Companies offering cloud-based analytics platforms have received considerable attention over the past few years and it is undeniably a hot place to be today. Take the release of Oracle RightNow Analytics Cloud last week, as an example of this, or GoodData’s recent funding announcement. SalesForce is also preparing an analytics cloud plan, which is rumoured to be announced next week. Given the extreme shift towards cloud analytics, companies in this space have to offer something unique to differentiate themselves from their competitors.

In an attempt to do just this, SAP and Birst today announced that they will extend their partnership to combine SAP HANA’s Cloud Platform with Birst’s analytics capabilities. Branding it as instant analytics offering, the partnership is aimed at addressing a key enterprise problem in the market right now– that is, the speed at which companies can ingest data from different sources.

Birst’s analytics engine builds a user-ready data store in SAP HANA that can deliver visual discovery, dashboards and enterprise reports across a single business model, accelerated by SAP HANA. Crucially, however, the solution will be designed to provide instant analytics across on premise and cloud data sources like salesforce.com, Oracle, SAP and Hadoop.

Speaking to Dataconomy about the announcement, SAP said, “Leveraging the power of the HANA platform, we think Birst can have a much more scalable and performance solution. Ultimately, the partnership will allow Birst to drive real-time capability, provide better integration with SAP and non-SAP solutions, and ultimately provide more customer choice.”

To understand how the partnership will really differentiate Birst’s cloud analytics offering from other companies like Oracle and Salesforce, Brad Peter’s told us that they have been developing their product so that people do not have to make significant compromises like they would with other providers like Oracle or Salesforce.

“Doing analytics in the cloud is not easy, you cannot decide overnight that you want to do it. Everyone who does that has typically made some very significant compromises that will inevitably limit your ability to do real enterprise calibre analytics.”

“In the case of Oracle, it’s simply a hosted database that looks more like an ASP than a cloud offering and this is something we need to keep in mind, whether it’s really cloud or not,” Brad continued.

“When it comes to Salesforce’s offering next week, I’m sure it will be flashy insofar as the simple problems it deals with around Salesforce-only data. But when you deal with richer Enterprise data that needs to be brought together form different sources that’s a much more challenging problem that I think the Birst and HANA is uniquely suited for.”

Image Credit: SAP

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