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This month saw the landmark release of both SAP Cloud for Analytics and the SAP Digital Boardroom. The timing of both releases at once is not entirely coincidental. The Digital Boardroom is built on the Cloud for Analytics platform. Both look impressive, and having been fortunate to experience both hands on this week, both present an entirely new experience to executives, analysts, planners and well, anyone..

Having spoken to a number of senior BI and Analytics leaders in some of the UK and Ireland's largest companies in the past couple of weeks, I have been keen to get behind the fanfare and slick marketing and really understand how this release changes the future of information exploitation in organisations globally.

Here are some of the key themes emerging.

  1. As we transition to applications in the cloud (SAP apps or not), organisations need an Analytic capability that works seamlessly in this environment.
  2. Digital transformation plans are driving the use of cloud based Big Data solutions, whether leveraging web based data for marketing or connecting cows to optimise dairy operations (a genuine SAP success story), an agile cloud analytics solution that scales up and scales down is necessary
  3. Business user’s thirst for agility is growing exponentially as competition intensifies and the need for a truly agile, scalable, functional cloud analytics solutions that can be governed from the core is critical to success.

The opportunity to drive the full Analytic paradigm including Planning, Discovery, Visualisation, Prediction and Collaboration all on one platform is truly unique and offers entirely new ways of working.

At the latest SAP board meeting for example, the board members were able to run their meeting from the new Digital Boardroom. No longer was this a meeting to review the latest suite of KPIs, but it was a truly immersive and interactive experience where the board were able to explore and model different business scenarios on the core applications in real time.

Building on the HANA Cloud Platform, SAP Cloud for Analytics launches a genuinely unique capability into the market place. HANA's ability to unify OLTP and OLAP workloads in-memory means SAP Cloud Analytics is able to deliver functionality not previously thought possible. The ability to plan, predict and analyse on a simple scalable model in the cloud on any data will redefine how organisations approach analytical opportunities.

For example, Marketing will have the ability to ingest data from anywhere, quickly predict precision segments, plan campaign spend, execute and analyse the impact all from one simple product.

The next few months will be exciting as we continue the launch with our first customers in UK and Ireland.

Check back as the story unfolds.. if you would like more information in the meantime, feel free to get in touch.