Big Data has moved well beyond hype. It is a top challenge businesses of all sizes must grapple with now — as in today. Drawing insight and actionable information in a timely manner from the massive amount of data available can no longer be accomplished with static graphs, spreadsheets, and day-. week- or month-old reports.
According to Gartner, big data demand will reach 4.4 million jobs globally, but only one-third of those jobs will be filled. Gartner says the demand for Big Data is growing, and enterprises will need to reassess their competencies and skills to respond to this opportunity.
SAP consultants are well advised to hone their skills for building intuitive dashboards that integrate myriad back-end systems and enable non-techie business users to interact in real time with big data to drive big-time business value.
Here’s a roundup of articles and reports on data visualization to help you see clearly the importance of visualization:
With Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday just around the corner, retailers are on edge! They increasingly understand this narrow window of sales — historically one of peak shopping — could make or break their annual profits (and their stock price).
In the past, predictions regarding top seasonal sellers, timely promotions and location- and channel-specific product placements were left to marketing gurus. The gurus tended to draw on faulty or incomplete data, unfounded hunches and crossed fingers. This paradigm has changed.
With data volumes exploding, a shortened selling season, increased competition, and a growing number of tech- and social-savvy consumers shopping online (via PC and mobile devices), successful retail organizations must become adept at extracting maximum value from their data. With hordes of transactional, operational, and unstructured (social) data, retailers need to ensure they offer consumers a consistent, multichannel experience featuring the right products, at the right time, through the right channel. SAP solutions for retail make this possible.
For a selection of meaningful business benefits possible with integrated SAP solutions for retail read article by Jeremy Stierwalt : Crab Legs for Christmas? Barbies for Boys? SAP Can Make or Break Holiday Profits for Retailers
In his article “SAP – Powering the World’s Transactions,” Optimal president Sam Sliman tuned us into the fact that “SAP is quietly and persistently cornering the market on transactions,” noting that “SAP infrastructure is responsible for powering approximately 70 percent of the world’s transactions.”
“Strategically, this is powerful stuff,” Sliman maintains. “If you are critical to consummating a large number of the world’s transactions, your options for leveraging this are seemingly unlimited.”
With its 2012 acquisition of Ariba, the supplier network connecting more than a million buyers and suppliers, SAP significantly bolstered its positioning as a vital enabler of global transactions, Sliman points out.
At Sibos last month, SAP announced that Citi’s Treasury and Trade Solutions has subscribed to SAP Financial Services Network (FSN), which provides secure communication for transactions between corporations and their financial institutions.
The combination of SAP’s strong heritage powering transactions, SAP’s ownership of the largest business network in the world (Ariba), and the burgeoning SAP Financial Services Network gives rise to a Transaction Triumvirate that ensures SAP dominance in the world of enterprise technology now and for generations to come.
SAP has more than 251,000 customers across 188 countries, and nearly 80 percent of the Fortune 500 use SAP software.
With 1.2 million companies connected and approximately half a trillion dollars transacted, Ariba is the world’s largest business network. If it were a country, it would rank in the top 25 based on GDP.
Available to financial institutions and their corporate customers since March 2013, FSN is an innovative on-demand solution that connects financial institutions and other financial service providers with their corporate customers on a secure network owned and managed by SAP.
The combination of the Ariba Network and SAP’s FSN should enable SAP to integrate the physical and financial chains of its customer base, solidifying, strengthening and building out this massive network.
SAP’s extensive installed base, particularly its Fortune 500 customers, are all potential nodes in this network.
Business networks play a vital role in today’s increasingly global, increasingly digital economy.
Given this Transaction Triumvirate, SAP and its customers stand to benefit greatly from Metcalf’s Law and/or the ‘network effect.’
Metcalf’s Law states that the value of a network is proportional to the square of the number of connected users .
Similarly, the network effect considers the value one user of a good or service has on the value of that good or service to other people, meaning the value of the network-based service increases for all participants with each additional network member.
SAP infrastructure is responsible for powering approximately 70 percent of the world’s transactions — not too shabby for a company that was at one time unknown outside the world of enterprise technology.
Fueled by ubiquitous broadband, smart phones and tablets, an ever-increasing amount of transactions today are conducted online. According to InternetRetailer, total e-commerce sales worldwide topped $1 trillion in 2012, and Forrester (conservatively) pegs e-commerce to grow at a 10 percent CAGR through 2013.
While a lot of press is focused on the SAP-Oracle dogfight and the encroachment of cloud computing onto SAP’s legacy turf, it is surprising (at least to me) that more analysts aren’t tuned into the fact that SAP is quietly and persistently cornering the market on transactions. Strategically, this is powerful stuff. If you are critical to consummating a large number of the world’s transactions, your options for leveraging this are seemingly unlimited.
SAP is making deliberate and intelligent moves in the enterprise technology chess game. Someday the market will understand just how these moves have positioned SAP to continue its success in the future.
Read article by Optimal President Sam Sliman: SAP – Powering the World’s Transactions
SAP had a very strong third-quarter performance, record-setting in fact.
Net profit rose 23 percent to $1.04 billion in the July-to-September period, and revenue increased 2 percent on the year.
HANA grew 90 percent in Q3, and SAP’s cloud business hit triple-digit growth.
Q3 marked SAP’s 13th consecutive quarter of double-digit growth – that’s twice as fast as the closest competitor.
During the conference call on Monday, SAP co-CEOs Bill McDermott and Jim Hagemann Snabe, along with SAP CTO Vishal Sikka and SAP CFO Werner Brandt, shared some interesting comments on company goals, market realities and the competitive landscape.
We’ve pulled together the highlights:
“We are gaining market share with software and subscription growth that is 2x faster than our closest competitor.
“SAP is leading the rapid market transition to the cloud with triple-digit growth of 162% in cloud subscription and support revenue in Q3.
“We now have a cloud revenue run rate of over EUR 1 billion, and we have the largest subscriber base with approximately 33 million cloud users.
“In Q3, we overtook Oracle as the second-largest enterprise cloud company.
“With 90% growth in Q3, HANA remains 1 of the fastest-growing products in the enterprise software industry.
“SAP Business Suite on HANA is the most modern business suite in the industry, and with approximately 450 customers now the demand for Business Suite on HANA has exceeded even our own high expectations.
“We’re expanding the world’s largest business network with 1.2 million connected companies and approximately USD 0.5 trillion transacted on the Ariba Business Network.
“If the Ariba Network were a country, ladies and gentlemen, it would now be in the top 25 based on GDP.
“One has to always remember when we model our business, we’re very cognizant of the fact that upwards of 40% of our full year number happens in Q4.
“We are going to be the #1 business software company in the cloud in the world.
“Despite the mixed market macroeconomic environment, we remain committed to a double-digit growth company.
“We are doubling down on HANA and the cloud.
“Optimizing SAP’s product portfolio on HANA in the cloud means a dramatic price performance improvement and a massive benefit of simplicity in the cloud for all of our customers.
“We see a really exciting future in front of us with HANA as the foundation and the platform for all of our products
SAP has publicly stated several aggressive business and growth goals it plans to achieve by 2015:
It will grow from $16 billion in revenue in 2010 to $25 billion; it will increase its user base of 500 million people to 1 billion end users; it will top $2.5 billion in cloud revenue; and it will remain the fastest-growing database company in the world.
Aside from a killer product offering and compelling product road map, SAP’s secret formula for achieving its growth goals is no secret at all. More than ever before, SAP will rely on partners with the right stuff to fulfill its vision.
To ensure partners have the right stuff, SAP takes a ‘surgical approach’ to recruitment, spending as much as $200,000 on a potential partner prospect.
To protect their livelihood, SAP professionals must continually educate themselves and seek out cutting edge projects with the latest SAP solutions (organic and acquired).
To accomplish this it is vital for SAP pros to align themselves (full-time or contract basis) with SAP consulting partners deemed worthy by SAP to lead the company’s revenue-growth charge.
Here’s a snapshot of the opportunity SAP envisions for its partners with the right stuff:
- SAP reserves for partners all sales to customers and prospects in North America with annual revenue under $1 billion.
- SAP claims that in just five years’ time, its global partner base will earn some $220 billion by selling its big data and analytics products and services.
- Market researcher IDC calculates that HANA generated $4.2 billion in revenue for SAP channel partners last year and projects that number will climb to $10.5 billion by 2017.
- SAP targets 40 percent of its software revenue to come from partners in 2015, up from about 33 percent in 2012.
- SAP partners will build 80 percent of SAP mobile apps.
- The SAP app store contains more than 2,000 applications from SAP and some 1,000 SAP partners.
On June 5th SAP announced plans to acquire Hybris, officially closing the deal on August 1st. On August 6th, SAP execs held a press conference for media and analysts to discuss how SAP and Hybris plan to redefine commerce.
As history has shown, SAP is exceptionally good at integrating acquired products and organizations. Hybris is no exception. At its press conference in NYC, SAP announced that an initial integration between Hybris and SAP’s HANA in-memory computing platform is already complete. SAP will be making more integration announcements in October. SAP is moving fast on this because a fully-integrated solution is a significant differentiator.
SAP and Hybris customers (present, prospective, mutual, and exclusive) are eager to learn how the SAP/Hybris combo will positively impact their business. The full magnitude of the SAP/Hybris integration will play out over the next few weeks and months, particularly as qualified SAP partners get to work building productized, out-of-the-box, industry- and functional-specific solutions based on integrated SAP/Hybris technology.
Stay tuned as SAP reveals more about the nut-and-bolts here.
Read article by Optimal President Sam Sliman: SAP, Hybris Integrate for Omni-Channel Bliss
There’s no shortage of pundit predictions on the exponential growth, complexity and potential business value of big data:
- McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) estimates 40,000 exabytes of data being collected by 2020 — up from 2700 exabytes in 2012.
- According to IDC, the digital universe will top 40 trillion gigabytes by 2020, up from 130 billion gigabytes in 2005, according to IDC.
The business value of big data is growing by leaps and bounds as well:
- McKinsey reports that retailers effectively tapping big data can increase operating margins by as much as 60 percent and estimates that big data analytics could increase annual GDP in retail and manufacturing by up to $325 billion by 2020.
- Walmart used big data analysis to drive a 10-15% increase in completed online sales for $1 billion in incremental revenue.
- According to a survey conducted by MIT Sloan Management Review, top-performing organizations are twice as likely as lower-performers to apply analytics in their operations.
- IDC forecasts that the big data market will to grow from $3.2 billion in 2010 to $16.9 billion in 2015.
- According to Wikibon, the big data market will reach $50 billion by 2017.
The problem is, many (perhaps most) pundits also predict that there will be a shortage of talent necessary for organizations to take advantage of big data:
By 2018 the United States will experience a shortage of 190,000 skilled data scientists, and 1.5 million managers and analysts capable of reaping actionable insights from the big data deluge. (McKinsey)
Most organizations are ill prepared to address both the technical and management challenges posed by big data; as a direct result, few will be able to effectively exploit this trend for competitive advantage. (Gartner)
So how will companies use this new [analytics/BI] technology? It will take having the right kind of people creating the queries and analyzing the results — developers who understand statistics and the business, or business people who understand statistics and can write queries — in other words, people with skills in short supply. (Gartner)
By 2014, 40% of spending on business analytics will go to system integrators, not software vendors. (Gartner)
46% of organizations cite inadequate staffing or skills for big data analytics. (TDWI Research)
More than three-fourths of 169 executives surveyed say staffing and training issues are the greatest obstacles to making the most of big data. (Ventana Research)
While the majority of executives (58%) believe finding the right technology is the biggest challenge their companies face in analyzing data, the majority (56%) of IT decision-makers charged with implementing Big Data programs believe finding the right staff is a bigger challenge than finding the right technology. (Avanade)
83% of data scientists surveyed felt that new technology would increase the demand for data scientists, and 64% believe that it will outpace the supply of available talent. (EMC)
The discipline of developing the models for predictive analytics applications isn’t within the skill set of the average business user or even the traditional business intelligence (BI) data analyst. The biggest shortage we see around big data is data scientists — people who know what to do with the raw information. (Forrester)
“Every single client I talk to tells me they are struggling with finding and retaining BI talent.” (Boris Evelson, analyst at Forrester Research)
Today there is a shortage of trained Big Data technology experts, in addition to a shortage of analytics experts. This labor supply constraint will act as an inhibitor of adoption and use of Big Data technologies, and it will also encourage vendors to deliver Big Data technologies as cloud-based solutions. (IDC)
There will be a 24% increase in demand for professionals with management analysis skills over the next eight years. The need for this specialized talent is being fueled by an increased use of business analytics by companies to better understand the explosion of data. (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)
By automating certain cumbersome, error-prone, complex analytics jobs — such as preparing analytical data, selecting algorithms, testing and fine-tuning analytic models, etc. — KXEN, soon to be acquired by SAP, combats this shortage, extending predictive analytics tools beyond data scientists to line-of-business users and other non-tech employees in the workplace.
Two things were made clear last week at the 2013 ASUG SAP BusinessObjects User Conference in Anaheim: 1.) An increasing number of organizations are moving beyond basic, descriptive BI reporting tools and embracing more advanced, diagnostic or predictive analytics; and 2.) The push has never been stronger to extend the reach of advanced analytics/BI solutions to more people within an organization.
IDC predicts the digital universe will expand in 2013 by almost 50 percent to just under 4 trillion gigabytes, 90 percent of which has been created in just the last two years, and Forrester pegs big-data’s growth rate at 2,200 petabytes per day. McKinsey reports that companies with more than 1,000 employees possess on average more than 200 terabytes of stored data.
McKinsey reports that retailers effectively tapping big data can increase operating margins by as much as 60 percent. Walmart used big data analysis to drive a 10-15% increase in completed online sales for $1 billion in incremental revenue, and according to a survey conducted by MIT Sloan Management Review, top-performing organizations are twice as likely as lower-performers to apply analytics in their operations.
Computing resources are plentiful and advanced analytics/BI tools are becoming increasingly easier to use. When focused on big data analytics and put into the hands of more employees, they can reveal some of the most stunning and profitable insights into customers, products, markets and competition.
Read article by Optimal President Sam Sliman: SAP Advances Analytics/ BI Continuum, Broadens Use
All eyes in the SAP world were focused this week on the 2013 ASUG SAP BusinessObjects User Conference in Anaheim, where hot news items included the general availability of BI 4.1; SAP’s acquisition of KXEN; SAP’s partnership with Intel and Hortonworks to redistribute Apache Hadoop; the SAP Demand Signal Management application for manufacturers; ASUG’s Ultimate Choice Program for realizing superior performance, reliability, efficiency and low TCO from SAP Sybase ASE; the SBOUC debut of Christian Rodatus, SAP’s SVP of global analytics solutions; and a killer concert from the legendary REO Speedwagon.
Keynotes delivered by SAP execs addressed dark data and the connected enterprise, and as we’ve come to expect, the event delivered education, entertainment and networking opportunities for ASUG members to learn from the experts, test drive SAP analytics and BI solutions, and influence future innovations.
For those who could not attend SBOUC this year (and those who attended and are still catching their breath), we pulled together a roundup of highlights:
The promise of applying predictive analytics to big data is compelling – crunch large data volumes to unlock insight that supports predictions and guides decisions for boosting efficiency, the bottom line and competitiveness.
According to a new study by MarketsandMarkets, the predictive analytics market is estimated to grow from $1.70 billion in 2013 to $5.24 billion in 2018 at a CAGR of 25.2% from 2013 to 2018. According to Gartner analyst Rita Sallam, “Those that can do advanced analytics on top of big data will grow 20 percent more than their peers.”
SAP is recognized as a leader in the EPM market by industry analyst organizations such as Gartner, IDC, Forrester and Ventana Research, among others, and on the analytics front, SAP is named a leader by Forrester in the “The Forrester Wave: Big Data Predictive Analytics Solutions, Q1 2013” and a leader by Gartner in the 2013 “Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms.”
SAP partners such as Optimal who have invested heavily and have demonstrable expertise in these solution areas are well-positioned to help businesses and organizations of all sizes reap value from big data.
Read article by Optimal President Sam Sliman: BPC on HANA: Ground Zero for Predictive Analytics
Did You know that about 82 percent of SAP pros are male? Or that when it comes to pay, male and female SAP pros are fairly equally compensated?
Another few additional interesting facts: Nearly one-third of SAP workers are on visas. Of the respondents, 54% were U.S. citizens, 31% were holders of temporary work visas, including H-1B visas, and 15% were green card, or permanent resident, workers.
As for the coin SAP pros make, freelance SAP consultants bank the most, reporting wages of $101 to $120 per hour.
Approximately 27% of the full-time workers say they earn annual salaries ranging from $100,000 to $119,000.
Texas has the highest concentration of SAP pros in the U.S.?
Check out these and other findings from a recent survey by Red Commerce.
The transition of corporate IT to the cloud is well underway for most organizations and progressing at a pace that is most likely faster than expected, as it has become common practice for business leaders to sidestep IT and procure non-mission-critical cloud services that address specific needs – web service tools, email/collaboration tools, app development/testing environments, etc.
In the beginning, this practice wasn’t terribly problematic. But times have changed. Cloud solutions have significantly evolved; cloud architectures have increased in variety and complexity; integration across an IT landscape is paramount; and businesses are now tapping the cloud with greater frequency to handle heavier workloads and drive core processes. While cost savings and the OPEX versus CAPEX aspect of MCaaS are certainly appealing, the decision to implement a cloud-based solution increasingly hinges on the question of business value – both near and long term.
At Optimal, we’re excited to add MCaaS to our portfolio of SAP solutions, and we remain committed to leveraging the full force of our 18+ years of industry experience, deep SAP expertise, and sustained investment in SAP offerings to ensure that our customers’ entire SAP journey — in the cloud and on-premise — aligns perfectly with their unique business needs and objectives.
Read article by Optimal President Sam Sliman: MCaaS, More Than Just a Cloud Option
A spate of recent reports confirms what we all inherently know — cloud computing has entered the mainstream and is prevalent among enterprises today.
According to CDW’s 2013 State of the Cloud Report, more than half of organizations are moving or plan to move specific apps or infrastructure to the cloud. The Everest Group concurs, reporting that 57 percent of enterprises are using Software as a Service (SaaS) applications and 38 percent of organizations have adopted Platform as a Service (PaaS) solutions.
GigaOM Research expects the total worldwide addressable market for cloud computing to reach $158.8 billion by 2014, an increase of 126.5 percent from 2011, and Forrester predicts 22 percent annual growth in cloud computing through 2020, when it will top $240 billion.
SAP intends to dominate the cloud by providing the most comprehensive cloud-computing portfolio on the market and the best services and solutions to help guide customers through their cloud journey – from planning to implementing to optimizing and maintaining. The company’s cloud revenue totaled $454 million in 2012 and is forecast to more than double in 2013. Looking ahead, SAP targets $2.6 billion in cloud revenue by 2015.
On a July 21 analyst call, SAP Co-CEO Bill McDermott confidently proclaimed that SAP “will have the highest-performing cloud in the world.” It is clear that SAP has a strategy in place to achieve this goal.
Read article by Optimal President Sam Sliman: Hybrid Cloud Model Gathers Steam
According to CDW’s 2013 State of the Cloud Report, more than half of organizations are moving or plan to move specific apps or infrastructure to the cloud. The Everest Group concurs, reporting that 57 percent of enterprises are using Software as a Service (SaaS) applications and 38 percent of organizations have adopted Platform as a Service (PaaS) solutions.
In fact, most industry pundits are bullish on the cloud. Gartner cites cloud computing as one of the biggest developments impacting the IT world over the next five years, and Forrester predicts 22 percent annual growth in cloud computing through 2020.
SAP is well ahead of its peers in providing non-disruptive, enterprise-class cloud solutions in the areas that matter most — from SuccessFactors to Ariba to SAP BusinessObjects BI OnDemand, SAP Financials OnDemand, SAP Sales OnDemand, and SAP Services OnDemand, among many others.
Understanding that the future is in open clouds, not proprietary hardware, the SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud and the SAP HANA Cloud Platform bring massive scale for mission-critical applications and serve as a unified foundation for the full portfolio of integrated SAP cloud solutions.
With a pragmatic eye toward hybrid on-premise/on-demand landscapes, SAP puts customers in the driver’s seat for their cloud journey by offering a simple, flexible model for extending current on-premise solutions to cloud applications.
SAP’s cloud revenue totaled $454 million in 2012 and is forecast to more than double in 2013. SAP forecasts $2.6 billion in cloud revenue by 2015.
There’s no stopping cloud migration, that’s for certain, but there are a few concerns that are forcing many to proceed with caution as they embrace the cloud.
Wherever you are in your cloud journey, take the Optimal SAP Cloud poll. Share your top cloud concerns and learn from your peers what gives them pause as they move forward with their cloud plans.
Optimal has achieved many important milestones over the company’s 18-year history of SAP consulting, but the official launch of Optimal Labs on June 27th 2013 marks an achievement of special importance – a seminal moment that forever changes how our clients explore, evaluate, test and purchase SAP.
To fully understand the significance of Optimal Labs, it helps to know a bit about how Optimal Labs evolved — from the development of a single SAP All-in-One solution to the fully populated landscape of Optimal Labs featuring a complete set of integrated SAP solutions powered by HANA running on state-of-the-industry hardware contributed by Cisco, EMC, VCE and Motorola.
The six months leading up to the launch of Optimal Labs featured a frenzy of activity in connection with pulling together the Labs’ extensive hardware and software components, but the inception of Optimal Labs began five years before this, in 2008, when Optimal invested in its first pre-configured SAP solution.
We are the largest consulting firm in the world focused exclusively on SAP. We run better as a company because of our investment in SAP. But we will achieve our goals only by helping our customers achieve theirs.
In this spirit, we welcome our customers to visit Optimal Labs and test drive all of the latest SAP products and product releases, experiment with HANA, mobility and the cloud, and most importantly — using their own data and focusing on their unique business requirements — quickly build a defensible business case for deploying SAP technology.
As always, we’re happy to share with our customers lessons learned over 18 years of implementing SAP for companies of all sizes across many industries, and we’re equally pleased to share lessons learned over the past five years during our first-hand journey as an SAP customer.
Read article by Optimal CEO Gurvendra Suri: The Evolution of Optimal Labs
By Rory Doherty, Editorial Director, Optimal SAP Advisor
On June 27th I had the great honor and pleasure of attending the official opening of Optimal Labs. Located in 3,500 square feet of dedicated space in the Optimal headquarters in Irving, TX, Optimal Labs features more than 50 instances of SAP powered by HANA and equipment contributed by Optimal, SAP, Cisco, EMC and Motorola.
All of the latest SAP products and product releases – from ECC 6.0 to the complete Business Suite to the SAP Mobile Platform to SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence 4.1 to HANA Enterprise Cloud, SAP Fiori and more – are up and running in the Optimal Labs, providing Optimal customers with a state-of-the-art, one-stop facility to test drive the latest and greatest SAP solutions, experiment with HANA, Mobility and the Cloud, and most importantly — using their own data and focusing on their unique business requirements — quickly build a rock-solid business case for implementing SAP.
Optimal customers in attendance at the launch event included representatives from Sysco Foods, Pepsi, Texas Instruments, Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, DART Container, TetraPak, Network Services Company, TOMs Shoes and Turner Construction.
I had the great pleasure of meeting with many of these customers, and their reaction to Optimal Labs was off the charts. (More on this in future installments.) Suffice it to say, wheels were spinning as they considered what HANA-powered application and/or functionality they plan on test-driving first.
In this spirit, we invite all SAP customers, partners and pros to take our Optimal Labs poll.
The pace of change in business today is equaled only by the blistering speed of technological innovation, and no major technology vendor has flexed its innovation chops more over the past several years than SAP. From HANA to mobility to the cloud and beyond, SAP is transforming the way businesses run by providing solutions that drive innovation at an unprecedented scale.
It is against this backdrop of critical questions and boundless opportunity that Optimal is proud to officially open Optimal Labs — a state of the art facility featuring a wide array of integrated SAP industry, line of business, analytical, and technical products where SAP customers can experience live demonstrations of the very latest SAP solutions, build business cases for investing in SAP, test enhancements to their existing SAP landscapes, and learn first hand how mobility, enterprise performance management (EPM), enterprise information management (EIM), the cloud, analytics and the power of SAP HANA can drive process improvements, efficiency gains, competitiveness and profits.
Optimal Labs features more than 50 instances of SAP and equipment contributed by Optimal, SAP, Cisco, EMC and Motorola. Our goal is to provide a tightly integrated environment where our customers can simultaneously evaluate all components of their IT landscapes. At bottom, Optimal Labs is a highly collaborative effort orchestrated by a broad array of partners to ensure the success of our mutual SAP customers.
Read article by Optimal President Sam Sliman: Optimal Labs Officially Opens for Business
Technology decisions for companies today carry more weight than ever. How they make those decisions can be especially diﬃcult if they don’t have a way of truly seeing and experiencing the latest SAP innovations within the operations — before they make related purchases.
Optimal Labs gives you an easy way of getting that advance insight, including with your own data in a secure test environment. Optimal Labs, however, provides much more than SAP solution demos in real-world scenarios. We provide customized business case justiﬁcation with tangible ROI projections as well as implementation guidelines, best-practice recommendations and timetables speciﬁc to your unique operations.
Here is what ASUG news reports on Optimal Labs: Test Drivers Wanted: Optimal Labs Opens!
By Rory Doherty, Editorial Director, Optimal SAP Advisor
On June 5th SAP announced plans to acquire hybris, a rapidly growing, Swiss-based business specializing in multi-channel e-commerce technology that helps businesses strengthen brands, solidify customer relationships, and grow revenue by presenting a consistent, real-time personalized experience across all customer touch points — the Web, mobile devices, call centers, physical locations, etc.
SAP’s already strong offering of CRM solutions has many wondering about the strategy behind this acquisition. We’ve pulled together some eye-opening statistics on CRM, e-commerce, and cross-channel performance that will help bring big-picture perspective to SAP’s bold move in the ever-expanding, increasingly vital e-commerce/CRM space.
CRM is strong and growing
Gartner estimates the 2012 CRM market at $12 billion. (Gartner)
The 2012 global CRM market of $18 billion grew by 12.5 percent over 2011. (Forrester)
The 2012 CRM software market was approximately $18 billion. (IDC)
A recent survey revealed that CRM has edged past enterprise resource planning (ERP) as the top application software investment priority. (Gartner)
Despite the sizable amount spent on CRM to date, the CRM market has ample room to grow. Of 455 large companies surveyed in Europe and North America, only 55% have installed a CRM solution (Forrester)
The CRM market grew from an installed base of 36 percent in 2009 to an installed base of 51 percent in 2011, an aggressive growth trend expected to continue though 2016 and beyond. (Computer Economics)
Gartner predicts a growth rate of 500% for mobile CRM by 2014. (Gartner)
50 percent of all CRM applications will be Web-based by 2016. (Gartner)
Datamonitor forecast double-digit compound annual growth for cloud CRM software of 17.4% through 2013. (Datamonitor)
CRM is the most mobilized business application in the manufacturing sector, with over 35% of manufacturers already mobilizing their CRM software applications. (IDC)
Mobile CRM apps are the most suitable business applications for mobile deployment as the CRM software is tightly linked to email, often delivered from the cloud and typically used by salespeople in the field. (IDC) [Read more...]
On June 5th SAP announced plans to acquire Hybris, a rapidly growing, Swiss-based business specializing in multi-channel e-commerce technology that helps businesses strengthen brands, solidify customer relationships, and grow revenue.
Hybris has operations in 15 countries around the globe and over 500 customers, including global B2B sites W.W.Grainger, Rexel, General Electric, Thomson Reuters and 3M as well as consumer brands Toys”R”Us, Metro, Bridgestone, P&G, Levi’s, Nikon, Galeries Lafayette, Migros, Nespresso and Lufthansa, according to Hybris.
According to SAP co-CEO Bill McDermott, the Hybris acquisition is a part of SAP’s plans to “take over” the CRM software market, and will serve as “a defining step in SAP’s evolution to a business-to-business-to-consumer company.”
The secret sauce that gives these statements gravitas and leaves competitors shaking in their boots is, at bottom, no secret all. It’s SAP HANA; specifically, it is HANA’s tested, proven and unique ability to process massive data at lightning speed and HANA’s unparalleled capacity to simultaneously process both operational & transactional data.
Read article by Optimal President Sam Sliman: Why Hybris Acquisition Makes Sense for SAP
On June 5th SAP announced that it plans to acquire hybris, a rapidly growing and widely recognized leader in e-commerce technology. While SAP has not gone on record with the purchase price, it is widely reported that SAP will pay somewhere in the neighborhood of $1 billion for the Zug, Switzerland-based company — a figure many financial analysts cite as ‘premium,’ but one that SAP co-CEO Bill McDermott claims is “a fair price” and “consistent with other fast-growing assets.”
Hybris’ main attraction is its ability to provide a similar customer experience across all channels — from brick-and-mortar locations to smartphones to tablets to contact centers and Web sites. A selection of hybris’ big-name customers includes Procter & Gamble, Nespresso and Levi’s, among many others.
Known for its philosophy of growing organically rather than by acquisitions, SAP has shifted its stance as of late — spending about $9-billion (U.S.) on acquisitions, about 10 per cent of its current market capitalization, in the last 18 months.
With an already strong offering of CRM solutions, including the recently launched SAP 360 Customer powered by SAP HANA, there’s no shortage of commentary on why SAP is making such a bold move in the CRM space.
Here’s a roundup of recent news articles on SAP’s planned hybris buy:
SAP Press Release: SAP to Acquire hybris to Deliver Next-Generation Customer Experience
Corporate performance management (CPM), also known as business performance management (BPM), or enterprise performance management (EPM), helps companies use the insight gleaned from BI and other systems to align strategy and execution, which ultimately improves efficiency and the bottom line.
SAP Business Planning and Consolidation (SAP BPC), the centerpiece of SAP’s EPM portfolio, combines the most common EPM needs of the office of finance. With a customer base of more than 6,500 (and growing rapidly), BPC’s market success can be attributed to several factors: It supports Microsoft Office tools (eliminating tedious, error-prone, manual Excel-driven planning and consolidations processes); easily integrates with SAP and non-SAP environments; and enables accelerated planning, consolidated financial reporting and advanced forecasting capabilities – all in a single application.
Upping their game, SAP announced BPC (NetWeaver Edition) powered by SAP HANA in 2012, empowering organizations to easily tackle today’s big-data deluge. And, never resting on their innovation laurels, with the help of select partners such as Optimal, SAP BPC is now available in the cloud – an offering sure to resonate well with today’s CFOs.
An Aberdeen study conducted in 2012 found that best-in-class organizations are 2.5 times as likely than all other organizations to be using cloud financial management solutions. Top reasons for doing so are lowering the cost of optimizing infrastructure, efficient collaboration across geographies and the ability to respond quickly to business demands, according to Aberdeen.
In the pursuit of maintaining a lean balance sheet with optimum cash flow, CFOs are aggressively exploring opex options — such as paying a monthly fee for cloud delivery of SAP BPC. Shifting capital expenses to operating expenses reduces costs, saves money, and makes financial statements look better, which is why Gartner forecasts that, to get around limitations on IT and capital spending, more than 50 percent of enterprises will have some form of SaaS-based application strategy by 2015. BPC in the cloud + HANA = happy CFOs!
Read article by Optimal President Sam Sliman: CFOs to Flock to BPC in the Cloud
For an increasing number of organizations, the CFO is instrumental in technology decision making.
According to a survey of finance executives conducted jointly in 2012 by Financial Executives Research Foundation and Gartner, 41 percent of CFOs are the actual leaders of groups responsible for IT investment; another 41 percent are part of a group responsible for that function; 16 percent provide advice; and 2 percent are the sole decision makers.
Suffice it to say, when it comes to green lighting technology purchases and IT projects, CFOs are a force to be reckoned with. The upside of CFO sway in IT decision making is that head bean counters are more tech savvy than ever before.
According to the survey, seventy-two percent of CFOs plan to invest where they see the possibility of IT helping them create a competitive advantage, and more than one-third of organizations see IT as being a strategic driver of business performance.
To help you win over your CFO and move forward with that choice IT project, we’ve compiled a list of insightful articles and surveys.
Planning, budgeting, forecasting, and consolidating financials across a fast-growing business with numerous offices, multiple business units and diverse, geographically spread operations are, to say the least, challenging tasks. They are also core activities every business must execute in some way, shape or form, and given today’s dynamic business climate and turbulent global economy, the speed, efficiency and accuracy with which a business executes these activities has become increasingly vital to competitiveness, growth and viability.
More than ever before, businesses need a proven, easy-to-use tool for streamlining financial reporting and forecasting processes — one that delivers rapid ROI and measurable business value, and SAP BPC, the centerpiece of SAP’s EPM portfolio, is the best tool for the job.
Available in versions for both the Microsoft and SAP NetWeaver platforms, SAP BPC combines planning, budgeting, and forecasting capabilities with management and legal consolidation functionality in a single application, providing business users with the intuitive, role-based tools, structured processes and centralized data they need to integrate corporate and departmental planning, shorten budget cycle time, close the books faster and ensure compliance with regulatory and financial standards.
SAP is recognized as a leader in the EPM market by industry analyst organizations such as Gartner, IDC, Forrester and Ventana Research, among others, and as SAP and its partners bring more core EPM solutions such as SAP BPC to the cloud, the company’s status as an EPM market leader is sure to grow even stronger.
Read article by Optimal Vice-President Dmitry Faybysh: Taking SAP BPC to Cloud
Over 20,000 SAP customers, prospects, and partners descended this week in Orlando for SAPPHIRE NOW and the ASUG Annual Conference to explore how new SAP solutions, products, and services can drive efficiency, productivity and profits for their organization.
More than 80,000 checked out the conferences virtually, making this year’s events among the most popular ever. Historically, SAP leverages its annual SAPPHIRE conference as a platform for major announcements. This year was no exception.
From unifying its portfolio of cloud solutions on HANA to enabling a new fan experience in the sports and entertainment industry to the general availability of the SAP Business Suite on HANA to a new enterprise mobility management solution portfolio to launching the Fiori app collection to a new version of Business One, SAP announcements at SAPPHIRE have the show floor buzzing and industry pundits speculating on what it all means to SAP customers, partners and consultants.
To help you distill the major announcements made at SAPPHIRE, we’ve compiled a roundup of news articles and analyst commentary:
The first quarter of 2013 was SAP’s 13th consecutive quarter of double-digit growth for non-IFRS software and software-related revenue. What makes this financial performance particularly noteworthy are the three innovation engines that buoyed sales during what is typically SAP’s smallest quarter — namely, the cloud, HANA and mobility.
SAP notched near quadruple, triple and double-digit year-over-year growth, respectively, in these three solution areas — proof-positive that the company’s focus on the rapid delivery of innovative solutions is paying off.
An increasing number of organizations are embracing a cloud-first application strategy, and SAP is well ahead of its peers in providing enterprise-class cloud solutions. SAP posted a 385 percent year-over-year increase in cloud subscription and support sales and a 95 percent jump in deferred revenue from cloud subscriptions and support. The cloud business contributed approximately $36.72 million to SAP’s first-quarter earnings.
Equally impressive is HANA’s traction to date — over $800 million in revenues, ~1000 customers, 310 HANA-focused startup companies, and more than 30 ‘powered by HANA’ apps. In addition, SAP BusinessObjects, SAP Business Warehouse, SAP Business One, and the SAP Business Suite are all now powered by HANA and the just-announced SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud is sure to accelerate HANA adoption.
SAP also recently announced the SAP Mobile Platform on HANA cloud, making it simple to create, configure, distribute and manage mobile applications without having to install and maintain a platform server on premise. SAP will leverage SAPPHIRE to build on its strong mobility offering — and on its double-digit year-over-year revenue growth in mobility for Q1.
Read article by Optimal President Sam Sliman: Innovation Engines to Roar at SAPPHIRE
SAP is leading a fundamental change in the IT industry and the Q1 results are a testament to the fact that SAP is winning the market. The IT spending predictions for the rest of 2013 imply that it will be a solid year of growth.
According to Forrester, IT spending will steadily improve in 2013 and 2014 as economic instability hurdles are cleared and an improving US economy combines with pent up demand to accelerate spending. In 2013, global IT spending will increase 5.4 percent and U.S. IT spending will top 8.3 percent, reports Forrester.
Gartner forecasts a $3.7 trillion global IT spending year in 2013, increasing 4.2 percent from last year. (Gartner includes Telecom spending in its IT forecast.)
IDC foresees worldwide IT spending exceeding $2.1 trillion in 2013, up 5.7 percent from 2012.
So what tech sectors will fare the strongest in 2013?
To help answer this questions, we’ve compiled a list of pundit predictions relating to hot tech trends, spending drivers and industry forecasts.
Check back frequently as our list is sure to grow! Did we miss anything? Drop us a comment.
- Sectors within the IT market where there will be double-digit growth include SaaS, mobile computing, tablets, analytics, big data, and smart process apps. (Forrester)
- The world is in the middle of a technology shift that occurs only once every 25 years. The biggest category driving growth in the IT industry will be smart mobile devices, which will grow by almost 20 percent in 2013 to reach $430 billion dollars and generate nearly 57 percent of the industry’s overall growth. (IDC)
- “Third Platform,” which represents mobile computing, cloud services, social networking, and big data analytics technologies all wrapped together, will drive around 90 percent of all the growth in the IT market from 2013 to 2020. (IDC)
- Worldwide software spending is expected to grow 6 percent, followed by a 4 percent gain in services in 2013. (IDC)
- Mobile Device Battles
- Mobile Applications and HTML5
- Personal Cloud
- Enterprise App Stores
- The Internet of Things
- Hybrid IT and Cloud Computing
- Strategic Big Data
- Actionable Analytics
- In-Memory Computing
- Integrated Ecosystems
- Top 10 Predictions 2013 (IDC)
- Worldwide IT spending: 2013 spending will exceed $2.1 trillion, up 5.7% from
2012, driven by double-digit growth in the 3rd Platform foundations of mobile,
cloud, Big Data, and social technologies — and by emerging markets’ growth.
- Emerging markets: IT spending will grow by 8.8% to over $730 billion — twice
developed markets’ growth, 34% of all IT spending, and 51% of all IT growth.
- Mobile devices: Sales of smart mobile devices (SMDs) — smartphones and
tablets — will grow by 20%, generate 20% of all IT sales, and drive 57% of all IT
market growth. Without SMDs, IT industry growth will be just 2.9%.
- Tablet surge driven by minis: Mini tablets (sub-8in. screens) will account for as
much as 60% of unit shipments — a remarkable leap from just 33% in 2012.
- Year of reckoning in mobile software: Mobile platforms that fail to crack the
50% barrier of developers that are “very interested” in developing apps for them
will be on a gradual track to demise. Microsoft now sits at 33%; RIM sits at 9%.
- Accelerated SaaS shopping spree: There will be over $25 billion in SaaS
acquisitions over the next 20 months, up from $17 billion in the past 20 months.
- Rise of “industry platform as a service (PaaS)”: The number of industryfocused
public cloud services platforms — less than 100 in 2012 — will increase
tenfold by 2016, while “horizontal” PaaS will become more commoditized.
- Growing importance of line-of-business (LOB) executives: By 2016, 80% of
new IT investments will directly involve LOB executives, with LOBs the lead
decision makers in half or more of those investments.
- 3rd Platform data center disruptions: Converged systems and softwaredefined
networks will drive growth and open the door for market share upheaval.
“Bring your own ID” (BYOID) will bring consumerization into enterprise security.
- Big Data — from search to discovery and prediction: Big Data M&A will
cluster in visual discovery, predictive analytics, and text and rich media analytics.
- The Top 10 Strategic CIO Issues For 2013 (Bob Evans)
- Simplify IT and Transform Your Spending: Kick the 80/20 Budget Habit
- Lead the Social Revolution: Drive the Social-Enabled Enterprise
- Unleash Your Company’s Intelligence: Create the Enterprise-Wide Opportunity Chain
- Embrace the Engagement Economy: Merge the Back Office and the Front Office into the Customer Office
- Future-Proof Your IT Architecture
- Upgrade “Cloud Strategy” to “Business Transformation Enabled by the Cloud”
- Transform Big Data into Big Insights, Big Vision, and Big Opportunities
- Preside over a Shotgun Wedding: Systems of Record Marry Systems of Engagement
- Lead with Speed: CIO as Chief Acceleration Officer
- Bend the Value Curve: More Innovation, Less Integration
- Big data to create 1.9M IT jobs in U.S. by 2015. (Gartner)
- Big data is forecast to drive $34 billion of worldwide IT spending in 2013, with the figure for 2012 standing at $28 billion. (Gartner)
- Top Ten ERP Trends (Drew Robb)
- The application development and deployment (AD&D) software market is expected to reach $80.6bn in 2012, up 3.7% from 2011.It is however expected to rebound to higher single-digit growth in 2013 and beyond. (IDC)
- During the 2012-2016 forecast period, the Process Automation Middleware (PAM) market is expected to gain momentum as enterprises seek more efficient ways to develop and maintain mission critical applications. (IDC)
- Growth rates of end-user query, reporting, and analysis as well as advanced analytics have been high within the business intelligence market, and are expected to experience high single-digit growth in 2013 and beyond. (IDC)
- Global spending on enterprise software, which includes application software and infrastructure software, may go up 6.5 percent to reach 296 billion dollars in 2013. (Gartner)
- Spending on business-related IT services and IT product support services to increase by 5.2 percent to reach 927 billion dollars in 2013. (Gartner)
- By 2015, organization integrating high-value, diverse, new information types and sources into a coherent information management infrastructure will outperform their industry peers financially by more than 20 percent (Gartner)
- The big data analytic industry is positioned to expand at a compound annual growth rate of more than 54 percent through 2017. (MarketsandMarkets)
The first quarter of 2013 was SAP’s 13th consecutive quarter of double-digit growth for non-IFRS software and software-related revenue.
SAP performed better than all competitors in large part due to a significant uptick in its cloud business – which unlike most of the large software vendors, SAP breaks out separately in its financial reporting.
In Q1 SAP posted a whopping 385 percent year-over-year increase in cloud subscription and support sales and a 95 percent jump in deferred revenue from cloud subscriptions and support. The cloud business contributed approximately $36.72 million to SAP’s first-quarter earnings. SAP states that the company is on track to top $1 billion in cloud revenue this year and projects new-software and cloud-subscription sales growth of 11 to 13 percent in 2013, for a revenue contribution of 14 to 20 percent.
Along with reaffirming the company’s full-year financial guidance, SAP expressed confidence in its ability to achieve its goal of $2.5 billion in cloud revenue by 2015.
Industry pundits are equally bullish on the cloud, with Gartner citing cloud computing as one of the big developments that will have a major impact on the IT world over the next five years and Forrester predicting 22 percent annual growth in cloud computing through 2020.
Here’s a roundup of news articles on SAP’s Q1 financial reporting:
Schedule a meeting today. Contact Optimal
In today’s world of Big Data, value comes not from individual elements of data collected by an organization, but from the combination of data generated across an enterprise – from disparate systems in different functional organizations.
Real-time, enterprise-wide data integration is the best way for organizations to get the most out of their technology investments, derive insights and drive efficiencies.
Against the high costs of bad data and high-stakes challenge of data integration, SAP EIM solutions for data quality and data integration shine forth as gold.
Read articles by Optimal President Sam Sliman:
Emerging technologies, exploding data volume, velocity and variety, deepening dependency on mission-critical data-driven business processes and the ever-pressing need for advanced BI and analytics are driving accelerated investment in enterprise information management (EIM) solutions.
Gartner forecasts that the data quality tools market will show a compound annual growth rate of 14 percent over the next five years. Gartner also forecasts spending on data center systems to edge up to $147 billion in 2013, a 4.5 percent increase over the $141 billion spent in 2012. The figure will hit $154 billion in 2014, Gartner anticipates.
Finally, still looking into 2014, Gartner predicts that markets aligned to big data and other information management initiatives will significantly increase levels of investment across the entire spectrum of information management solutions.
As businesses continue to gather, store and process ever-increasing quantities of data, the demand for EIM solutions will grow even stronger, as will competition among vendors to innovate and develop new EIM products.
To help you stay up to speed and correctly oriented to today’s dynamic EIM landscape, we’ve compiled a roundup EIM reports, trends and predictions.
Enterprise Information Management in 2013: 7 Top Predictions (Information Management)
- IIA expects far more personalization of product-driven analytics and elevation of analytics as a competitive differentiator.
- Disruption of the traditional RDMS landscape & emergence of in-memory computing and columnar storage are transforming the EIM landscape.
- Heightened importance on real-time, enterprise-wide systems and data integration is driving EIM adoption.
- Big data, virtual data centers, hybrid cloud adoption, data governance, stewardship and security are growing trends.
- The top technologies Gartner predicts will transform the EIM landscape include big data, semantic technologies, in-memory computing and data warehousing. At the same time, the research firm notes that the changing role of Chief Data Officer as well as other information centric roles is also having an impact on the current IM growth.
- In-memory computing is an emerging paradigm, enabling enterprises to develop applications that run advanced queries on very large datasets, or perform complex transactions at least one order of magnitude faster (and in a more scalable way) than when using conventional architectures. In-memory computing opens unprecedented and partially unexplored opportunities for business innovation (for example, via real-time analysis of big data in motion) and cost reduction (for example, through database or mainframe off-loading).
2013 and Years Ahead Bring Less Control for Enterprise IT (Information Management)
- Enterprise information leaks into social media channels will spike over the next few years. Gartner forecast 40 percent of enterprise contact information will have leaked onto Facebook via mobile apps by 2017.
BI Trends in Retrospect: First Call to Board the EIM Train (Business Intelligence)
Join ASUG, Optimal Solutions, and GlobalSource IT at the swankiest speakeasy this side of central Orlando for the Americas’ SAP Users’ Group Annual Conference VIP Reception.
Let live music and legal liquors transport you back to a time when the 18th Amendment ruled the day.
So head to a joint called the ICEBAR, where you can sip bootleg beverages and soak up scenes of a Gin Mill so real, it’ll give you the chills.
Date: Monday, May 13
Time: 7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Where: ICEBAR Orlando, 8967 International Drive
The ability to process and analyze data has always been critical for our clients, but with today’s exponential data growth and increasing reliance on advanced analytics, crunching massive amounts of data to put accurate and timely information into the hands of decision-makers and drive mission-critical business processes has never been more vital.
Doing this successfully hinges heavily on the quality of data, which is increasingly difficult to ensure as volumes soar. ‘Garbage in, garbage out’ may be a cliché, but it is also a truism, and the consequences of bad data can be dire.
However, as is often the case, challenge and opportunity go hand in hand. While exponentially growing data volumes pose significant challenges, the potential value of this data is enormous. From increasing operating margins to reducing costs to achieving efficiency gains to driving revenue, data properly harnessed underpins new waves of competitive advantage, productivity, innovation, and growth.
SAP BusinessObjects Information Steward, part of SAP solutions for enterprise information management (EIM), offers a range of tightly integrated data management tools within a unified framework to address many of the data quality issues that plague businesses today. Most importantly, Information Steward’s intuitive, role-based user interface enables business users to take direct control of data quality.
Read article by Optimal President Sam Sliman: Information Steward Reduces High Cost of Bad Data
Optimal Solutions achieved a special milestone in March – its 18th year in business!
What began as a small team of SAP experts is today one of the largest, most recognizable, exclusively SAP consulting firms in the world.
Optimal CEO Gurvendra Suri reflects on the secret to Optimal’s success: 5 Guiding Principles, 18 Years of SAP Consulting Success
More disruptive technologies have emerged in the world of enterprise IT during the past decade than perhaps ever before. In-memory columnar storage, mobility, the cloud, and social media top the list. Individually, these disruptive technologies create new business opportunities. Collectively, they drive a frenetic pace of innovation and business transformation.
At Optimal, we hear it all the time from our SAP customers: How do we embrace these new technologies while leveraging our existing SAP investments? What should we do first? What’s the long-term objective? What problems present the most risk? What opportunities present the most upside? How do we achieve genuine differentiation, create customer value and a sustainable competitive advantage?
Design Thinking has something to say on these issues.
In my last article, I talked about Design Thinking in terms of ‘right-brain’ vs. ‘left-brain’ thinking. The thrust of that article was that today’s challenges and opportunities demand a new way of thinking among business and technology professionals — a new approach that removes constraints of imagination and unleashes the potential of creativity.
In this article I’ll explore some of the ways in which Design Thinking differs from traditional IT development practices.
Read article by Optimal President Sam Sliman: Three Things That are Different About Design Thinking
March 2013 marks Optimal’s 18th year in business!
We are proud to rank among the largest pure-play providers of SAP solutions and services in North America!
Thanks to all of our customers for trusting in Optimal.
Stop by booth 1036 at SAPPHIRE NOW and wish us a belated happy b-day!
Register for SAPPHIRE NOW today.
On March 19th SAP put all fraudsters on notice. There’s a new sheriff in town. Actually, it’s a new fraud detection and prevention solution that goes by the name of SAP® Fraud Management analytic application, and it is powered by the SAP HANA platform.
According to the 2012 Report to the Nations on Occupational Fraud and Abuse, the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) reports that companies worldwide must absorb $3.5 trillion worth of fraud every year — reaching as much as 5 percent of annual revenue. Not small peanuts by any measure. Industries hit hardest by fraud, according to SAP, are insurance, public sector, banking, healthcare and utilities. In other words, industries where big data already exists and is growing by leaps and bounds.
Insurance is among the hardest hit by fraud (no surprise there), according to the ACFE report, with U.S. insurance companies facing up to $40 billion of non-health-related insurance fraud each year.
The SAP Fraud Management analytic application detects, investigates, analyzes and prevents possibly fraudulent irregularities for businesses and public sector organizations with big data environments.
Here’s a roundup of articles on the release of the SAP Fraud Management analytic application:
Optimal is proud to support US troops by helping to pack 540 snack packs for PACK 4 troops at a recent USO Metro DC Event.
Check out more photos on USO FB: https://www.facebook.com/USOMetroDC?ref=hl
If you’ve spent any time with SAP recently, no doubt you’ve heard all about mobility, analytics, the cloud and HANA – the products that represent innovation for SAP and are driving SAP’s record growth.
But today you’re just as likely to hear another catchphrase that has entered the fray – and it goes way beyond the product boundaries that traditionally define SAP: Design Thinking.
So what id What is Design Thinking?
Read article by Optimal President Sam Sliman: Stuck in an Innovation Rut? Try “Design Thinking“
All SAP consultants getting up to speed on HANA have undoubtedly run across the term ‘design thinking.’
While the popular use of the term design thinking dates back to the early ’80s, and the first person to coin the term is debatable, SAP co-Founder Hasso Plattner made design thinking forever part of SAP lore when in 1970 he made it the centerpiece of the Hasso Plattner Institute in Potsdam, Germany and established design thinking as the guiding intellectual philosophy and pragmatic hands-on process that would accelerate business innovation in general and HANA-powered innovation specifically.
In a nutshell, drawn from several sources, design thinking consists of three guiding principles, four rules and six steps. Design thinking principles: technical feasibility, economic viability and end-user desirability. Design thinking rules: the human rule (all design activity is ultimately social), the ambiguity rule (design thinkers must preserve ambiguity), the re-design rule (all design is re-design), and the tangibility rule (making ideas tangible always facilitates communications). Six design thinking steps: understand, observe, point of view, ideate, prototype, and test.
Got all that? Good. Because you’ll need to know it cold in tomorrow’s HANA- dominated world of SAP consulting.
But seriously, design thinking is really not all that complicated. In fact, it is an intuitive, even eloquent, new approach for solving today’s increasingly complex problems. Put succinctly, design thinking is an intensely user-oriented, highly collaborative, team-based, highly iterative approach for rapidly designing and developing innovative solutions to complex, ostensibly intractable, and often difficult to define problems.
Still confused? No worries. We’ve put together a list of resources that will help get you up to speed on design thinking in no time.
Meet Optimal SAP BPC experts at Financials 2013 in Las Vegas, March 19 – 22. Visit our booth or attend one of the Optimal-led sessions.
Learn more at Optimal Events
When I was young, my dad lugged home a Radio Shack TRS-80 with dual 8” floppy drives. That machine captured my imagination (and ultimately defined my career), but it had very little to work with in terms of processor power and memory. In high school I tinkered with newer and faster computers, and finally got my very own in college – a Zenith 80286-based PC with Windows 1.0, a black-and-white screen, 1MB of RAM and a 20MB hard disk.
It was 1987.
As a computer science student, I remember clearly the gymnastics required to program machines with so few resources. It’s fair to say that programmers were obsessed with doing more with less – and it led to some of the most amazing feats of creativity and genius you can imagine. But it also created complexity brought on by all the tricks used to skirt the constraints. This complexity sometimes led to instability. Remember the “Blue Screen of Death?” A direct result of this phenomenon.
By contrast, developers today face an embarrassment of riches. CPU power, RAM and storage continue to plummet in cost. More and more is packed into form factors that are smaller and smaller. The available development tools and the capabilities of enterprise applications and middleware are phenomenal. Gone is the necessity of dealing first hand with severe resource limitations.
This is an opportunity for every SAP customer.
As we see at clients every day, complexity is the dark force that inevitably ratchets up costs in SAP landscapes, leading to bloated cost structures and operational instability. World-class architectures rely on the innate capabilities of the platforms, use the appropriate tools suited for the task, and minimize expensive (and potentially destabilizing) customization. A truly great SAP-based architecture should banish complexity to the extent possible in order to minimize TCO and lay down a reliable backbone for an organization.
This is why every SAP customer should be paying close attention to SAP HANA. In a very real way, HANA has the potential to dramatically simplify enterprise architecture, reinforce stability and generate big savings as a result.
Read article by Optimal President Sam Sliman: Simplifying SAP in an Age of Vanishing Constraints
The years 2010-2012 were transformational for SAP as the company aggressively branched out from its ERP roots into analytics, mobility, big data and the cloud.
At this point, it’s safe to say the trends are official: SAP is no longer a primarily-ERP company and the so-called Next Generation products now dominate the revenue stream.
Looking ahead, these trends represent the technological forces that are bearing down on practically every SAP customer on the planet.
Read article by Optimal Solutions President Sam Sliman: SAP’s Next Generation Drives 2013
Both 2011 and 2012 were record years for SAP in terms of total revenue, and 4Q 2012 marked the company’s 12th consecutive quarter of double-digit growth in software and software related service revenue. SAP’s total revenue in 2011 was $19 billion, up by 14 percent from the previous year, and SAP’s total revenue in 2012 was $21.6 billion, up by yet another 14 percent from the previous year.
SAP has expressed confidence that it will continue its double-digit growth in 2013 and has re-affirmed its revenue target of $26.9 billion by 2015. In fact, as reported by the Wall Street Journal, SAP co-CEO Bill McDermott believes that SAP’s total revenue may well top $28 or $29 billion by 2015.
To put these numbers in perspective, SAP’s projected growth is approximately 4x greater than what Gartner predicts for the industry and a full 2x faster than SAP’s closest competitor — Oracle.
So what makes SAP so bullish on its future growth? The answer lies in SAP’s leadership and innovation across its HANA, cloud, analytics/BI and mobility offerings.
Read article by Optimal President Sam Sliman: SAP Spending Set to Soar in 2013
According to a recent Forrester survey, 24 percent of enterprises are using or piloting mobile BI applications, and another 37 percent are considering mobile BI implementation in the near term.
Cindi Howson, founder of BI Scorecard , also draws a strong correlation between mobility and BI adoption, re-igniting executive interest in 2013 and making BI more relevant to field and front-line workers. In last year’s Successful BI Survey, only 11% of respondents said their firms had successfully deployed mobile BI. BI adoption at those firms stood at 39% of employees, far ahead of the industry average of 24% of employees.
Perhaps more than any other mobile device, the tablet is likely to be the greatest catalyst for BI adoption in the enterprise, which according to the Consumer Electronics Association, is now the fastest growing category in CE history.
Apple introduced the iPad in 2010 and is expected to sell $11 billion iPads to businesses in 2013, increasing to $13 billion in 2014.
Gartner is predicting tablet purchases by businesses will grow 3x by 2016 — describing tablets as “the key accelerator to mobility” for enterprises. Tablet purchases by businesses will reach 13 million units in 2012, says Gartner, more than tripling by 2016 to reach 53 million units.
Comscore estimates that there were 52.4 million U.S. tablet owners as of December 2012.
IDC forecasts the worldwide tablet market to top 123.3 million units in 2012, 172.4 million units in 2013, and 282.7 million units in 2016.
Forrester predicts that global tablet sales will rise from 56 million in 2011 to 375 million in 2016, while the Yankee Group predicts tablet sales will eclipse those of PCs by 2015. Gartner concurs, claiming that by 2015 media tablet shipments will reach around 50 percent of laptop shipments.
ABI Research expects low-cost mini tablets from Apple, Google and Samsung to drive tablet shipments to a record 145 million units this year, and claims enterprise interest will fuel tablet purchases in 2013 and beyond.
ABI also believes Windows-based tablets will begin to gain steam this year and that North America will remain the world’s top tablet market, responsible for over 50% of global tablet shipments in 2013.
The meteoric growth of the still nascent tablet category is astounding, and its impact on enterprise mobility will be both profound and long-lasting.
Meet Optimal SAP BPC experts at Financials 2013 in Las Vegas, March 19 – 22. Visit our booth or attend one of the Optimal-led sessions.
Learn more at Optimal Events
According to BI industry thought leader and founder of BI Scorecard Cindi Howson, BI by any other name – “business analytics, “big data,” “intelligent forecasting,” “predictive analytics,” etc. – is still BI.
Cindi’s definition of BI is equally no-nonsense: “a priority technology that can help companies boost revenues, improve customer service or control costs by making better, faster decisions.”
Regardless of what you call it, the confluence of big data, mobility, cloud computing and in-memory technology is sure to make 2013 a watershed year for BI adoption.
According to a recent worldwide survey conducted by Gartner of 2,053 CIOs, representing more than $230 billion in CIO IT budgets and covering 36 industries in 41 countries, analytics and BI ranked as the top technology priority for 2013.
Gartner pegs the business intelligence market (including data warehouses and CRM analytics), as growing from a $57 billion market in 2010 to an estimated $81 billion by 2014.
More than 78 percent of respondents to a recent ChannelWorld survey expect IT spending to grow in areas of BI and analytics in 2013.
Nucleus predicts that BI adoption will double worldwide in 2013 as greater usability for non-expert end users, lower-cost and an uptick in self-service BI tools drive broader BI adoption.
Here’s a list of BI trends and predictions for 2013:
BI Predictions and Trends for 2013 (Gerry D.Cohen/Slashdot)
7 Top Business Intelligence Trends For 2013 (Cindi Howson)
New Trends in BI, Analytics and Social Media (Timo Elliott)
Top 10 BI Predictions for 2013 and Beyond (Forrester)
BI Predicted to Go Big in 2013 (Nucleus)
Big Things for BI in 2013 (Joe Mckendrick)
Business Intelligence and Analytics’ in 2013: Perfect Analysis (Computerworld)
Big Data and Beyond: 10 BI Trends for 2013 (Enterprise Today)