SAP's New Analytic Apps - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Software // Information Management
Commentary
9/21/2010
11:47 AM
Cindi Howson
Cindi Howson
Commentary
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

SAP's New Analytic Apps

Much of what SAP has historically delivered has focused only on data stored in the SAP systems and then using SAP front-end technologies, whether the BW warehouse or Visual Composer, for example. The solutions announced last week take advantage of the BusinessObjects tools, Explorer, Web Intelligence, Xcelsius.

SAP is already the leading analytic applications vendor, according to IDC, so what is the big deal behind last week's announcement?

Much of what SAP has historically delivered has focused only on data stored in the SAP systems and then using SAP front end technologies, whether the BW warehouse or Visual Composer, for example. The solutions announced last week take advantage of the BusinessObjects tools, Explorer, Web Intelligence, Xcelsius. Most importantly, Data Federator is included in the architecture, enabling customers to use much of their existing infrastructure. Non SAP ERP customers can use these new apps, because they are no longer reliant on BW as a data source. The data can reside in BW, a custom data warehouse, or the transaction system. SAP says this abstraction layer will allow for a more flexible solution. Unlike most other analytic applications on the market, SAP is not requiring a physical data model.To comment on the Kimball Group article by Margy Ross featured this week, one of the problems with analytic applications is lack of flexibility, that the pre-built data models become data silos. The SAP BusinessObjects abstraction layer partially addresses the concerns raised in her article, because it doesn't require a precise physical model. SAP says that the abstraction layer will allow a business to more easily customize the analytic app.

The vendor also emphasized that these solutions were co-developed with their customers. While this clearly results in a customer-focused solution, I can't quite get my mind around how and why a customer such as Levi's or McCain would work on applications that SAP can then turn around to sell to a customer's competitor.

The final area of differentiation is that these applications will include predictive analytics as appropriate. Initially, it sounds like this aspect to the apps are through service offerings, but that overtime, it will be part of the applications.

The release this week further draws the industry battle lines with SAP's competitors:

  • Oracle, whose analytic applications have been growing rapidly but primarily serve Oracle ERP customers.
  • SAS whose industry-focused solutions are source system agnostic and account for a large portion of SAS's revenues.
  • IBM Cognos who has been gradually expanding its prebuilt analytic applications and industry blue prints.
  • For a short overview of leading BI vendor's approach to analytic applications, download the free BI Scorecard Market Segments report.

Regards, Cindi Howson, BI ScorecardMuch of what SAP has historically delivered has focused only on data stored in the SAP systems and then using SAP front-end technologies, whether the BW warehouse or Visual Composer, for example. The solutions announced last week take advantage of the BusinessObjects tools, Explorer, Web Intelligence, Xcelsius.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
InformationWeek Is Getting an Upgrade!

Find out more about our plans to improve the look, functionality, and performance of the InformationWeek site in the coming months.

News
Pandemic Responses Make Room for More Data Opportunities
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  5/4/2021
Slideshows
10 Things Your Artificial Intelligence Initiative Needs to Succeed
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  4/20/2021
News
Transformation, Disruption, and Gender Diversity in Tech
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  5/6/2021
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
Planning Your Digital Transformation Roadmap
Download this report to learn about the latest technologies and best practices or ensuring a successful transition from outdated business transformation tactics.
Slideshows
Flash Poll