The conference season is well under way now and the SAPinsider BI 2016 has just started in Las Vegas. SAP has three announcements released for this show and Spark Summit East, the big data event around Apache Spark being held in New York at the same time. SAP has announced:
- The acquisition of Roambi, who deliver a suite of mobile analytics solutions for the iPad and IoS devices
- A pre-release version of predictive analytics capabilities with SAP Predictive Analytics
- A trade in promotion aimed at swapping out competitor solutions for SAP.
Few details have emerged about the acquisition of Roambi, a start-up founded in 2008 that has managed to raise nearly $50 million in venture capital, the last round being for $30 million in 2011. There are no comments available from the three founders Quinton Alsbury, Jaime Zuluga and David Becerra which is rare from the acquisition of a start up and one wonders whether they will be staying within SAP. The acquisition delivers another set of mobile analytics tools that delivers analytics and data visualisation to its user base to benefit staff from the front line to the board room.
New Predictive analytics platform
The new release of SAP predictive analytics has been issued to analysts, partners and developers on a pre-release basis. The version that is being unveiled at the New York show delivers native Spark modelling for analysts and data scientists. SAP are claiming that the new features should enable companies to increase the analytics performance in Hadoop based environment and delivers a tighter integration with SAP Hana. With the Spark modelling built into the solution there is no longer a requirement to migrate data in and out of the platform, thus speeding up the analysis.
Anders Reinhardt, head of business intelligence, VELUX A/S commented “We use SAP Predictive Analytics as part of our larger SAP deployment, which also includes SAP HANA, to find out when one of our products might fail.”
“This not only helps from a cost-saving perspective, but it also enables us to let our customers know we might have an issue and, more important, explain how we can fix that issue. It’s about creating a better customer experience.”
While it is good that SAP have pre-announced the new version 2.5 release and its features, it is disappointing that there is no firm release date yet. It may be the SAP intention that the announcement of this (beta) version is deliberate. SAP may want it to be extensively tested by a select group of users, identifying any issues so that they can be fixed for the full release. It will be interesting to see what initial feedback there is on the version which might indicate how close the solution is to general availability. For the moment users will have to be content with the existing version of SAP HANA Cloud predictive services.
There will be five new services available in the future release:
- scoring equations
- key influencers
- data set services
More details are available at http://scn.sap.com/community/predictive-analytics, including the ability to download a trial version of version 2.4.
The new trade in deal
The third announcement revolves around a trade in for on premise analytics packages. For those companies use legacy on-premise solutions SAP is offering a trade in to go to SAP cloud. Information on this deal is not available without registration which makes it harder to validate which packages the solution is available against and what the actual details of the deal are. What is clear is that migrating from Cloud based analytics packages to SAP does not appear to be part of the options available. It is also
Steve Lucas, president, Digital Enterprise Platform, SAP “The old analytics strategy-to-execution loop is not real time, agile or democratic enough to adjust to digital realities.”
“SAP, a global leader in analytics, has completely changed the game and is now delivering a broad set of consumer-grade analytics solutions at enterprise scale across every industry and line of business. SAP aims to deliver all-in-one analytics for everyone, available in the cloud and on premise, designed to be ubiquitous and real time — something niche players in the analytics space cannot offer.”
Interestingly the promotion is not just promoted as a trade in but also as a trade up, this would infer that existing SAP on premise users may be able to trade up from existing license to cloud based solutions. Certainly SAP are trying to migrate their customer base into the cloud and will be hoping that they can persuade companies to make that step with SAP rather than looking at any competitive option. The SAP reimagine analytics program is part of this initiative as SAP looks to migrate its user base into the cloud and maintain its overall revenue. Something that it successfully achieved during 2015 with growth in both on-premise and cloud revenues.
These are potentially three announcements that will make a difference for SAP during 2016. However there is too much detail missing. With no statement from Roambi or announcements around how it will fit into the SAP structure, no release date for the new version and little detail behind the trade in deal it feels like the timing was a little forced by events.
It will be interesting in the next few weeks to see how these stories develop and what is going to happen to Roambi especially. Its customer base is not insignificant either in size or marquee brands with Nike, Sony, Pret, Sony and AirBnB all using the solution to name a few.