Business Objects use increases among SAP users, but Hana uptake low

More UK and Ireland SAP customers are using Business Objects now than even two years ago, but only 15% are using Hana

More UK and Ireland SAP customers are using Business Objects now than two to three years ago, but only 15% are using Hana.

New research from the UK and Ireland SAP User Group, conducted among 218 user organisations six to eight weeks ago, found 85% were using or planning to use Business Objects. The group’s last overall member survey, in October 2013, showed an increase in the number of SAP software users using Business Objects as their main business analytics platform, from 21% in 2012 to 30%. The 2011 figure was 7%.

However, just over half of respondents, 51%, believed that SAP has failed to be clear in communicating its business and data analytics product roadmap to users. Craig Dale, chief executive of the UK & Ireland SAP User Group, said there had been a lot for users to take on board in recent years. “There has been a lot happening with SAP - lots of acquisitions and technology developments”.

Dale said he “strongly believes” that SAP’s in-memory, high-speed database Hana will become the underlying platform for the majority of its customers’ business analytics and applications in the “next three to five years”.

The research revealed that 54% of SAP users do not think their organisations have the business or data analytics skills necessary to make effective use of all their data. And 51% do not believe they have the necessary technology.

But the imperative to get more from their data is pronounced. Some 87% wanted to do that, and the biggest difficulty lies in getting business intelligence from a variety of data sources, including social media. Other problems are an inability to process and analyse data fast enough, data quality.

Dale gave a recent SAP User Group symposium on business analytics, held in London, as an example of a thirst for knowledge about SAP’s path of direction.

“The Hana adoption figure is low, but it is still a very new technology. In the UK we have a culture where we like to see someone else doing it before we commit.

“But at a time when data processing speeds are a concern, it is interesting to note that only a limited number of users were currently looking at Hana.”

Some 39% of respondents said they did not know whether the in-memory computing capabilities of Hana would benefit their organisation’s future business and data analytics strategy. And 42% of SAP users said they did not know if the Hana Cloud Platform would make it more attractive for organisations to use Hana.

“Users want to see more real-life customer examples” said Dale. He reported that, in the UK and Ireland, there are “around 10 to 20” organisations “driving value from Hana”.

In response to the research Christian Rodatus, senior vice president and general manager, Analytics, at SAP said, in a statement: “SAP welcomes the findings of the UKI SAP user group and continuously listens to our customers. Our own research also highlights that organizations still have a huge opportunity to drive greater value from the data that resides across their businesses …. SAP also recognizes that we need to continually provide customers insight into our innovation strategy, vision and provide training. The SAP HANA Academy, MOOC trainings are just some of the many tools for developers, partners and customers to get started and learn SAP HANA.”


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