​SAP modernises analytics capabilities with Cloud for Analytics rebrand

SAP believes rebranding Cloud for Analytics to SAP BusinessObjects Cloud will help simplify its customers' access to analytics.

In a move to beef up and modernise its existing analytics capabilities, SAP has rebranded Cloud for Analytics to SAP BusinessObjects Cloud that will see analytics and its software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution combined; while also announcing SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise for on-premise analytics.

According to the company, both sets of solutions along with any other analytics capabilities from SAP will fall under the wider SAP BusinessObjects umbrella.

Speaking at 2016 SAP Sapphire Now in Orlando, Florida, Bernd Leukert, a member of SAP's executive board, explained the objective of this new model is to further simplify how analytics are accessed in order for businesses to be able to make appropriate decisions.

"How good are insights on a legacy system if you can't react to it, or if the reaction comes too late? Obviously this means analytics will become even more [critical] for all your business needs," he said on Wednesday.

Within SAP BusinessObjects Cloud, SAP has introduced BI features including visualisation and storytelling, data wrangling and blending, geospatial, trend analysis, custom filters, linked stories, notifications, and chat.

Predictive analytics capabilities for business users have also been added to SAP BusinessObjects Cloud to allow users to use built-in algorithms to investigate business scenarios.

Meanwhile, SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise, the company's on-premise analytics product, has been made available in three new editions: Premium, professional, and standard. The premium edition, for instance, gives users access to BI, mobile, and predictive features to analyse big data across enterprise and Hadoop systems; while the standard edition gives users access to a set of ad hoc tools via web, desktop, or mobile devices.

During the opening keynote on Tuesday, McDermott pointed out over the next five to 10 years the hype in the market will be around machine learning, artificial intelligence, and augmented reality.

"I think very strongly that intelligent applications will fundamentally change the way you do work in the enterprise and the way you collaborate with your trading partners outside of the enterprise," he said

He specifically pointed healthcare is one industry intelligent applications can help solve some of the most difficult challenges.

As part of Wednesday's suite of announcements, the company also launched the SAP Connected Health platform. Running on SAP HANA, the new platform includes an ecosystem of partnering developers, researchers, and healthcare organisations that will work on delivering solutions to improve health outcomes and reduce healthcare costs.

Initial partners of the ecosystem include CancerLinQ that will work on developing a data platform using existing cancer care data to improve patient care; Castlight Health, which aims to deliver a platform to allow healthcare employees make better decisions; and Dharma Platform that will help healthcare workers and researchers collect and analyse medical data.

Concur CEO Steve Singh said healthcare is one industry that needs to change because the information is "completely disconnected, siloed, and opaque".

"When you go to your doctor's office or show up to the hospital, your healthcare data should be right there and then with a few simple clicks; that's the way it's supposed to work," he said.

He went on to say there is a need to develop a personalised healthcare data hub for individuals to "put the patient in charge".

In addition, SAP updated its SAP HANA cloud platform with launch of the beta version of SAP API Central to give customers access to different SAP business application APIs, and the beta edition of its cloud foundry buildpacks, such as MongoDB, Redis, PostgreSQL, RabbitMQ and Node.js.

Leukert said the new services mark the company's ongoing commitment to open source software, a strategy the company has long been pushing towards as it continues to grow its cloud-based product portfolio.

"We offer an open-as-a-service stack based on cloud foundry, removing any vendor lock in to any cloud provider today. We're giving you the option to start in the SAP Cloud but as well at least have the option to move into your own cloud, your own datacentres, if would like. Or, start in Amazon Web Services cloud...and move over to SAP Cloud," he said.

Disclosure: Aimee Chanthadavong travelled to 2016 SAP Sapphire Now courtesy of SAP.