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Reporting on SAP BI and Analytics in 2016
It’s the first wrap of 2017, but it’s not too late to look back at what happened in 2016 (what do they say about those that don’t know their history?). We examine the top news, customer stories and developments in SAP BI and analytics in our 2016 review. One highlight? Yet another SAP product name change.
Of Note: SAP’s cloud analytics offering built on the HANA Cloud Platform (HCP) began the year as simply Cloud for Analytics, but by ASUG Annual Conference and Sapphire Now the product’s name had changed to BusinessObjects Cloud. (That’s not to be confused with the original BusinessObjects; it is a completely different product.)
An Influential Shift in ASUG Volunteer Work
ASUG Volunteer Jennifer Cofer has changed jobs, starting as a BI consultant then moving to work in BI for a large retailer, and now in healthcare. But through all of that, she has maintained her involvement in ASUG. Recently, she began work with ASUG Influence Councils.
“Influence Councils are important,” Cofer says. “They do influence the product direction.” For instance, ASUG members may discover and then alert SAP to pieces of charting that just don’t work and need to be fixed. ASUG members may also identify integration work which needs to take place within individual SAP products as well as between different products, whether SAP-to-SAP or SAP-to-third-party software, such as popular data visualization tool Tableau.
Migrating HR to the Cloud
SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central is growing, with many SAP ERP HCM on-premise customers shifting to SAP’s cloud-based core HR software. That means migrating SAP HR data from on-premise to cloud is an increasingly important topic. Luke Marson, co-founder and CEO Americas at SuccessFactors partner iXerv, has written an e-bite on the topic of migration from SAP HCM to SuccessFactors Employee Central for SAP PRESS. We chatted with him about the e-bite, and the demand for this sort of education.
Marson: There is a demand with every project, and so there was a real need for SAP to provide a reliable solution for its SAP ERP HCM customer that are moving their core HR processes to Employee Central. SAP originally released a data migration package on SAP Data Services for data migration from SAP ERP HCM to Employee Central. SAP Data Services is a robust tool, but customers who didn’t use it previously needed to implement it in order to use the package. Following this, SAP released a data migration package as part of the standard integration add-on between SAP ERP and Employee Central. This package is also used for integration in the Side-by-Side deployment model.
SAP’s Big Data Strategy
Hadoop, Spark and other Big Data technologies can no longer be ignored by large enterprise software vendors. SAP began to fully embrace Big Data this year with HANA Vora, a connector from SAP products to Hadoop and other data sources. There’s a nice overview of how HANA Vora fits into the larger SAP Big Data strategies on SearchSAP that is certainly worth a read, including how ASUG member Centerpoint Energy views Vora:
In six weeks, SAP and CenterPoint Energy built a testing environment that processed over 5 billion data records with Hadoop, HANA and HANA Vora, according to SAP. After that successful test deployment, CenterPoint Energy opted to implement and standardize on the HANA big data platforms.
"Our initial analysis proved that SAP HANA paired with SAP HANA Vora is the right solution for us moving forward operationally," said Gary Hayes, CIO and senior vice president of CenterPoint Energy, in a statement.
Gartner Buys Talent Management Expertise
Research and analysis behemoth Gartner acquired talent management consultancy CEB this week. The move aims to bring more talent management and HR expertise under the Gartner wing. It’s particularly interesting, and perhaps completely unrelated, from a SuccessFactors angle—as in recent years the vendor has grabbed two of Gartner’s top HR analysts—Thomas Otter and Yvette Cameron—to lead product management and strategy.
The Last Word—Would the Internet Exist Without Bad Opinions?
I don't understand why people continue to put incorrect opinions on the internet. It's as if they're ignoring my very simple instructions :(— Ed Morrish (@edmorrish) January 6, 2017