Since SAP’s recent Analytics convergence strategy announcement – few of our customers had asked for my opinion on this. Although, I agree with SAP’s decision to focus innovation only on SAP Analytics Cloud for the data discovery use cases – the announcement appears to seed doubts on the future of on-premise SAP BusinessObjects Platform and also seen as lacking in empathy for those that have already invested into SAP Lumira. I am sure – SAP will address these concerns but what can it do to excite the customer base?
While everyone has been talking about Tableau Vs Qlik vs Lumira, even in a highly competitive analytics market – Microsoft is the one emerging as the champion in the Gartner Magic Quadrant. A major reason for this has been its pricing, aided by the strategy to offer Power BI desktop for FREE. Similarly, MicroStrategy decided to make its desktop software free in 2016. Even Qlik & Tableau offer some editions free, even though they cannot connect to all sources.
Contrast this with the SAP offerings, even the SAP Analytics Cloud doesn’t offer a free version. Yes, there is a 30-day trial, but it only serves to evaluate the product. Considering that Lumira was the go to product until recently makes it quite obvious that SAP must offer SAP Lumira Discovery Desktop completely free to re-energize and protect the SAP installed base. I am sure that most SAP customers would find the free edition of Lumira Discovery Desktop good enough for 80% of the data discovery use cases that it would effectively neutralize the free Power BI onslaught unlike any other strategy. This would also keep customers within the SAP landscape until they are ready to switch to the cloud (and thus better prospects for SAP Analytics Cloud) and might even bring new customer prospects outside the SAP install base as well.
In my opinion, this news will immediately bring mind-share back to SAP BI and also reverse the trend of its customers increasingly evaluating other Self-Service BI options – Microsoft Power BI, Tableau, Qlik, Spotfire, MicroStrategy and more.
In short, SAP’s analytics customers need a soothing balm today and a free Lumira Discovery Desktop could be that timely medicine.