Webinar Summary – Roadmap for BI Success: The Latest on SAP BI 4.3 & Private Cloud Edition

In a recent webinar hosted by APOS, SAP’s Eric Fenellosa gave us an update on SAP BusinessObjects 4.3, the SAP BusinessObjects Private Cloud Edition (PCE), and the road ahead.

You can watch this webinar in its entirety on demand.

At the end of this webinar, APOS COO Allan Pym introduces the APOS PCE Adoption Kit, which can help you achieve your BI objectives moving to PCE.

Eric Fenollosa is Manager of the Augmented BI Product Management team un Paris and Program lead for SAP BusinessObjects 4.3.

When asked by Allan Pym what particular development in Web Intelligence has caused him great enthusiasm, Eric talked about the paths SAP BusinessObjects organizations can take with the WebI data model to leverage their investment in Web Intelligence, both within SAP BusinessObjecst and on other platforms such as SAP Analytics Cloud. He returns to this topic in the discussion of hybrid connectivity.

Eric’s agenda included updates on SAP BusinessObjects 4.3 and SP2, PCE, and the road ahead for SAP BusinessObjects users.

Eric noted that the release of SAP BI 4.3 was an important point in the history of SAP BusinessObjects, as it set the path for the platform’s future. SAP’s focus has been on:

  • Demonstrating continued investment in the on-premise BI Suite
  • Improved user experience
  • Enhanced enterprise readiness
  • Hybrid connectivity

Eric explained that the typical hybrid use case is an organization that wants to leverage earlier BI assets to inform analytics stories in SAP Analytics Cloud.

BI 4.3 SP2 includes features to enhance enterprise readiness.

Developments in user experience provide a UX similar to SAP Analytics Cloud.

Eric goes on to describe some of the new features introduced in SP2.

SP2 has the following objectives:

  • Extend possibility
    New sources of information for Web Intelligence, including Google Drive, OData Web Services from a Web Intelligence document
  • Improve usability
    Introduction of hidden reports, which gives you the ability to make reports under development unavailable to others in Design and Reading modes. Introduction of Presentation mode, which improves the usability of your reports in presentation scenarios.
  • Increase productivity
    Introduction of the new unified query panel, which combines and improves query capabilities from earlier versions.

Note: these descriptions are necessarily short and incomplete. For more information, view the webinar on demand.

Eric then moved on to SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise, Private Cloud Edition (PCE), which is the heart of the presentation. He notes that the idea behind this product concept was to “make your life simpler when it comes to consuming BusinessObjects.”

PCE accomplishes this simplicity through a single subscription contract which provides:

  • Licenses
    License subscription price, including Enterprise Support
  • Infrastructure
    Cloud infrastructure and services, including hosting on available Hyperscalers, including Amazon, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure
  • Operations
    Pro-active managed services, including managed updates to the platform

Realizing that one size does not fit all, SAP offers predefined landscapes and numerous options to meet the needs of individual organizations, allowing them to use third-party applications on a separate application server in the Cloud.

PCE components include fully functional

  • Web Intelligence
  • Crystal Reports
  • Lumira Designer
  • Analysis Office integration
  • Popular add-ons

You might ask yourself, what the advantage is of PCE over simply hosting SAP BusinessObjects directly on one of the named Hyperscalers. In a word: support, as summarized below. The support that the PCE offering provides is essential to analytics – and business – continuity.

Eric also talked about the cost savings offered by PCE. These savings are made possible by the flexibility of the licensing that allows you to operate in BOE mode, or in hybrid mode with SAP Analytics Cloud, taking advantage of the Cloud Extension Policy.

His next slide lays out the savings for a specific customer graphically.

In summary, PCE offers:

  • Reduced opportunity cost
  • Reduced risk
  • Reduced cost

Eric then turned to the road ahead with an addendum to the SAP Statement of Direction. The roadmap for SAP BusinessObjects:

  • BI 4.3
    No further SPs for BI 4.2 after SP9, and mainstream maintenance for BI4.2 continues until the end of 2022. Upgrading to BI 4.3 is highly recommended.
  • Web Intelligence
    Continued investment.
  • Crystal Reports
    Continued support, but no major new features planned.
  • Sunset of certain components at the end of 2027 (end of BI 4.3 maintenance period):
    – Universe Design Tool and UNV universes deprecated
    – Multi-source universes and associated connectivity deprecated
    – SAP BusinessObjects Analysis, edition for OLAP deprecated

The roadmap presented graphically:

Allan Pym joined the conversation for an update on how APOS is working to support the SAP BusinessObjects roadmap.

All of the time-tested APOS products are available for use with SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.3.

These same solutions are available for use with PCE.

Allan also introduced the PCE Adoption Kit by APOS, which includes a set of migration-focused technologies that streamline, simplify, safeguard, and accelerate the move to PCE.

The PCE Adoption Kit can guide you through the phases of your migration to PCE:

  • Preparation
    – Deep system audit and metadata capture for analysis
    – Comprehensive backup of system content assets
    – Automated, rules-driven cleanup of system content
    – Automated transition of content assets for PCE compatibility (e.g., UNV to UNX)
  • Execution
    – Rebuild and manage system security, settings, and preferences
    – Rebuild and manage system schedules
    – Upload and manage deltas of reports
    – Ongoing audit of source and target systems
  • Validation
    – Complete PCE system inventory
    – Validate of report data
    – Ensure report performance
  • Operations
    – Ongoing system visibility, audits and governance
    – Ongoing system cleanup and right-sizing
    – Ongoing report validation
    – Ongoing streamlined content administration

Eric ended the webinar fielding questions from numerous attendees, including:

  • How does support work?
  • What level of security is supported by PCE?

For Eric’s answers, please view the webinar on demand.