The Current State of SAP Analytics

How to Choose between On-Premise, Hybrid or Cloud Solutions

It is a new age of Business Intelligence. The innovators are marching toward a full cloud experience to allow users to experience decision making with new confidence and speed. Although the demise of on-premise applications is often overstated, planning and integration of current and future applications needs to consider both cloud and on-premise environment.

So, with the rapid growth of SAP Analytics Cloud, why wouldn’t we want to jump on the train? With better security, management and speed, the leap seems obvious, but it all depends on what you are trying to achieve.

What choices do you have?

It all depends on where your current landscape lies. But there are three options available:

  • On-Premise
  • Hybrid Solution
  • Cloud Only

Which option your organization has available is dependent on where you currently are in your BI and analytics journey.

On-Premise

With a huge customer base, SAP has stated that it will have one more significant release of the on-premise BI Suite. Currently on BI 4.2, the next release, BI 4.3, will be in Q2 of 2020. This release will extend on the current functionality in three areas:

  1. The Hybrid integration through Analytics Hub to allow seamless integration of on-premise and cloud solutions.
  2. Enterprise Readiness. With the continued support and development on the management of BI deployments.
  3.  New features. With a focus on BPC, BE hooks into analytics cloud.

The release of BI4.3 will be supported until at least 2026.

On-Premise

With a huge customer base, SAP has stated that it will have at least one more major release of the on-premise BI Suite. Currently, on BI 4.2SP6, there will be further service pack releases next year (these deliver incremental new features on every iteration). The next major release, BI 4.3, is slated for Q2 of 2020. This release will extend on the current functionality in three core areas:

  1. The Hybrid integration through Analytics Hub to allow seamless integration of on-premise and cloud solutions.
  2. Enterprise Readiness. With the continued support and development on the management of BI deployments.
  3. New features. With a focus on BPC, BE hooks into analytics cloud.

The release of BI4.3 will extend the support and maintenance until at least 2026 when we will all be living in Virtual Reality!

Web Intelligence, Lumira Designer (can we go back to calling it Design Studio please?) and the BI Platform itself continue to modernize and add customer-driven features to an already rich offering. Crystal Reports seems to be being left behind, unfortunately. But that doesn’t mean you can’t start moving towards a cloud solution. This is where the hybrid solution come in.

Hybrid

For those ready to embark on a cloud experience but also have a number of on-premise systems, there is a hybrid option. There are currently 4 areas of significance for a hybrid solution:

  1. Analytics Hub. The bridging of on-premise and cloud applications can be achieved through the Analytics Hub. The Analytics Hub allows you to seamlessly access multiple solutions, not just SAP, from on-premise and Analytics Cloud from SAP and other organizations, to provide the user with a single, unified, portal for all BI applications.
  2. Live or Imported Data. You can have a live connection to your on-premise data, therefore no data will be moved to the analytics cloud and any security you have defined will be inherited. Alternatively, data can be imported and manipulated in the cloud to allow for data blending and planning.
  3. Analysis for Office. You are able to use an integration to Excel to view and analyze data.
  4. Integration with SAP Business Planning and Consolidation (SAP BPC). This integration is bi-directional, so any updates will be pushed to the cloud and vice-versa.

 

SAP Analytics Cloud

So, what is SAP Analytics Cloud? It is a native new service that currently brings together an analytics experience:

  1. BI – Starting with Data Discovery. Dashboarding scenarios and integration with Analysis office. Self-service BI for business users to create their own visualizations to create stories for personal consumption or to share with colleagues via browser or mobile.
  2. Planning – primarily focused on financial planning, but can be used for headcount planning for HR, it has an option to connect to SAP BPC, but is not required. Many customers are taking advantage of the rich functionality of planning in the cloud with task management, scheduling, distribution, simulations and allocations.
  3. Predictive Analytics
    • Smart Assist for wizard-driven analysis for business users to be guided through predictive algorithms to complete their own modelling using Smart Discovery and Smart Insights.
    • Smart Predict for Citizen Data Scientists – allowing the experience data scientist to model based on their own driven use of more sophisticated use cases.
  4. Application Design. Allows for a more controlled and tailored presentation of data discovery where the users are presented and lead through analysis.

Access to this new service can be achieved in three ways:

  1. Analytics Hub. Integrating multiple applications into a seamless, single portal.
  2. Digital Boardroom. Storytelling and interaction with real-time data through large touch screens. Designed to be used with teams or larger audiences, and allows you to be fully immersed in your data.
  3. Access to your data on the go. Even though Analytics Cloud is mobile friendly, it is only on iOS currently, with Android in the works.

Leading on to this is because Analytics Cloud is a service, the onus is on SAP to maintain patches and updates as part of this service, removing that maintenance chore and cost from you.

Conclusion

If you have new requirements for data discovery, then you should take a look at SAP Analytics Cloud. For reporting and sophisticated dashboards, the BI Suite is the way to go currently and finally to integrate these solutions into a seamless portal for your users, or integrate non-SAP analytics, a hybrid solution through Analytics Hub would be the perfect choice.

Be on the lookout for future Blogs on our website related to Lumira Designer and much more!

We also showed how you can view your Application on any screen, size ranging from Large TVs and Projectors to a Mobile Device using an Adaptive Layout.

If this blog didn’t quite answer your question or you have other Business Intelligence questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us.

Read More Kingfisher Blogs

By |2018-12-03T12:55:11+00:00December 3rd, 2018|BI, Business Intelligence, Kingfisher, SAP Analytics Cloud|0 Comments

About the Author:

Jenny has 20 years experience in the Business Intelligence industry, managing projects in finance, utilities, manufacturing, telecommunications, and insurance. When she’s not "enjoying" jogging, she is running around after her children, dogs, and cats. She can be reached at Jennifer.Hawkins@kingfisherinc.com.