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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.

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    • 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. 

    • 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

    • 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.

  • Hi Jonathan,

    Informative blog!

    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?

    Thanks,

    Darshil Shah

  • 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:

    A. Data-Service:

    1. How we can move DS to the Cloud?
    2. Is there also a DS-Service available?
    3. Can we Connect Data-Service on Prem with BO PCE?
    4. Is there also a SAP SQL Anywhere DB for the datawarehouse in BO PCE available?

    B. DEV and PROD Systems

    1. Is there a Multitenant architecture for BO PCE available?
    2. Is in the BO PCE the Promotionmanager still available?

    I'm looking forward to the answers.

    Thanks

  • For Data Services and Data Warehousing:

    • Yes, there is a Data Services PCE offering in addition to the BO.
    • Yes, you can continue to run DS on-premise and BO in the cloud.
    • No, there is not a SQL anywhere option for BO PCE. Alternative SAP cloud data warehouse options could include HANA Cloud of Data Warehouse Cloud.

    For Dev & Prod systems:

    • Standard configuration is a 2 tier environment (Dev and Prod) but we offer the option to add additional tiers onto this if required (many BO customers have 3 or 4 tier landscapes).
    • The lifecycle management is fundamentally the same in BO PCE as OP and remains part of CMC.
    • Hello Jonathan

      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)?

      • Scenario1 Leave the data in the DWH on premise and connect the universe on the PCE to the OnPremise-DWH.

        Question2: Is it possible to connect the universe on PCE to the OnPremiseDWH on SQL anywhere?

      • Scenario2: Load the data to the DWC and connect the universe on BO PCE to the DWC.

        Question3: Is it possible to connect the universe on PCE to the DWC?

  • 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.

      • Hi Jonathan,

        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?

         

        Thanks

        Abhirup

        • 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.

  • 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 - 

    1. Does Data Services Public Cloud Edition is on top of that BO PCE ?
    2. And if that’s the Data Intelligence or something else ?

    Regards,

    SK

    • 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.

  • Hi Jonathan

    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

     

    Regards-Bose

    • 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.

      regards, H

  • 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!

       

       

       

       

    • 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.