Microsoft BI and … SAP?

SAP is without doubt one of the biggest ERP systems in the world. Microsoft has it’s own offering, Dynamics – but that’s by the by.

SAP also offers plenty of BI tools as part of it’s offering – arguably too many. What’s less known is it’s quite possible to overlay Microsoft BI over the top of it. After all, an ERP system is still just a source of data, and BI is all about making sense of data. How practical is it? Well, I know that at Avanade we’ve done one of the world’s biggest implementations. And here is a Microsoft case study where the same has been done.

So the obvious question then becomes – why bother? And there’s two very clear drivers for that:

  • User empowerment
  • Cost

To extend on each – User Empowerment comes from the higher ease of use that MS tools offers, the self service capabilities through PowerView & PowerPivot, SharePoint and our old friend Excel. Which of course then leads to greater adoption and a more successful move to a data driven organisation.

Cost – well, SAP ain’t cheap. Even with the costs involved in building an alternative solution (and there are people out there who can give you a head start) – Microsoft’s licencing model means that you can reach more users at a lower cost.

So now you know.

Read More