SAP Analytics Hub
2019 is almost over, so just like last year this is a good moment to look back at what happened in the SAP Analytics Cloud universe over the past 12 months. This year we got an astonishing 24 wave releases for the SAC tenants that are on the fast track schedule, so that should be enough to cover! Traditionally, I’ll do the grouping of the roundup in a good, bad and ugly manner.
This year’s SAP TechEd confirmed the statement from 2018 that SAP Analytics Cloud would eventually turn in to the single BI solution for all the SAP solutions. In Q4 the betas for the first batch of ‘embedded analytics’ started, featuring the new SAP Datawarehouse Cloud, SAP SuccessFactors and SAP Fieldglass.
The standalone SAC solution is turning more and more into this broad enterprise BI platform which will very soon overhaul the feature set of the on-premise SAP BusinessObjects BI Platform. Let’s go through some of the changes:
Platform administration has made some improvements, for example the simple fact that we can now finally authorize on models by storing them in folders. Sharing settings on these folders also have improved with better inheritance of sharing settings. Also, we can now take the full user administration outside of SAC by mapping accounts, teams and roles to MS Azure AD groups. With this you could setup your SAC tenant in such a way that users only need to go to the SAC URL and automatically an account is created for them and assigned to the correct teams and roles: no more manual admin activities needed in SAC! Finally, there are improvements in the Transport/LCM area, where we now can directly deploy between tenants, without export and importing files.SAP Analytics Cloud
Just a few more days and the year is almost over again, which makes this a perfect time to have a look at what happened in the past 12 months in the world of SAP Analytics Cloud. With all the updates the tool got in 2018 (22 waves!), you’d almost forget that it is just 10 months ago that SAC was pushed forward as the future of BI for SAP. But the question is of course: can it already deliver on this promise? And is it really enterprise ready? So let’s have a look at the state of SAP Analytics Cloud anno 2018. I grouped my observations in a good, bad and ugly manner.
Let’s start with some important signs in addition to the famous strategy blog of February 2018. SAP Analytics Cloud will be turned into the single BI solution for all tooling within SAP. So not only as the front-end solution on top of a SAP BW or HANA system, but it will replace the built-in BI solutions that come with the several cloud solutions SAP has acquired/developed over the years. Think of SuccessFactors, Concur, Fieldglass, Cloud for Customer. This will bring in millions of potential new users. For project Blueberry, which is a future SAP BW4/HANA cloud based offering, SAC will be the BI front-end. For the on-premise tools the future looks pretty sad. They probably will be supported for another decade, but all new innovations will be done in SAC.
I also see that SAC is slowly transitioning from a BI/planning tool into a broad platform that goes further than what the SAP BusinessObjects BI Platform ever delivered. Initially it only hosted the models and stories for reporting and planning, then the boardrooms and predictive scenarios were added as separate objects, and next year we will see applications, Roambi templates and Analysis Office workbooks appearing.
The Analysis Office workbooks are an interesting topic in itself and I regard this as a must have for 2019 to completely get SAC to a full “enterprise ready platform” level. Currently, Analysis Office workbooks can only consume acquired data models in SAC. To make this really work we need support for live BW/HANA models, and the option to store these workbooks on the SAC platform from within the Analysis Office software. This is all on the roadmap for 2019.
In 2018 a lot of generic SAC features were released, for example story bookmarks, offline/live data blending and proper platform usage statistics. Also many more specific features were delivered, for example on BW live connectivity where SAC is now very close to supporting the full spectrum of BEx features. This year brought the universal display hierarchy, support for two BEx structures and support for BEx conditions.
To finish the Good section, SAP is doing a lot to support organizations to manage this new normal of cloud. It will offer so-called test tenants that run a preview of the upcoming wave. This allows customers to check out new features so they are prepared for the actual release.
The BadSAP Analytics Cloud
A new episode of De Nederlandse BI Podcast, live from the BI2017 SAPinsider conference in Amsterdam. Topics are:
- BI2017 Keynote
- SAP Analytics Hub
- BPC 11
- SAP Analytics Cloud
- SAP Lumira 2.0
- Predictive Analytics with R
- The food at BI2017.
In my previous post on the new names for the SAP BI products, the list (in the tweet) also included a new product: SAP Analytics Hub. Unfortunately I don’t have access yet, and there is also not that much material available on this product, but enough to at least get an idea of the purpose and direction. So let’s have a look.
It is common for an organization to have multiple places or platforms to host reports. Even within SAP-only environments we see this: BI Launchpad, Fiori Launchpad, Analytics Cloud, BEx Web. For the end-user this is of course an awful experience, as he has to switch between different platforms to get to all his reports, and needs to ‘learn’ where to find what.
The SAP Analytics Hub is advertised as the single platform and entry point for users, where they can find all their reports. At my current project we positioned and setup the BI Launchpad for this, but we had to use a bunch of workarounds and have to live with all the limitations of the tool.
Looking at the roadmap and FAQ files, I see that the initial version is basically a web-based portal that contains a bunch of links to reports. These links point either to cloud or on-premise solutions, and this can be both SAP as well as non-SAP software. Each link may contain some additional information and a preview of the report.SAP