SAP Cloud

How Competitive an Option is SAP Analytics Cloud?

Executive Summary

  • SAP has made a big push for customers to migrate from Business Objects to SAP Cloud Analytics.
  • In this article, we analyze the wisdom of using SAP Cloud Analytics.

Introduction

This graphic is from SAP’s Cloud Extension Program. SAP compares the SAP Analytics Cloud, Tableau is expensive and owned by Salesforce, which is a faux cloud vendor that locks in customers, and Power BI is produced by Microsoft, another of our lowest-rated vendors. One should be purchasing only the bare minimum from these vendors as they perform similar tricks on customers as SAP and Oracle (although certainly not as egregious). Of course, due to some core products, it is challenging to get off of Microsoft entirely. But if one can restrict purchases to the Office Suite and some SQL Server instances, then this is a big win.

See our references for this article and related articles at this link.

SAP Analytics Cloud Competes With Top Visualization/Analytics Solutions?

Tableau is a leader in the visualization category; Power BI is close behind at a much lower price. SAP Analytics Cloud is still being developed and not a competitive solution. This means that SAP Analytics Cloud will be both worse to use than either of the other options, and the implementation cost will be far higher. This is particularly true for Power BI, which is carving out a low cost and high impact part of the market — and was a significant factor in cooling off Tableau’s growth and making them an acquisition target by Salesforce.

SAP proposes to sales reps and partners that SAP Analytics Cloud is something that it isn’t. SAP claims equivalence with Tableau or at least strongly implies this. See for yourself in this SAP Analytics Cloud video. 

Notice again that SAP is creating a burning platform by stating BO Explorer, Dashboards, or Xcelcisus are at the end of life.

SAP’s claims praising SAP Analytics Cloud do not match our evaluation of the product. We consider SAP Analytics Cloud completely uncompetitive with either Tableau or Power BI, or any other of the essential visualization tools. And as we will discuss further on in the article, we don’t even recommend Tableau or Power BI.

Secondly, both Tableau and Power BI are not competitive with pure cloud analytics offered by cloud service providers. The idea that anyone would purchase a five-year subscription from SAP for such a low rated product is a joke.

Notice the option below.

This is AWS QuickSight pricing. Notice it is “real cloud” in that the terms are monthly.  And it is extremely low cost at only $18 per month per user.

A few questions naturally occur to us…

  • Why would anyone pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to SAP for a substandard immature product with a five-year term?
  • Why would any company allow its support contract (which should be canceled if BusinessObjects is “end of life.”

QuickSight is also connected to AWS’s backend data warehouse. Eventually, the company could move entirely off of the BusinessObjects data warehouse (using Redshift, for instance) onto AWS as well. 

Working Sans Sales Rep

We did not have to deal with any sales rep to spin up a QuickSight instance. We just went out to AWS and brought it up.

If these types of visualization tools are available quickly and are so good, what is the motivation to purchase through a sales rep and deal with any of that overhead? It seems that so many IT decision-makers that work in SAP accounts do not know what is available to them quickly at web service providers. Any data that is in the BusinessObjects Universe can be easily uploaded to Quicksight.

Overall, QuickSight is easier to use, is quicker in response, is far more mature, creates more compelling analytics, and is simply a superior application versus SAP Analytics Cloud. And all of that is before even counting the considerably lower price, better terms, and enormous backend capabilities of AWS.

*An option we will look at in the future is Google Cloud Looker. However, the Looker acquisition is still relatively recent, so we will hold off until some more time has passed, and Looker is better integrated into GCP. 

Conclusion

SAP Analytics Cloud is an inferior option and is uncompetitive versus many other options. SAP is trying to migrate Business Objects customers to the SAP Analytics Cloud, but the two solutions have nothing to do with each other. One can now access superior analytics solutions right on AWS at a tiny fraction of the cost charged by SAP, and these can be accessed on flexible terms, terms that SAP will not offer its customers.

Essentially the SAP Analytics Cloud does not meet the definition of cloud in its terms.