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Live from SAPinsider Studio: SAP BI Executives on the Evolution of SAP's Analytics Platform

November 13, 2014

SAP executives Clemens Praendl, Jayne Landry, and Ivo Bauermann join SAPinsider Studio for a panel discussion on the state of SAP's analytics portfolio. Topics of this panel discussion, which was recorded at SAPinsider's Reporting & Analytics 2014 event in Atlanta, include:

  • SAP's ongoing investement in the trend toward business intelligence in the cloud, including different licensing options for SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud and the availability of SAP Lumira server through the SAP HANA Cloud Platform
  • SAP Cloud for Planning, a new enterprise performance management (EPM) solution built on SAP HANA Cloud Platform
  • The drive toward greater simplicity and consistent user experience in an integrated, end-to-end analytic lifecycle

View the video, and read the edited transcript of the panel discussion here:

Ken Murphy, SAPinsider: Hi, this is Ken Murphy with SAPinsider, and I am at the SAPinsider Reporting & Analytics, Project Management, and Planning & Performance Management 2014 event. This afternoon I am pleased to be joined by a distinguished panel. Please allow me to introduce my guests (from SAP), from the far right to my left I am joined by Clemens Praendl, who is the Senior Vice President and General Manager for Analytics, Jayne Landry who is the Global Vice President and GM of Business Intelligence, and Ivo Bauermann, who is the Global VP and GM of Enterprise Performance Management. Welcome, thank you for joining me.

Clemens, I was hoping we can start with you. SAP has a broad portfolio of analytics solutions, many of which are being showcased here at this event this week. Can you share with our viewers, what is unique about the SAP analytics portfolio?

Clemens Praendl: I think the completeness of our analytics suite is really unique; no one in the marketplace has such a broad offering related to analytics. This really excites our whole team and our customers; we find more and more opportunities and for customers it’s extremely important to have this integrated story. I call this decision support – a loop or lifecycle where a customer starts in our portfolio with strategy management, they build their plan; obviously they want to share then their plan as well with the employees in the organization that they know what was planned and we need to work against this KPI to achieve our goal. And then we can even predict with our predictive capabilities and during the year we can just look into this whether we would be able to reach our plan. And this is all governed by our GRC solutions, which is really unique and I think a great benefit to our customers to generate this value for their business.

Jayne Landry: I think an additional train that we are seeing is the ability to create end-to-end solutions. In addition to the comprehensiveness of the analytics portfolio we’ve also got the ability to embed that right within applications because of the strength of the SAP applications. Or to take advantage of data quality, data management information to provide trust or from a single vendor. So the portfolio of analytics is comprehensive and complete, but also we’ve got the ability to extend it to provide a full end-to-end solution for customers.

Ken: Jayne, can you address the demand for cloud solutions for business intelligence (BI)?

Jayne: Right now the cloud BI market is fairly small; it’s only about 3% of overall analytics revenues. But as more and more data and applications move to the cloud we expect BI to also move to the cloud. And so we’re investing now ahead of that curve in several areas. So first on the software-as-a-service (SaaS) side we have SAP Lumira Cloud which is a fantastic solution, it’s really easy to try. We have free licenses so customers can try it out right now for themselves. And we’re seeing great success. Customers like Daimler Trucks, who’ve now rolled it out to their dealer networks, so not only thinking about their analytics needs within their organization, but how can they extend that out to the dealers in this case, which is fantastic to see.

And then the other two areas are infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and platform-as-a-service (PaaS), so on the IaaS side of things, we’ve got support today for AWS (Amazon Web Services) and we’re looking to extend that to Microsoft Azure in the future, and we also offer managed cloud as a service (MCaaS) with SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud, so you can take any of our BI solutions, bring your own license, BYOL, and take that to the cloud as well. Or take advantage of some subscription pricing there as well. And then the third area is PaaS, and that is where we’re making Lumira Server available through the SAP HANA Cloud Platform, so that you can create your own analytics applications right on top of the cloud platform with SAP HANA.

Ken: Ivo, can you address customer needs around the evolution of Performance Management?

Ivo Bauermann: Performance management is a critical part of our overall analytics portfolio as Clemens explained. We’re seeing more and more synergies coming up within the analytics portfolio. The way I describe it is BI finds the value in your business data, performance management helps you reach your financial goals doing that, and GRC manages the business risk. So it’s really a close combination of solution sets. There are two things I see in the performance management market that are increasing. No. 1 is the adoption of cloud solutions, and No. 2 is the expansion of the traditional finance buyer to business. So if you look at the cloud solutions, it’s the fastest growing part of the EPM (Enterprise Performance Management) market. And the way that I look at it is that it’s beyond what we’ve seen with the typical cloud solutions and the reasons to buy cloud solutions for cost-effectiveness; customers are looking for business value. How can we provide easy-to-use solutions that help our business users, our finance users, to manage our business better? It’s beyond just the cost-effectiveness. So that’s why we are coming out with a new solution, SAP Cloud for Planning which is extremely exciting. We’re getting great feedback from partners, customers, and analysts.  The good news is, it still fits a hybrid strategy, and that’s important too. We have on-premise solutions that a lot of our customers are using, and what they’re seeing is the added value of a cloud solution in a scenario where they use on-premise solutions at corporate for corporate finance, and use cloud solutions to expand it out into the business. That’s addressing the second point, like I said which extends from finance into the business. In these volatile economic situations we’re seeing customers need to have a better handle on what is happening in the market, and it’s not just purely finance, it is also looking at what are the key business drivers, what’s essential in our business that will help us achieve our financial goals? And that ties back to the reason why cloud solutions are picking up. If you go into the business, you need easy-to-use solutions there’s no doubt about it. And what we are doing is providing an alternative to spreadsheets, we’re replacing spreadsheets. That’s what we’re seeing in the market, and I think this is the right timing and coming out with SAP Cloud for Planning not only serves that demand but it ties very nicely into our overall analytics portfolio and the synergies we are creating.

Ken: Lastly, I’d like to open this up to everyone. We saw all three of you at the keynote yesterday at this event; Clemens of course the keynote presenter, Ivo with some live demos and Jayne you presented the Daimler Trucks case study you mentioned here. At this event specifically what have you been hearing from customers and attendees about this analytics platform?

Clemens: Yes, we’ve gotten some very positive feedback about the possibility to simplify and innovate and accelerate. We got as well very positive feedback that we had live demos, real software, not everybody in the audience expected this. I think this is the proof point that we have these solutions on-premise, in the cloud, you can use it in a hybrid model. And we have seen tweets – Ivo shared this with me this morning – that this was really appreciated from the customers, and a positive surprise for them. But this is our plan to do this as well going forward to show the reality, the ease-of-use aspect of our analytic solutions.

Ivo: And you bring up a good point. I didn’t even realize what an impact it has when we go on-stage and we do a live demo, and we have nothing to hide. We build high-quality software, but I didn’t even realize how much people pick up on it; customers really appreciate that we’re going out there and we’re showing the software that we have in a real live case. It shows the confidence that we have in the quality of our software. That’s really what it comes down to, I feel very, very confident showing what we’ve got because we know it’s so good.

Jayne: And for me, echoing what you said Clemens about the rate of innovation, I’m definitely hearing that feedback from customers especially what we’re doing with SAP Lumira. And (I’m) also getting feedback on our strategy to deliver the agility to the end users but (also) to bring that back into an enterprise BI platform so you can deliver trusted data discovery. I’ve had confirmation that that’s the right strategy and customers are really looking forward to taking advantage of that.

Ken: Great. It’s been a pleasure speaking with you and thank you for joining us on this panel.

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