SAP unwraps Project Orca and gives it a new name

Cloud for Analytics is on the way, with more capabilities coming next year

SAP has taken the wraps off of Project Orca and given the service a new name: SAP Cloud for Analytics.

Due in the fourth quarter, the technology is built natively on SAP's Hana Cloud Platform, which has the company's Hana in-memory database at its core.

SAP will deliver the service in a scalable, multitenant environment, it said, allowing customers to unify business intelligence, planning, budgeting and predictive capabilities in a single cloud service.

The goal is to allow business users to sample, wrangle, combine and blend any data -- big or small, on-premises and in the cloud -- using an intuitive user interface. Line-of-business analysts will be able to build connected planning models, analyze data and collaborate in context to improve business performance, the company said.

"It's really the next generation of software as a service that combines multiple analytics tools in one product," said Nic Smith, senior director of marketing for analytics at SAP.

SAP Cloud for Planning, which has been available since February, will be part of SAP Cloud for Analytics, and capabilities available in the cloud edition of SAP Lumira will be folded into the service as well. Following the new release's inclusion of business intelligence will be governance and compliance capabilities, both due next year.

"One thing that has inhibited the adoption of cloud analytics is a lack of data," according to Jayne Landry, SAP general manager for business intelligence.

With the new SaaS, users can access data sets in SAP's Lumira tool, for example, but analyze them through the new platform. Data that's already in the cloud or exists on-premises can be tapped without having to be moved, Landry said.

Developers, meanwhile, can use the technology to embed analytics in their own apps.

The software aims to bring analytics to the point where users need to make a decision, allowing them to take action directly from there, Smith said.

As part of SAP's partnership with Google, announced earlier this year, the company will soon unveil integration with Google Docs, Landry added.

"You'll be able to take Cloud for Analytics and embed those visualizations right into Google Docs," she said, with the ability to use Google Sheets as a data source as well.

Pricing for SAP Cloud for Analytics has not yet been announced, but it will be sold on a subscription basis, Smith said, with options for those who don't need the full suite.

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Katherine Noyes

IDG News Service
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