Utilize SAP Analytics Cloud with BusinessObjects

With BusinessObjects (BOBJ) version 4.2 nearing its end of “Mainstream Maintenance” at the end of 2022 there has been a lot of discussion around whether to upgrade to BOBJ version 4.3 or migrate the analytics and reporting to SAP Analytics Cloud.  In this article we will discuss various concerns that each organization should consider either internally or with a trusted Analytics advisor like VantagePoint Business Solutions.

While the end of BusinessObjects 4.2 is certainly coming fast it by no means spells the end for BOBJ users going forward, but it should lead to organizations discussing their analytics roadmap and what should be the right tool to help organizations to meet their needs.  Currently there are a couple of options that exist for users on BOBJ 4.2 or earlier:

  • Migration to the current version of BOBJ 4.3 or
  • Eventually migrating to a new version of SAP BusinessObjects set to release in 2024 code named BusinessObjects BI 2024.
  • Conversion to SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC) – Either by total conversion or Hybrid method

In this article we will discuss leveraging the awesome power of SAP Analytics Cloud as the new strategic direction for organizational analytics by developing a roadmap to convert BOBJ to SAC.

So why move to SAC?

  • Single technological platform from end to end by encompassing modeling and analysis alongside planning and collaboration.
  • Consolidate enterprise technology ecosystem gaining reliability and efficiencies. SAC leverages integrations with many third-party applications such as Google Drive and Excel.
  • Carries Augmented Analytics feature such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning,  Smart Insights (Predictive Analytics), and Natural Query Language.
  • SAC eliminates the need for infrastructure setup, big project teams to handle upgrades or new versions while also promoting greater performance, enabled by in-memory computing.
  • Interoperability between SAP BusinessObjects 4.3, allowing direct connectivity with BusinessObjects Universe elements, including UNX and UNV, which helps to view the latest data without having to replicate or schedule a data import.
  • Self-service reporting allows for easy dashboard design, exploring of data
  • Preservation of existing investments while adopting SAP Analytics Cloud – We recognize that often times there has been a greater effort in time and resources to develop existing reporting and analytics framework.  Preserving all that has been done previously can be accomplished if we leverage a Hybrid migration scenario.  Since SAP Analytics Cloud can use universes created by BusinessObjects 4.3, along with other data sources, we can use what has already been created and who has access to that information during a smooth transition while we begin building SAC Stories.

What are some reasons to consider when moving to SAP Analytics Cloud?

SAP BusinessObjects is considered ideal for enterprises that are not prepared to make the transition to cloud. Also, in situations where enterprise reporting involves scheduling and publishing of numerous reports to be consumed by large user groups, SAP BusinessObjects becomes the ideal fit to meet the situation.

Let’s take a moment to talk about some of the key feature’s organizations will be able to leverage with a conversion SAP Analytics Cloud.

Natural Query Language

Provide “search to insight” self service reporting through intuitive “next question” capabilities to the line of business by allowing people to type natural query searches (google like) and voice-initiated queries

Augmented Analytics

  • Smart Discovery: Analyze and explore data using machine language to find correlation between data elements
  • Smart Insights: Find root cause and top contributors to a selected value
  • Visualize performance metrics and adjust drivers on screen to simulate the
    impact of decisions

Planning and Forecasting

Analyze, plan, predict, and report all in one place to save time and better support the business

Plan and analyze directly within your enterprise solution for instant insight to action

  • SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC) uses the SAP HANA platform allowing for greater flexibility and scaling.
  • Access to on-premise and cloud data to be used in the same technological platform
  • Natural Query Language– allows for greater insight in the data by simply asking questions similar to how you would use a browser search engine.
  • Augmented Analytics– Leveraging Machine Learning to uncover meaningful insights easier and more efficiently
  • Planning and Forecasting – Use of historical data to provide more reliable planning and forecasting for organizations.
  • Predictive modeling – Linear, Triple Exponential Smoothing, R-Development Environment
  • Data locking– Enhanced data access rights: while forecasting planners are only given access to data they have the ability to change and other data is locked.
  • Analytics Application – Highly customizable tool which you can configure the behavior of the UI Elements with a specific set of script API events and specify which actions should take place when events are triggered.
  • Planning Tools– Version Management, Data Entry, Input Tasks, Validation Rules and many more.
  • Data analyzer – lets you use a predefined application for multidimensional, pivot-styled ad-hoc analysis for Live SAP BW queries, Live SAP HANA views and SAP Analytics Cloud models. Live SAP BW queries and Live SAP HANA views can be accessed directly and no additional model needs to be created.
  • Calendar – In SAP Analytics Cloud, you can organize your workflows with calendar events: View, create and manage your processes and tasks in your calendar.
  • Use of Universes and WebI Sources
  • Out of the Box – Measures and variables
  • SAP’s strategic direction – will become default analytics solutions for SAP products
  • One tool for all analytics and planning across SAP and other sources
  • Updated dashboard design when compared to Dashboard/Xcelsius
  • SAP Cloud license Conversion Program – Credit for unused BOBJ licenses

How do we migrate to SAP Analytics Cloud?

There are a variety of ways an organization can move from SAP BusinessObjects (BOBJ) to SAP Analytics Cloud

  • Migration from BOBJ 4.3 directly to SAP Analytics Cloud
  • Migration from BOBJ 4.2 (or earlier) directly to SAP Analytics Cloud
  • Hybrid solution migrating 4.2 (or earlier) to BOBJ 4.3 and leverage existing assets from BOBJ 4.3 in SAP Analytics Cloud

Please reach out to our team about how your organization can leverage the power of SAP Analytics Cloud.  Feel free to sign up for any of our upcoming Webinars or contact us for a free personal consultation with our experienced Business Intelligence team.

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ENERGY (Business Modeling)
Merger and Acquisition: ETP needed to manage multiple cultures, process, systems, and general ledgers from a series of merges and acquisitions, and generate meaningful budgets and forecast for company reports
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Business Growth – expansion of manufacturing sites required enhanced planning, and potential acquisitions would require confidence in consolidation and reporting