SAP SAPPHIRE: Too Much HANA Montana and Not Enough BIeber 4.0?

My impressions of SAP SAPPHIRE 2011

Sapphire 2011 Badge

Although not quite as enthusiastic as the thousands of girls screaming and crying at a Justin Bieber concert, I was part of the 14,000+ screaming (didn’t see anyone crying) SAP fans at this week’s combined ASUG and SAP SAPPHIRE conference. Cindi Howson has a great summary of business analytics content from the conference on her BI Scorecard blog (see BI Scorecard article, SAP’s In-Memory HANA Showcased at Sapphire). I realize that HANA is a “game changer” (if I had a nickel- or maybe a bullet- for each time I heard the phrase this week…), but either CTO Vishal Sikka’s keynote was waaaaay toooooo long or I drank too much coffee. Sadly, the length of his presentation (which was mostly video customer testimonials about HANA) shortchanged the effervescent and thoughtful Dr. Hasso Plattner. Totally loved his demonstration of HANA on an Apple Mac Mini.

I share Cindi Howson’s assessment that there was too much HANA Montana and not enough Justin BIber 4.0 from the keynote podium (Can you tell that Bieber’s Never Say Never DVD arrived at my house this week?). Although Cindi indicated

I would have liked more (any, in fact) SAP BusinessObjects 4.0 testimonials and ideally from customers who have gone through an upgrade.

even I missed Consultancy by Kingfisher’s presentation based on their experience with three different ramp-up customers for SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence 4.0. I did hear that the presentation was very good, despite the absence of Kingfisher’s fearless Jay Riddle. Ms. Howson goes on to say

Until then, I remain in the skeptic’s corner that customers will rush to embrace this new version as taking advantage of many of the most sought-after improvements…

I also remain in the skeptic’s corner, particularly for existing customers who may be buried under a large pile of Desktop Intelligence documents. However, after this week’s conference, I think SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence 4.0 is an easy decision for established SAP enterprises adopting SAP BusinessObjects for the first time. For those customers, the risk of a new major product version is mitigated by the ease of connectivity to SAP BW and BEx queries by all five SAP BI tools (Crystal Reports, Web Intelligence, Analysis, Explorer, and Dashboards/Xcelsius). Risk is also mitigated for new customers because they are unlikely to deploy either a large amount of content or to a large number of users before some additional support packs are released. If that’s not enough incentive, the Mobile BI demos of Web Intelligence on the Apple iPad, coming shortly after the early June 2011 GA of BI 4.0, sealed the deal for me.

It was a great conference that wrapped up with a phenomenal concert by Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber. Just kidding – Sting and his band were in fine form at the Amway Arena.

What were your impressions of this year’s ASUG/SAP SAPPHIRE event?

Author: Dallas Marks

I am a business intelligence architect, author, and trainer. I help organizations harness the power of analytics, primarily with SAP BusinessObjects products. An active blogger, SAP Mentor and co-author of the SAP Press book SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence: The Comprehensive Guide, I prefer piano keyboards over computer keyboards when not blogging or tweeting about business intelligence.

2 thoughts on “SAP SAPPHIRE: Too Much HANA Montana and Not Enough BIeber 4.0?”

  1. I’m wondering if all of those non-testimonials and an inability to have delivered Webi on the iPad (which was shown in March) are signs to execution problems on the delivery side.

    1. I think any vendor’s mobile strategy is challenged by unprecedented adoption of the Apple iPad on one hand and the wide variety of programming environments/devices (Android, Apple iOS, Blackberry Playbook, HP WebOS, Microsoft Windows Phone) on the other. That said, I’m hopeful that SAP is embracing mobile faster than its acquired BusinessObjects organization embraced the web (remember Web Intelligence 2.0?).

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