in fact be suitable for us?
Hi Henry, SAP Analytics Cloud and BO PCE are totally different solutions. Put simply SAC is a more modern analytics platform that combines BI, Predictive and Planning capabilities to allow users to explore data quickly and easily. You can sign up to a 30 day trial on the SAC website if you want to have a play!
BO PCE is exactly the same software as on-premise BOBJ but managed by SAP in the cloud for you. We refer to BO PCE as a private cloud environment, as it is a entirely dedicated infrastructure we build and maintain just for you. We configure it and tailor it to your needs and for example when we do updates/upgrades we will agree with you when this should happen.
This contrasts to SAC which is 'public' where (simplistically) every customer gets the same solution, multiple customers exist of the same shared infrastructure (**not always the case), updates are done regularly and automatically behind the scenes. If you sign up to SAC online today you will get immediate access....
For organisations that are against public cloud solution, BO PCE is usually considered an appropriate alternative as you get some of the benefits of cloud (we manage the infrastructure and operations) but the environment is dedicated to you.
It is natural for organisations to have concerns and questions about data location and policies. This is always a longer discussion but we can normally overcome them and provide re-assurance. We have some of the largest organisations in the world using our services including banks with some of the most stringent requirements. It is also important to remember BO doesn't necessarily store data in the cloud as the data is left in the source applications/systems.
Happy to organise a connection with your local sap experts if you need more information. It sounds like PCE is something you ought to consider!
Jonathan Freeland thanks for the blog!
You can clarify: in the case of PCE, what about the desktop Lumira Designer and IDT (Information Design Tool)?
Will we not need to install them now?
The SAP BusinessObjects desktop clients (there are a few) are all still there and you will need to download these locally if required. This includes the Lumira Designer and IDT.
AFAIK the addendum 06/2021 to the SOD says that with 2028 BO Customers will only have PCE as only way to go forward or keep BO/Webi as supported reporting tool. Plan is - afaik that the most recent 4.3 Version and only UNX based documents/reports will be supported - and that the PCE OS with be a linux kind.- So additional Questions: How to work with AD based BO Users (SSO) - since Windows has to be part of the game- right? Lumira will have to move to SAC as substitute, Live office to Analysis for Office... Crystal Reports needs also a special arrangement. Lot of work for customers - migrate to 4.3.x, convert all reports from unv to unx, move from on premise to PCE... With what benefit? (Besides that a lot of governmental or near governmental customers would not put anything of their data into the cloud...)
Value for SAP is clear: only one OS hast to be supported -not al kinds of AIX/UNIX/LINUX and Windows Servers... and the customers are on a hook, for 3 to 5 years at least...
any other catches?
Hi Wolfgang, lots of questions/points. First comment is that we'd be happy to talk to you 121 to cover everything. I don't think my short responses here will do it justice!
With investment in 4.3 we believe we have provided some great enhancements that should provide benefits to customers and an opportunity to enhance/modernize their service to users. I personally really like the 4.3 user interface improvements. Yes, we have dropped a couple of older elements - but if I take the shift from UNV to UNX this started nearly 10 years ago so some of the changes have been sign-posted for a very, very long time and many customers have already moved. Similarly with Lumira, many customers began the process of moving to SAC several years ago.
Moving from OP to PCE is an investment and you are right to ask what is the benefit? This will vary by customer situation but fundamentally there can be major TCO reduction (plus it provides an opportunity to modernize your BI approach (possibly taking advantage of new possibilities of SAC, possibly changing development processes). My experience is many organisations' BOBJ environments were designed 5-10 years ago and this provides a welcome moment in time to review and refresh. In the current economic climate most organisation have pretty high focus on the TCO aspect particularly.
You mention public sector as an example of a sector that is cautious about cloud (I'd add Financial Services/Banking as well). A few key points I'd make here. Firstly, we are now seeing many organisations moving to cloud that previously might not have - including public sector. There is a definite shift in thinking.
Separately it is important to distinguish that BOBJ PCE
I raise these points as when added together often it makes it a more attractive route for such more cautious organisations to move to cloud.
Do drop me a line if you wish to discuss further.
Pretty interesting article of what SAP is looking for, on the near future of BusinessObjects taking all relevant considerations to move solutions to the Cloud and improve customer's business based on analytics.
Now, I'm a pretty experienced administrator/architect(Installations, upgrades, migrations, configurations, administration) of BO Environments working for a SAP Partner Company, so seeing what is the scope for this movement/transition, What would be the role that we would play in this near feature, what can we expect or what would we need to plan for being part of this? Or being realistc, would we will be taken out of the "game" with this transition?
Please share your comments on this, to validate the path we should follow or to consider the next steps for this transition, so this way we can help our customers to take the right actions/decisions on this next cloud transition, since as you mentioned many customers would be afraid of this "change" on the current model.
As somebody who spent 11 years working for a partner who specialized in BO migrations etc. this is a question close to my heart and I have been asked this many times recently! I genuinely think this step re-energizes the role of partners and I really mean this.
Firstly, this is a key moment in the history/development of BO and many customers will need quality help and advice on this transition. Yes, you could theoretically just "lift and shift" but instead I would recommend this is a perfect opportunity to review your approach and strategy. Even if not wholesale modernization as a minimum it is an opportunity to take stock, consider opportunities for rationalization, how to drive more agility in the platform and most importantly how can we improve our service/business value to users. The transition to PCE, 4.3 and/or SAC offers plenty of possibilities to improve what we've maybe been doing for the past few years. .
Secondly, while SAP does provide more of a managed service for PCE, there is still a need for somebody to plan and execute the physical migration. For larger/complex organisations this can still be quite a sizable task and require some effort.
Thirdly, if I were a services partner today I'd be developing a set of packaged offerings to support the different phases of transition to PCE - how can we make this as turnkey and seamless as possible for customers?
The key bit that has maybe been taken away from partners is the core installation, operational maintenance and support of the BO platform...but plenty of other roles remain!
Hi Jonathan, is there an added value of moving to PCE when you're already running BO in HEC? What are the main advantages of PCE over HEC? Regards, Bart
So both HEC and PCE are 2 options for customers to have their BO managed by SAP in the cloud.
Put simply for HEC each customer has a unique configuration with a bespoke architecture/design/infrastructure tailored to them. It therefore takes a bit more time to design, provision and configure. With HEC commercially you subscribe to all the software, services and infrastructure required individually. The advantage however of HEC is that it is extremely flexible as a result.
HEC has been around for many years, PCE is new (launched en 2020) and to an extent we have taken our many years of managing solutions in HEC, and built this in to our PCE offerings.
With PCE the key difference is that it is a pre-defined service offering whereby sap have already done the architecture and design for you, and it is offered commercially as a choice of simple, standardized packages (for BO there are 4 packages - Small, Medium, Large and Extra Large). PCE has been designed to be quick to select, deploy and configure - and the packages should include everything you need to run BO (software, infrastructure and services). They are designed to be more 'turnkey'.
For a customer with BO on HEC already they are unlikely to move to PCE. Why? Ultimately the 2 services achieve the same objective (a managed BO service from SAP) and there will be limited benefit to going through effort and cost of another major migration to move from HEC to PCE.
For a customer who has not decided yet which route to take, I'd expect 99/100 customers to choose PCE as it is much, much quicker and simpler (both technically and commercially).
Hope this helps.
Its a very informative blog.
We are trying to find information on how SAP Data Services on-premise can be migrated to SAP cloud platform.
Could you please provide some directions in this aspect.
Hi Shubha, yes the is indeed a Data Services PCE available. It is basically the same as Data Services on-premise (same function/feature scope) but the software operation and infrastructure is instead managed by SAP. It suits people who wish to move existing DS workloads to the cloud and is supported on most hyperscaler platforms.
SAP Cloud Platform is very different. SCP / Business Technology Platform provides a suite of cloud services you can subscribe to in order to build applications, integrate processes or many other data related tasks. A list of the services is here:
SAP Discovery Center - Services (cloud.sap)
For us I think we see the benefit of moving to BOBJ PCE and already have SAC...our problem currently is seeing (clearly) the differentiators between the products.
Do you have a view on that? What can SAC not do (as yet) that BOBJ does well?
Hi Rob, I think there are 2 ways to answer this question.
For many orgs it isn't a case of what can/can't I do in each product, it is more a case that they are seeking to move to SAC, but the volume of reports etc means it will take time. For some customers with 1000s (even 10,000s) of reports they are looking to transition in a phased way over multiple years. Sometimes there isn't a business case to do it in one big bang. Running the 2 solutions in hybrid mode for a period may make sense.
In terms of key differences the clear strength of BOBJ is and has always been the enterprise reporting capabilities, (ie: extremely complex reports) and scheduling/distribution at scale. It excels here.
SAC (like other more modern BI tools) is designed for a different use. SAC's strength is data visualization, interactivity and intelligent data exploration. It is designed to support live interaction with data rather than (the slightly old fashioned approach) mass publishing.
Therefore, organizations with greater need for enterprise reporting may stick with BOBJ, those wishing to move to a more modern paradigm of data access may more to SAC.
That said, you mentioned 'as yet' in your question which is important. In the past year SAC has been introducing more enterprise reporting features, and also enhanced scheduling (more released in Q4 2021). Therefore, the differences are increasingly smaller with more coming in 2022......plus SAC offers a lot of new capabilities above and beyond BOBJ (such as planning, predictive engine, smart insights, search etc.).
I hope that help / makes sense.
We are using SAP BI 4.1 which is in on-premise at the moment, now we are moving to IBM cloud where we are migrating to BI 4.3
Could you please suggest if we can face any issue related to cross domain connectivity?
Hi Ritesh, it would depend on how the IBM Cloud has been configured for your organisation. If it is configured as a Virtual Private Cloud with a customer specific domain being created by IBM for all of your organisation then no Cross Domain Resource Sharing configuration is necessary. Conversely, if IBM are providing a Infratrcuture/Platform as a Service based offering which is fronted by an IBM name then CORS Configuration is necessary
Before start SAP BO migration, should I stop any services (like tomcat etc.) on Source or destination system.
I am migrating all BO contents from SAP BI 4.1 Prod to 4.3 Dev and then UAT & Prod. Please find the attachment. Could you please suggest which one is approach.
Hi Ritesh, I'm afraid I'm not able to advise. I'd recommend you engage with your local account manager and seek specialist assistance from SAP Services.
How does BO move to PCE work? For example, S4hana move to PCE can be used by system copy. What about BO?
When are you going to get your cloud product fedRAMP authorized? So that US Government users can securely use your product? Please contact me for more information.