SAP Cloud for Analytics (Project Orca) - it's starting to become more black and white

23 October 2015

Hamish Walker

Hamish Walker

Consultant

SAP recently announced SAP Cloud for Analytics (first dubbed Project Orca), its new flagship offering. Specific details about it have been fairly hard to come by, but now some new information is finally surfacing.

What is SAP Cloud for Analytics?

To put it simply, SAP Cloud for Analytics is the next generation of software as a service which will combine multiple analytical tools into a single product built natively on SAP's HANA Cloud Platform.  

The idea is to have a single, analytical, product which all users inside an organisation can exploit to provide all the required analytical capabilities including Business Intelligence (BI), planning, predictive, Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC), and so on.

SAP Cloud for Analytics is already available - the planning capability was released in February 2015 as SAP Cloud for Planning (which will now be re-named SAP Cloud for Analytics for Planning). The BI capability is planned for release in November 2015, and the Predictive capability early 2016. 

How does SAP differentiate itself from the competition?

Oracle has Analytics Cloud. Microsoft this year has relaunched Power BI as a public Cloud-based analytical tool. Amazon Web Services has just announced an analytical product of its own, Space Needle.With all of this competition, SAP needed to offer something exciting, different and best in class.

“SAP Cloud for Analytics differentiates itself from other competitors who can only provide single or a narrow set of analytical capabilities i.e. BI or Planning but not both.” 

Who can use SAP Cloud for Analytics and what will they have access to?

A user utilising the full potential of SAP Cloud for Analytics, for example an operational planner and analyst professional, would be able to access all of their data in real-time, analyse it, create and send out reports, run predictive algorithms and plan... all in one single application.

A full SAP BI offering in the Cloud has been missing from the SAP portfolio and this product will now give customers a holistic Cloud-based opportunity. Data sources, such as SAP BusinessObjects Universes, SAP BW BEx queries and SAP HANA views, will all be supported to give users access to all of their data - SAP, non-SAP, On-premise and in the Cloud - from any device and serve the need for all in the single solution.

SAP Lumira Cloud Edition will be retired next year and subscriptions transitioned to SAP Cloud for Analytics, however SAP has been very clear stating that SAP BusinessObjects 4.x. and SAP Lumira will not be replaced by SAP Cloud for Analytics.

I can’t wait to get my hands on the SAP Cloud for Analytics demo and with webinars and announcements coming up in the next week, this whole area is only going to spark much more debate. A great place to start is SAP HANA Cloud for Analytic and that old question ‘will HANA replace BW'? by Jan van Ansem.

Bluefin and SAP S/4HANA - welcome to the one horse race