Live from SAPinsider Studio: Jayne Landry of SAP Breaks Down the BI Roadmap

December 11, 2014

Jayne Landry, SAP Global VP and GM, Business Intelligence, visits with the SAPinsider Studio during the Reporting & Analytics event in October, 2014, to discuss SAP's BI roadmap. Topics of this discussion include:

  • Driving simplicity in your BI landscape
  • The convergence of SAP's BusinessObjects BI portfolio
  • Trusted Data Discovery concept
  • SAP Lumira adoption

View the video, and read the edited version of the conversation, here:

Ken Murphy, SAPinsider: Hi, this is Ken Murphy with SAPinsider, and I am at the SAPinsider Reporting & Analytics conference 2014. This afternoon I am pleased to be joined by Jayne Landy, who is the Global Vice President and General Manager for Business Intelligence at SAP. Jayne, welcome.

Jayne Landry, SAP: Thanks Ken. Great to be here.

Ken: I was hoping you could start by discussing how SAP, known for having a comprehensive suite of BI tools and solutions; how with such a comprehensive suite is SAP also helping to drive simplicity?

Jayne: We’ve heard a lot from customers that they really like the range of tools within the portfolio, but we’ve also heard that they’d also like to see fewer tools. And it’s always a difficult conversation because everyone wants to see fewer tools but no one wants their favorite tool to go away. So this is something that we’ve been working on even before Bill McDermott announced “Run Simple” as a priority for SAP.

So we started working on this topic back in Q4 of last year (2013) and we sat down with the development team and really looked at what had worked well in the past as we worked on convergence topics, and what had not worked well. And we really tried to use that as a framework for how we could move forward. And so we really looked at the personas of users who use business intelligence today within an organization. From the decision maker, which is a growing audience; probably the fastest-growing area for analytics right now, to the business analyst who’s answering the ad-hoc questions for the business, to the designer or developer who’s often taking the work that the analyst does, and then turning it into a solution that can be rolled into production right across an organization. And then last but certainly not least the IT administrator who is actually administrating that system. And so we’re looking at converging the portfolio around those personas and experiences and also thinking about how those people can work together.

From that we’ve identified some key areas to focus on. The first one is reporting; operational reporting continues to be a base need for many companies, and they’ve got information and systems and they just want to get it out. And in that space, we’ve got both Web Intelligence for ad-hoc reporting and Crystal Reports for operational reporting, and we’ve got hundreds of thousands of users using both of those solutions today and neither of those will go away. We’ll continue to invest in them.

The next area is around the area of data discovery, and this is where SAP Lumira comes into play. And here we’ve got a variety of tools that help serve that business analyst to end user workflow, so there are a lot of opportunities for simplification there to bring things into Lumira moving forward. And then on the next stage, for that IT developer or designer there is the ability to create custom dashboards or applications. And that’s where Design Studio comes in, and that’ll be our go-forward solution there. And then last but not least we knew that Office, the Microsoft portfolio, is often where a lot of customers live and work today. And so having integration with Office, being able to bring analytics content into PowerPoint or Excel will continue to be key as well, and we’ve got some opportunity to simplify what we do there.

Ken: You mentioned the range of users and their function areas. Does that mean then for their existing tools throughout the BusinesObjects portfolio that nothing is going away then?

Jayne: Exactly, so the way that we are looking at it is we want to have innovation but to do so without disruption. So that means that none of the existing BI 4.1 tools go away; we will continue to provide those and customers can continue to use them. But what we’ll do is focus on the user experiences and bringing those experiences into the go-forward solutions. And that means that customers can actually move at their own pace. We really encourage them to take a look at Design Studio, take a look at Lumira and then consider using it for your next project. We won’t expire your existing tools, we won’t expire your existing content, so your existing investment is safe. But look at the new tool for that next project and see if it’ll meet your needs and then go from there.

Ken: Another thing I wanted to ask you about is in the keynote presentation yesterday which you were a part of, you talked about the trusted data discovery and that concept and that concept as far as an evolution from siloed BI data to trusted data discovery. Can you elaborate on that and explain the concept?

Jayne: Certainly. I think we’re seeing a paradigm shift in the way that analytics are produced and consumed. It’s historically been the model where IT builds it and end-users consume the analytics content. But now users are getting much more engaged in the analytics and I think it’s because of the expectation that we have information at our fingertips now through consumer experiences on mobile devices. And that’s really driving a change in who wants to access analytics. Today, about 30% of the BI spend is now coming with line of business buyers and it’s a really fast-growing segment. So we’re seeing business users actually going out and buying analytics tools and bringing them into organizations because they want that agility and they want to do it themselves. But this has led to a challenge because they’re extracting data out of enterprise systems, they’re creating data silos across the organization and we’re losing the trust and the results. So our vision is to deliver analytics for – and the agility – to those end-users as business users, but be able to bring that back in to an enterprise BI system so that business users can get started but then you can bring it in and make sure that the data is trusted, have an opportunity to verify the work that’s been done before it’s promoted more broadly across the organization.

Ken: And lastly, also during the keynote we saw a lot of demos on SAP Lumira including some infographics. What has the response been from customers to date concerning Lumira?

Jayne: It’s been phenomenal actually. We just hit 500,000 users of Lumira, using Lumira Desktop and Lumira Cloud and we’re starting to hear about some great customer success stories as well. Daimler Trucks is one of those, where they’ve rolled out Lumira to their dealer network and they’ve seen an increase in sales as a result of that. So it’s been great to see people moving into production now with Lumira and starting to see the results of those implementations.

Ken: Jayne, thanks for joining us.

Jayne: Thanks so much.

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