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SAP jumpstarts embedded analytics movement

SAP's rollout of more than 100 analytic applications enables some enterprises to move forward with embedded analytics projects.

Many enterprises are looking for ways to embed analytics into their applications, but haven't had the ability to easily move forward with such projects, according to an analyst at Boston-based Yankee Group.

So far we haven't been doing a great job of putting analytical information that guides the user interface based on specific real-time processes.
Sheryl Kingstone,
CRM program managerYankee Group

SAP launched more than 100 industry-specific analytic applications at its Sapphire international user conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. Called SAP Analytics, the products use SAP's composite application model that merges data from SAP and non-SAP applications may help spur such projects in many SAP shops.

The new applications will be industry-specific and connect to SAP's supply chain management, customer relationship management and product lifecycle management software suites.

By injecting analytics directly into SAP applications, the enterprise resource planning vendor is adding a boost to a movement to meld analytics with every single business process, said Sheryl Kingstone, CRM program manager at the Yankee Group. Embedded analytics will help give end users more useful information at their fingertips, Kingstone said.

"You want the analytics to be embedded in the application to get a contextually guided application when someone is using the interface," Kingstone said. "So far we haven't been doing a great job of putting analytical information that guides the user interface based on specific real-time processes."

SAP's new analytics applications could bolster its mySAP CRM applications as goes head-to-head in the CRM market with San Mateo, Calif.-based Siebel Systems Inc. Siebel also has been embedding analytics into its applications, making them more intuitive, according to Kingstone.

"SAP has some advantages because they have a complete stack," she said. "Siebel today is still in the front office."

SAP CEO Henning Kagermann told a group of investors and financial analysts that SAP Analytics will change the course of the analytics market. By injecting analytics directly with key SAP business processes, end users will get useful and actionable information quickly, Kagermann said.

Roman Bukary, who leads SAP's xApps and Analytic Applications product marketing, said the world of analytic dashboards by themselves is over.

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For example, instead of identifying a customer problem, embedded analytic applications will identify and route the issue to the employee who can correct the problem. In addition, complete information about the issue will be given and a list of actionable corrections will also be available to resolve the issue from directly inside the application.

"The idea that a business user logs in and looks at their report and logs in multiple different systems repetitively is definitely over," Bukary said. "From inside an SAP Analytic application, since it's composite by its architecture, you are capable of seeing a given report right inside that same application, and you have options to take action."

In addition, SAP is giving a facelift to its Visual Composer, code-free composite application development tool, Bukary said. Through a partnership with Macromedia Inc., SAP is adding Macromedia's Flex application framework to NetWeaver.

"The new visually appealing interface will provide an impressive, innovative user experience," Bukary said. "Using the Visual Composer environment, business users can assemble applications without writing code."

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