SAP BI product name shake-up: the 2017 edition

Posted by on May 26, 2017

Another year, another set of product names for our beloved SAP BI tools. Seemingly out of nowhere a list of new names were presented last week at the SAPPHIRENOW event in Orlando FL. Even after all the name changes we had in the past 10 years (‘member Xcelsius?), this still came a bit as a surprise for me.

So let’s have a look at what happened here. First it seems like the whole BI portfolio is now recognized as SAP Analytics. Apparently it was named SAP BusinessObjects Analytics before (I always thought it was ‘SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence’, but that could be because I’m mostly focussing on the BI part of the tools), but this makes sense. The old BI terminology is probably seen as too limited, as the current and future analytics will go way beyond only internal data and usage scenarios. Of course the bigger change is that SAP continues to ditch the BusinessObjects brand: SAP BusinessObjects Cloud becomes SAP Analytics Cloud, SAP BusinessObjects Lumira will be SAP Lumira and SAP BusinessObjects Roambi just SAP Roambi.

Meanwhile, some of the more classic BusinessObjects tools keep their BusinessObjects brand: SAP BusinessObjects Web IntelligenceSAP BusinessObjects Enterprise. Analysis for Office loses the ‘for Office’ specification: SAP BusinessObjects Analysis. Following the conversion strategy this makes sense, as Analysis OLAP hasn’t been improved for a while and should be replaced by the Design Studio generic analysis template. Talking about Design Studio, which is not in the above photo, it is now labeled as SAP Analytics Design Studio (!!!) on SAP.com. Which, is a pretty insane name change at this point in time as the upcoming edition of the tool (only weeks away) will merge into Lumira 2.0 anyway. Talking about insane stuff, when I was browsing SAP.com I also saw that SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards (Xcelsius) is still actively advertised. Madness.

Anyway, what I don’t understand is why SAP is keeping this BusinessObjects brand alive at all. Does it still have a value if all your major (new) tools are not using it? Maybe it’s for the non-SAPBW/HANA legacy customer base? But come on, it has been 10 years now since the acquisition and this is again (or still) a mess. Some tools have SAP Analytics in the name, some SAP BusinessObjects and some only SAP. I can’t wait for next year’s edition!

Posted in: Featured, SAP, SAP BusinessObjects, SAP Lumira

Reading SAP Community blogs via RSS

Posted by on Dec 4, 2016

I’m not too happy with the new SAP Community, so I’ll try to avoid it as much as possible. Luckily we can still track the blogs via RSS via the tags…

1. Find the tag. You can go to blogs.sap.com, enter a search term like Design Studio or Lumira and click the tag.

rss12. Copy the URL. Some RSS readers require you to add ?feed=rss to the end of the URL.

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Posted in: SAP

OMG they killed SCN

Posted by on Dec 4, 2016

The new SAP Community (formerly SCN – SAP Community Network) must be one of the biggest cluster fucks of 2016. It seems to meet all the conditions of the definition:

clusterfuck ‎(plural clusterfucks)

  1. (slang, vulgar) A chaotic situation where everything seems to go wrong. It is often caused by incompetencecommunication failure, or a complex environment.

After a few weeks and several hopeful attempts I’ve totally given up on this platform. And I’m apparently not the only one. The problem with the previous SCN was that it was hard to find stuff. But, when you finally found the right spaces it kinda worked as you could easily browse the discussion topics you were interested in and see whether questions are already answered.

My Lumira question from 23 November has now 6 (!!!) views and 0 replies. And there are lots of other Lumira topics with even less views. If I look at the Design Studio area I see the same thing. Most of the topics have max 10 views. On the old SCN this was a very popular space and people were almost fighting to provide help. Oh, and the upvoting feature isn’t used at all.

scn1

The main problem is that the new SAP Community lacks any clear structure (yes, there are ‘tags’) and the bizarre thing seems to be that this is by design! I get the feeling that it doesn’t want to be like a classic forum for some unclear reason.

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Posted in: SAP, SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio, SAP Lumira

sitNL 2016

Posted by on Nov 27, 2016

Yesterday was the 8th edition of the yearly SAP Inside Track The Netherlands (sitNL). The event was sold-out and even had a waiting list! Wow! Luckily the new location at the Ciber office in Eindhoven was very spacey and I’d say large enough to host even more participants. Also it is only a 20 minute drive – by bike –  for me, so really excellent location (although I missed the free car wash ?).

sitnl

The BI track had a very interesting and nicely balanced program. Some high-level sessions, some more detailed ones, back-end stuff, front-end stuff, admin stuff. Good stuff.

Highlights for me were the TechEd recap by Ronald Konijnenburg en Sven van Leuken and the demo of 360Suite (skip the slides next time guys, the demo tells the story ?). I also went to the excellent Machine Learning 101 session by Fred Verheul, which reminded me to finally finish the Data Science for Business book I started reading earlier this year.

Below I put some #sitNL tweets as an impression.

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Posted in: Knowledge sharing, SAP

SAP Cloud for Analytics – first impressions

Posted by on Mar 10, 2016

A lot is happening in the SAP BI spectrum: new versions of Design Studio, Lumira, BI4.2 just went General Available, the acquisition of Roambi. You would almost forget that SAP is working on a completely new front-end platform called SAP Cloud for Analytics (C4A).

Since the TechEd 2015 in Las Vegas, it was possible to register for demo access to this platform. But, almost nobody got an actual login for this. Fortunately I was able to participate in a 3-day SAP Partner Test on C4A at SAP headquarters in Waldorf earlier this month. This gave me the opportunity to work hands-on with the system and to provide direct feedback to the development team.
c4a_1

Overview
The idea behind C4A is that SAP wants to create a platform that will contain at least all existing analytical capabilities, which we know from all the other SAP front-end BI tools. The C4A environment is built from scratch and runs completely – and only – in the cloud (unlike old on-premise cloud solutions as CrystalReports.com for example). This also means that no migration will be possible from existing tools. By the way, the development capacity  for the on-premise tools remains on the same level, so no need to panic. For C4A mostly new developers are recruited.

c4a_4

Data Connectivity
C4A has two strategies on using data from data sources: Import and Online. The import option is very similar to the Lumira scenarios in which the data has to be imported first, and then can be fully customized and used for visualization and analysis. In the online option the data replication is not needed, so the data can be used instantly.

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Posted in: Data visualization, Knowledge sharing, SAP, SAP Analytics Cloud