SAP Analytics - Part One

SAP's recent press conference showcased their analytics functionality and some interesting customer experiences. This first post concerns some of SAP Co-CEO Bill McDermott's remarks.
Written by Brian Sommer, Contributor

I’ve got to get caught up on overdue blogs.

Last week, ERP vendor, SAP, conducted a briefing today for approximately 30 analysts re: their analytics capabilities.

The first speaker was Bill McDermott, Co-CEO of SAP. Bill spoke about their strategy for business analytics from SAP. His brief comments included observations about how “customers must increase their clock speed of business”. He indicated that this need for increasing speed is occurring while companies are also facing a doubling of data every year.

Bill believes that SAP must be ‘changing the behavior of the way companies work”. He focused on three technologies: in-core (memory resident) analytics, mobile apps (and mobile presentation of data) and their own ‘rock solid’ ERP software.

To prove his points, Bill did a demo using an iPad with retail analytics applications pre-loaded. The software did real-time drill-downs into operational results, by geographic territory. The iPad app came with email integration.

There were some other Bill-ism’s I noted. He said that: - “SAP will be the most innovative software company in the world”. - “About 65% of the world’s transaction systems touch SAP” - “We understand who we are – we’re not going into hardware” - “If SAP takes away all the preparation work (in pulling together business analytic data), it’s a game changer”

Analytics has been a hot area for years in the applications space and yet too many vendors are still trying to re-purpose internal transaction data for new 'business insights'. I get this but I also believe that marrying internal (mostly accounting and some operational) data with external data (like news, competitor movements, benchmarks, etc.) can really drive insights. Lots of vendors are enamored with moving analytics to new form factors (like cell phones and iPads) and this is good but the value of analytics comes from the insights found within the information not just whether the information is viewable on a Blackberry.

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