Today kicked off the annual SAP SAPPHIRE event in Orlando, Florida. Last year I attended and enjoyed it immensely. What I love about SAP SAPPHIRE is all the various solutions are showcased at one big event versus a bunch of small, individual solution events. SAP SAPPHIRE is truly massive and attracts 20,000+ people in the entire SAP ecosystem. To be completely transparent with you, I am disappointed not to be there right now and may even try sneaking over there tomorrow if I can.

Key Themes and Messages

The SAPPHIRE theme this year is “Simplify Everything. Do Anything.” The big news announced today was the SAP Fiori user experience (UX) and SAP Screen Personas software will now be included with SAP licenses. Listening to SAP’s CEO Bill McDermott’s keynote session today, I heard a strong message of Cloud Cloud Cloud SAP HANA and Cloud. Specifically use only SAP’s Cloud. Don’t use any other Cloud. No longer use best of breed solutions or hybrid-Cloud since those won’t play nicely together. SAP HANA powers the Cloud and la ti da more Cloud. I think you get my point. Hmmmmm…I did not like that message since I highly value technology choice, using best of breed solutions and diversifying versus depending on one monopoly supplier per se. I do see the technology world changing all around me and Cloud is here to stay. However, I am hoping that the Cloud future continues to allow/support hybrid solutions across many technology vendors to continue to enjoy all of the benefits of open market innovation.

I felt the best demo in the SAP SAPPHIRE keynote was a hands-free, wearable technologies use case that started from reviewing live, streaming data dashboards in SAP Lumira to identifying and supporting a field repair situation. “Wearables” is another exciting, hot, emerging industry trend.

SAP BI and Analytics Roadmap

I did hear in the #SAPPHIRENOW twitter feeds that the SAP BI and Analytics roadmap shown today has fewer solutions and the migration paths are still not known. This is a topic to keep a pulse on this coming year. I did not hear any other exciting news as of June 3, 2014 regarding SAP BI or Analytics. I do know that my SAP Lumira constantly gets better with frequent updates. I also feel that SAP InfiniteInsight is truly fabulous. If there are more updates tomorrow and Thursday, I will update this blog post with them.

Updates June 4, 2014 via Tammy Powlas –  Actually there were soooo many SAP BI and Analytics updates today that I will draft another dedicated post on this topic soon.  In the meantime, here are a few key slides and an announcement on MongoDB partnership with improved future SAP Lumira connectivity.

Updated June 8, 9 and 10, 2014 via multiple sources (lesson learned = wait one week before sending out SAP news) – Great blog summaries of the upcoming SAP Lumira 1.17 enhancements was posted to SCN.  See SAP Lumira Recap, SAP Lumira and Design Studio, Latest SAP BI News Part 1 and Part 2.   Also the phenomenal Cindi Howson posted an update with detailed inside insight into SAP Lumira, BI and Advanced Analytics on her BI Scorecard blog.   Key point… while SAP says SAP Lumira is not meant to replace Explorer, they also cite Explorer being in a maintenance state and in investing in SAP Lumira for the future.  The SDK is compelling… check out a few of the partner built graphics.

SAPBIRoadmap99

SAPBIRoadmap

SAPBIRoadmap5

SAPBIRoadmap4

Showcasing Combined Solutions

I have a tradition of showcasing combined solutions in my annual SAPPHIRE blogs. Last year it was Tableau + SAP. In 2012, I covered Microsoft BI + SAP. Additional SAP blogs can be read on my SAP section. I also noticed SAP posted a nice blog with an overview of the SAP BI 4.x Integration Option for Microsoft SharePoint.

This year I am going to share an updated Microsoft BI + SAP solution since Microsoft Excel Power Query recently added connectivity to SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.1 SP2 or higher Universes.

Excel PowerQuery SAP Universe

This new Excel + SAP BusinessObjects connectivity feature is the result of both mega-vendor technology firms working closely together. Microsoft BI customers often request SAP BusinessObjects Universe connectivity capability – it was a recurring top feature request. I was totally thrilled to see it finally come to life earlier this year. Basically this new feature allows users to directly connect to SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.1 SP2 or higher Universes (UNX files) with Excel Power Query to copy SAP data into an Excel worksheet or an Excel Power Pivot model. The classic Microsoft BI + SAP whitepaper I first shared with you back in January 2011 has been updated to include this cool new connectivity option. You can also walk through an excellent online tutorial on how to connect to SAP BusinessObjects BI Universes with Power Query on the Microsoft Office help web site.