This week, SAP confirmed plans to consolidate their BusinessIntelligence portfolio into select categories. No one would argue that SAP has too many tools in its bag, so this is a great move to simplify their Business Intelligence portfolio.
Customers who are jammed down the funnel of simplicity and required to make changes to staff and technology will need better results (faster delivery and higher adoption of Business Intelligence).
If SAP moves in one strategic direction with a focus on interoperability, innovation, and execution savvy customers will make the move at their own pace and presumably be happier for doing so if the value is there with the consolidated BI suite.
What About Dashboards?
In the article Convergence of the SAP BusinessObjects BI Product Portfolio, there was a pretty large section dedicated to dashboards. When I talk to customers who are torn between SAP Dashboards and Design Studio, I have the following recommendations as SAP puts more pressure on customers to adopt Design Studio.
1. Keep doing what makes you successful (Dashboards or Design Studio)
If it means using SAP Dashboards that is mature and well adopted by many customers, go for it. The SAP Dashboards components themselves have not changed much in a few years other than HTML5/Mobility, so you are not being cut off from rapid innovation anyways. If SAP Dashboards is your nemesis as a BI practitioner then, you have more options on your plate with Design Studio, Lumira, Excel, DecisionPoint, etc.
2. Make a leap of faith (Design Studio)
If you are in charge of dashboards in your organization or are responsible for managing SAP BusinessObjects projects, you should be familiar with Design Studio. If you are a long time dashboard developer, Design Studio is not yet the magic bullet you have always been waiting for. With that said, every company’s business needs are different so you definitely need to kick the tires first to see what 70% of SAP Dashboards is included.
3. Do nothing (less risky and less work)
There are IT organizations who have considered delaying dashboard initiatives until the coast is clear to proceed on Design Studio. If there isn’t a pressing need for dashboards in your organization, this is a viable solution.. Just don’t get caught with your pants down if your line of business shows up one day with a slick new Qlik dashboard.
4. Hedge your bets (APOS Dashboard Migrator)
This is a recommendation I am making to customers who are well vested in SAP Dashboards, have had success, but want to start exploring Design Studio with Dashboards to fill in gaps. This is something we are pushing at Centigon Solutions with CMaps Analytics as we wait for Design Studio to mature in the marketplace.
5. Be bold and jump ahead of the curve (DecisionPoint)
As you know, I have always been biased to support technologies that make developers lives easier and business users happy. That is why I have 6 years of blogging about Xcelsius… This is true with Antivia DecisionPoint as I have had time to kick the tires and give it a shot. From the first time I saw DecisionPoint, I had the same visceral reaction that I had when I found SAP Dashboards.
I want to hear what you are doing… message me Facebook and lets keep the discussion going…