Do I Need More Data Software and Tools?

Hidden Analytics Gems You Already Own, but Nobody Told You

With every new year, we come across several clients who have been given a strategic Business Intelligence initiative for the year by their corporate leadership. They come to us looking for some guidance and help with the strategy to enable them to deliver the initiative.

Often, companies have had BI landscapes created a while back and then effectively left dormant for a few years. This is not uncommon at all in the mid-market, where resources are commonly tighter and projects need to be carefully prioritized and sponsored.

This year we saw several companies ask what type of ETL tool or visualization tool they should consider buying. When we look further into their landscape we discover they already own something that fits their needs and that they are already paying maintenance on. Unfortunately, this information isn’t always readily available to the client as the speed and accuracy of response from vendors about a client’s landscape is generally woeful across the board. This shouldn’t be the case. Luckily there are simple ways BusinessObjects clients can quickly understand their full bill of materials. More on that later. The challenge then becomes how old is the agreement that brought this software to the corporation and what does the platform look like now.

In the last couple of years, SAP has been increasingly bundling additional tools into their platform licenses. Several clients had no idea they owned a very capable runtime version of Sybase IQ. Even though some of the oldest licenses were bought prior to SAP acquiring Sybase, they have since been converted and several tools were incorporated into the platform the client owns during that conversion.  At the time of the conversion, the client may have been simply looking to add a few seats, but the conversion method worked out the most cost-effective toolset, and added Sybase IQ, even though there was no stated requirement for additional tools at that time.

Fast forward a couple of years and clients want to formally build a data warehouse and have no idea they have an optimized columnar database for their analytics warehouse. They do not realize they own Sybase Power Designer for architecting the warehouse and Data Integrator for building all the load jobs to populate and maintain the data in the warehouse.

The other major addition to the Business Objects license bundling was the self-service capabilities of Lumira. SAP have clearly stated the level of investment and functionality they are putting into this self-service option.  Design Studio is now woven into the (Lumira Designer) platform and some predictive functionality is already included with more coming.

The point is not that these tools are the best thing ever, but that many of our clients need to be shown that they already own them and, in a number of cases, they find that they are more than adequate for the job at hand. At that point, they are amazed to find how much they just saved (in license, resource time, and speed to value) for the high-profile initiative management charged them with delivering this year. They redirect some license funds they no longer need to some training and possibly even some consulting to help ensure a successful outcome with newer tools. They succeed with a highly effective application delivered in a far less stressful way. It’s worth logging into SAP Service Marketplace using your SAP id to see how you find out what you really own. Or you can call us at 1-877-531-4116 and we will walk you through it.

Not everybody finds hidden gems in what they own, but at least 60% of our clients find their landscape is richer than they thought or it needs to be revisited to incorporate additional functionality at limited additional cost.

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About the Author:

Mahesh is the founder and CEO of Consultancy by Kingfisher. His main focus is on business development and managing the continued growth of Kingfisher. He actually CAN juggle, a skill which serves him well as he balances his business duties at Kingfisher with serving on numerous councils over the years, including SAP Analytics Advisory Council, the ASUG affiliate advisory council, the SAP Global indirect Channels Council for Analytics Database and Platform. When he’s not glued to an Arsenal soccer game, he can be reached at