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SAP BusinessObjects Cloud boasts new innovative analytics enhancements

SAP BusinessObjects Cloud now includes a wave of analytics enhancements; SAP Digital Boardroom meets Microsoft Surface; and Roambi mobile analytics expands global reach.

SAP BusinessObjects Cloud is getting an innovative wave of new analytics enhancements. These include enhancements...

for the cloud and on-premises versions of BusinessObjects, integration of SAP Digital Boardroom and the Microsoft Surface Hub, and the SAP BusinessObjects Roambi mobile analytics application.

The new features were announced at SAP TechEd, held Nov. 7 to 11 in Barcelona.

The most significant enhancements are in BusinessObjects Cloud, a cloud-first platform that allows analytics users to discover, visualize, plan, and predict, according to Nic Smith, SAP global vice president of product marketing for cloud analytics. The new features center on data wrangling, machine learning and new big data sources.

"The new data wrangling enhancements are mostly around things like error detection, recommending actions to users, profiling the data to pinpoint issues so that users can easily prepare and model their data," Smith said. "They can do it on their local data sources as well as new big data sources, such as  Google BigQuery, Amazon Redshift, and Spark SQL, which are some of the new data sources we're adding into the mix."

Underneath the hood, BusinessObjects Cloud has new machine learning capabilities that use sophisticated algorithms to provide end users with suggested visualizations and suggested ways to transform their data, Smith explained.

"For example, you might ask 'What are the key influencing factors of my cost of goods sold?' or 'What are the influencers for my top-performing products or my products most at risk?'" Smith said. "So there's further progress here on the machine learning capabilities and the smart and prescriptive aspects of analytics coming into the cloud."

B. Braun Melsungen AG is one company that's taking advantage of SAP BusinessObjects Cloud's enhanced analytic capabilities, Smith said. The medical services company, headquartered in Hessen, Germany, is using BusinessObjects Cloud for self-service analytics to gain insight into the products it makes, such as scalpels. "They bring data together from an enormous amount of places and factors, including things like the level of metal that's in the water used to clean the equipment," Smith said.

"SAP BusinessObjects Cloud enables us to work very efficiently with on-the-fly analysis, which is optimized to meet the needs of the business and develop new services that we were simply not able to build before," said Soeren Jens Lauinger, director of sales and service innovation for Aesculap Inc., a division of B. Braun Melsungen AG, in a statement. "By offering these to the hospitals, we aim to become an even better partner for our customers."

SAP Digital Boardroom comes to the Surface

SAP Digital Boardroom, an application built on BusinessObjects Cloud, is now supported for Microsoft Surface Hub devices, Smith said. Digital Boardroom provides executives with the ability to generate real-time analysis and instant machine-generated insight and predictions, as well as simulations to predict the impact of decisions. The Microsoft Surface support provides an interactive content display and collaboration capabilities on the device.

Digital Boardroom also now includes prebuilt content and applications for a variety of industries, such as consumer goods, chemicals, engineering, construction, and public sector, and lines-of-business, including HR, finance and marketing. The apps have been created by SAP and partners, including PwC, Smith said. 

"PwC has built their own analytic application for growth performance analytics, so we're seeing the ecosystem starting to use the technology and build their own analytic applications," he said.

The PwC Fit for Growth Performance Analytics (FFGPA) app for Digital Boardroom provides access to real-time information that gives users an outside-in look at how the company is performing against its competition, using data from 2,000 private and public companies with public debt across 130 industry segments.

Roambi around the world

The SAP BusinessObjects Roambi Analytics mobile app is now available in 25 countries around the world. Roambi technology was acquired by SAP in February 2016, and the service had previously been available in North America only. Roambi is mobile cloud-based analytics software that delivers detailed visualizations on mobile devices. "Roambi takes analytics beyond the firewall with use cases primarily around executives and sales and marketing," Smith said.

The shoe retailer Aldo, for example, is using Roambi analytics to deliver metrics on store performance directly to store managers on their mobile devices, Smith said. "They can improve things like inventory levels, stock, and store promotions," he said. "They have a specifically designed UI that's not only intuitive for the user, but is an enhanced user experience on the mobile device."

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