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SAP Expands Its Analytics Capabilities
SAP is adding more predictive and machine learning capabilities and unifying its analytics solutions under the BusinessObjects brand.
Posted May 19, 2016
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ORLANDO — At its Sapphire Now user conference, SAP yesterday introduced a range of new features and capabilities for its analytics solution portfolio, which it is unifying under the BusinessObjects brand.

The updated and streamlined offerings include SAP BusinessObjects Cloud, formerly known as SAP Cloud for Analytics, and SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise, its on-premises business analytics solution. It also includes the new SAP Digital Boardroom, a solution built on SAP BusinessObjects Cloud and designed as a framework for industry-specific content for a range of verticals, including finance, human resources, manufacturing, telecommunications, retail, life sciences, mining, federal, automotive, healthcare, oil and gas, and chemical. Also included is the SAP BusinessObjects Roambi mobile app, which can deliver visualizations instantly to mobile devices.

As part of the enhancements to BusinessObjects Cloud, SAP added predictive capabilities, visualizations and storytelling, data wrangling and blending, geospatial features, trend analysis, custom filters, linked stories, notifications, and chat. Expanded planning features include integration with SAP BusinessObjects Planning and Consolidation, new aggregation methods, enhanced allocations and distribution, expanded versions, and privacy controls. Users can now connect and blend existing data sources, such as SAP ERP, SAP Business Warehouse applications, SAP SuccessFactors solutions, Salesforce.com, and Google Drive. Online connection support for the SAP HANA platform enables users to perform analytics without having to move data into the cloud.

Among the upgrades to SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise, the company is now making it available in three editions:

  • The premium edition, a complete analytics offering of business intelligence, mobile and predictive capabilities, and Big Data analytics around the Internet of Things. The offering also comes with a starter package of the SAP HANA Vora engine to help analyze Big Data across enterprise and Hadoop systems.
  • The professional edition, which delivers a modern business intelligence (BI) suite with reporting, visualization, and discovery capabilities.
  • The standard edition, which provides a set of ad hoc reporting tools to offer immediate answers to all users through the Web, desktop, or mobile devices.

New BI features within SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise include support for more than 200 data sources, including direct access to Big Data from Hadoop and other SAP applications.

SAP is also working to expand its predictive analytics capabilities with native Spark modeling in Hadoop, in-database social network analysis in SAP HANA, a simplified user interface and automated generation of segmented forecast models, the integration of third-party tools and external processes, and the ability to create and manage customized models that detect complex fraud patterns for the SAP Fraud Management analytic application.

"SAP is enabling companies to lead in the digital economy by significantly simplifying the platform, providing best-in-class analytics and a superior user experience," said Stefan Sigg, senior vice president for SAP Analytics. "SAP BusinessObjects remains the most relevant analytics in the industry, and we offer the best end-to-end capabilities, both on premises and in the cloud, in the market today."

Bernd Leukert, a member of SAP's executive board, said in the morning's keynote that the changes are part of SAP's larger focus that takes users "from a 360-degree view of the customer to something that lets you get into their heads at precisely the right moment."

Analytics, Leukert said, "will be even more important for businesses in the future."

SAP, he added, is also adding cognitive capabilities to its analytics solutions. "The future of business applications has to embrace machine learning," he stated. "Our latest innovations in machine learning will bring you even closer to your customers."

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