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SAP's Cloud for Analytics enters crowded field

SAP launches Cloud for Analytics in a bid to be the layer that analyzes data stored around the enterprise.

SAP on Tuesday rolled out SAP Cloud for Analytics, which is designed to be a software as a service tool that will surface data from multiple stores both in the cloud and on-premises.

In February, SAP launched Cloud for Planning, which was an analytics layer for enterprises. The company is rebranding the planning unit and adding business intelligence capabilities aimed at business users. In 2016, SAP said it will add predictive capabilities.

Nic Smith, senior director of marketing for analytics at SAP, said the company will demonstrate the tools at SAP TechEd in Las Vegas next week. The public cloud analytics effort is delivered without manual upgrades and can pull from multiple data sources.

"Anyone trying to do anything for analytics has to use multiple sources both on-premise and increasingly in the cloud," said Smith. "It's a hybrid scenario."

Cloud for Analytics is built on one code line and SAP's HANA system. For SAP, the hope is that enterprises will use Cloud for Analytics instead of moving their data to the cloud. Ultimately, SAP is aiming to have its customers on one analytics platform. SAP said that its analytics cloud will unify business intelligence, planning, budgeting and predictive algorithms in one place with integrated workflows. The company said that its analytics tools will be integrated with Google Apps for Work also.

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Last week, Amazon Web Services launched QuickSight, an effort to move data sets to its cloud for easy analysis. AWS is going after the business intelligence market with aggressive pricing. Salesforce also has its analytics cloud. Add it up and there's a race to be that front end to enterprise data. Also see: AWS getting more data analytics help from smaller software makers | AWS QuickSight will disrupt business intelligence, analytics markets | Amazon preps Internet of Things tools for consumer, industrial data growth | Salesforce embeds Wave Analytics across its clouds

SAP's Smith said the company wasn't disclosing its subscription pricing yet.

The company's bet is that enterprises will use one analytics layer to visualize data. Each role in a company would have a tailored view of the information. What will be interesting to watch is whether analytics sprawl ensues. After all, many of the SAP applications the analytics platform would use have similar features built in.

Key points:

  • SAP Cloud for Analytics would have all capabilities spread across various products in one tool.
  • The analytics tool would be embedded as well as standalone.
  • The user interface is "consumer grade."
  • Native integration with SAP applications would make for easier access to data.