SAP has expanded its BusinessObjects software portfolio and launched a HANA-based platform designed specifically for use in healthcare, signalling the company’s ambition to aid digital transformation in enterprises.
BusinessObjects will now comprise all of SAP’s analytics capabilities streamlined and updated to fit in one portfolio, including software-as-a-service (SaaS) tools delivered through the BusinessObjects Cloud, formerly known as SAP Cloud for Analytics.
The overhauled portfolio will combine cloud-powered and on-premise applications and analytics tools, such as data visualisations, to offer customers a one-size-fits-all package for gleaning information from data regardless of where it is stored across the organisation.
This portfolio includes SAP Digital Boardroom to create a framework for supporting industry-specific content and information for live meetings and collaborative working.
SAP BusinessObjects Cloud has also gained new features such as improved business intelligence capabilities for use with data analysis, which includes trend analysis, custom filters, chat options and new forms of data visualisation. The tweaked SaaS suite also enables data to be pulled from various other SAP and third-party applications.
There are new predictive analytics capabilities that use a graphical user interface allowing analysts to perform tasks such as determining any hurdles affecting employee and operational performance through the use of built-in algorithmic models.
Reworking the BusinessObjects portfolio is indicative of SAP’s ambition to make its software offerings suitable for the digital transformation projects many companies are undertaking to move from legacy IT to more digital and cloud services.
But keeping on-premise options in BusinessObjects has allowed SAP to streamline the software suite without cutting out the option for customers to run applications on in-house servers.
HANA for healthcare
This move towards facilitating digital transformation can also be seen with the SAP Connected Health platform, which offers the healthcare industry a bespoke version of the HANA database platform to create and deliver health services.
The platform is being developed in partnership with healthcare technology companies such as CancerLinQ, Castlight Health and Dharma Platform, and uses HANA at its core and an ecosystem of developers and researchers working to build custom healthcare apps and services on top.
SAP will provide the Connected Health platform alongside other healthcare offerings, including Health Engagement and Medical Research Insights. The goal is to build out these services over time though specialist partnerships.
Steve Singh, a member of the SAP executive board, explained that this approach will speed up the rate at which SAP and its partners can bring healthcare services to market while reducing development costs.
“With the SAP Connected Health platform, we are bringing together healthcare stakeholders across a platform that fosters and accelerates innovation, placing patients at the centre of the healthcare system and in control of their healthcare data,” he said.
Software support for UPS
SAP also revealed an agreement to support parcel firm UPS in its use and delivery of 3D printing services. This deal shows how SAP is actively helping companies make use of digital services rather than just flooding the market with its latest products.
The company plans to provide digital support to simplify the way UPS offers, creates and delivers 3D printed objects to customers through its On-Demand Manufacturing service.
This will include the automatic quantification of the financial feasibility of 3D printing against traditional procurement or manufacturing options using data and parameters taken from tax calculations, shipping and materials costs.
SAP hopes to aid UPS in finding ways to optimise its supply chain for orders of 3D printed parts through the use of real-time data analysis.
SAP’s software will be used to accelerate and standardise the process of manufacturing at UPS, which both companies said will yield more 3D printed parts for approval, certification and order through the On-Demand Manufacturing service.
The overall goal is to deliver a manufacturing service that ensures its users do not end up with overstocked inventories and keeps the cost of short-run products down.
SAP will no doubt continue to push its SaaS portfolio in the direction of companies pursuing digital transformation projects and chase more potentially lucrative IT overhaul contracts.
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