by Ken Murphy
From the outset of Wednesday’s SAP BI “All Access” webinar, SAP President of Platform Solutions Steve Lucas made clear the purpose of the event wasn’t to announce that SAP was abandoning support for its line of BusinessObjects tools. Rather than a dramatic turn, he made it clear that the SAP BI roadmap has some capable new hands on the wheel to stay the course toward what he described as SAP’s “more bold” analytic vision.
That said, there were some announcements:
- SAP BI 4.1 is out of ramp-up and will be in GA later this month
- SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence will be powered by SAP HANA (The project is named “Doctor Who” after Web-I HANA Optimization)
- The SAP BI Academy, a 24/7 BI resource site, will go-live on Sept. 9
- SAP Lumira licenses are available for free
Lucas also announced SAP’s new BI team, and the Twitter-sphere (#AllAccessAnalytics) seemed most impressed by a new title: Chief Customer Officer, a role which will be held by Jack Miller (who later joked that his email – firstname.lastname@example.org – is the easiest to remember at all of SAP). Miller’s chief responsibility? According to Lucas during his introduction, it will be to “Make the customer happy”. Other faces joining the newly formed Big Data team:
- Michael Reh, EVP BI & Technology
- Christian Rodatus, SVP Analytics
- Shekhar Iyar, GVP BI and Predictive Analytics (a new hire)
- Jayne Landry, Global VP, BI
Much of the webinar centered on SAP’s “Agile Visualization” strategy, which features Lumira as a centerpiece of the strategy, as demoed by Landry. Lucas, however, made it clear that Lumira, while “a critical part of” the Agile Visualization strategy, is still just a part of the strategy, and that SAP is still fully committed to every BI customer regardless of the BI tools they’re using.
The priorities for bringing the SAP Agile Visualization strategy to light, said Rodatus, will consist of community engagement (evidenced by a real-life Big Data Bus Tour), a sharp focus on customer success, and a mission to deliver innovation (with SAP BI 5.0 in the works for sometime after the middle of 2014).
Lucas promised a more fleshed out roadmap, if you will, at milestone events such as SAP TechEd. Wednesday’s webinar, he said, was analogous to taking out a mortgage with 20% down. “We owe you a lot more,” he said, and there’s “more to come.”
We’ll stay tuned.