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SAP TechEd 2010 – a look at SAP’s general roadmap moving forward

by Lyndsay Wise, President, WiseAnalyticsTuesday, October 19, 2010

Each year SAP hosts several TechEd events worldwide to cater to the needs of their technical customers which normally numbers over 15,000 attendees. Vishal Sikka, member of the SAP Executive Board, led the keynote event by talking about the increasing industry trend towards vendor stack offerings and the three focuses of SAP moving forward. Here’s an overview of SAP’s focus in relation to technology:

  • In-memory – the ability to provide real-time analytics and operational data insights.  The examples showed targeted the integration between operations and BI insight by using real-time dashboards to show how potential issues can be acted upon as information is being collected (called Event Insight).
  • Cloud computing – SAP already has solutions such as BI OnDemand and LOB OnDemand which is targeted towards SMBs.  Their goal is to create an integrated approach to cloud.  SAP sees large enterprises combining the two types of platforms and would like to provide the flexibility to enable companies the ability to be more dynamic without disrupting the internal systems architecture.
  • Mobile – with the recent acquisition of Sybase, SAP is poised to not only take advantage of Sybase ASE and IQ, but specifically to integrate the use of its mobile technologies within the framework of SAP.  According to Sikka, the goal is to enable a truly mobile enterprise by removing the boundaries of desktop applications and by bringing full mobile solutions to SAP customers. 

These three aspects of technology and development on their own do not deviate from what other solution providers are doing.  The main difference is that SAP has the benefit of being a stack vendor.  As Vishal Sikka noted, even though stacks are becoming more popular within the BI industry, the reality is that customers don’t use stacks – they look for ways to address and to solve business problems through the use of technology. The benefit lies in the reach SAP has to integrate these three areas and provide solutions across the spectrum of operational and analytical solutions. In an ideal world, this ability alone will enable SAP to integrate BI with operations and overall business processes. The realization, however, may be long in coming.

When looking at SAP Business Objects specifically, Business Objects 4.0 is being released with new features that include:

  • BI and EIM integration
  • Further integration with SAP NetWeaver
  • New semantic layer
  • New UI and design interface
  • Enhanced text analytics

Overall, the goal seems to be eventual integration of multiple types of technologies and solution offerings without limiting organizations’ interaction with technology.  Business Objects definitely has a hold within the market. What remains to be seen is whether SAP’s broad focus will enable them to stay ahead of technology and solution provider development as each of their focuses mimics those of their competitors, especially in relation to business intelligence in the long term as operational decision making becomes more ingrained within the way organizations manage their daily processes.

About the Author

Lyndsay Wise is an industry analyst for business intelligence. For over seven years, she has assisted clients in business systems analysis, software selection and implementation of enterprise applications. Lyndsay is the channel expert for BI for the Mid-Market at B-eye-Network and conducts research of leading technologies, products and vendors in business intelligence, marketing performance management, master data management, and unstructured data. She can be reached at lwise@wiseanalytics.com. And please visit Lyndsay's blog at myblog.wiseanalytics.com.


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