State of the SAP BusinessObjects BI4 Upgrade, June 2013

When I last wrote about the state of the SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence 4.0 back in January (see related article), SAP analytics customers were trapped between the Scylla of Support Pack 4 with no mobile dashboard support and the Charybdis of critical missing patches in Support Pack 5.

Today, the situation is markedly different.  On the last day of April, SAP delivered SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence 4.0 Support Pack 6 (see related article). And just in time for last month’s SAP SAPPHIRE conference in Orlando, SAP announced that SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence 4.1 was released to customers (RTC) and into ramp-up.

Customers starting the upgrade process today have 3 choices:

  • Start your BI 4.0 upgrade with Support Pack 6
  • Apply to enter SAP’s ramp-up program and begin with BI 4.1
  • Wait until BI 4.1 goes into general availability, which will most likely be around September

Of course, “waiting” doesn’t really mean “waiting”. In the meantime, customers should stay focused on retiring Desktop Intelligence (see related article, The Last Dance with Desktop Intelligence) or using tools like EV Technologies Sherlock® to profile existing production environments for old content that can retired to limit the size and scope of the eventual upgrade (see related article, Eliminating Runaway Content with Sherlock®). “Waiting” can also mean creating a BI 4.0 sandbox and funding a pilot for bringing presently unused tools like Mobile BI or Explorer into the organization.

Customers that are deferring their BI 4.0/BI 4.1 upgrade until 2014 should take a hard look at upgrading their existing environments to SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise XI 3.1 Service Pack 6 (SP6).  XI 3.1 SP6 upgrades the out-of-the-box web application tier to Tomcat 7 and adds platform support for the latest database, browser, Java, and Microsoft Office versions. It’s definitely a “safe” place to hang out while waiting to take the BI 4 plunge. And XI 3.1 SP6 Fix Pack 6.1 is already available for customers looking at the Desktop Intelligence Compatibility Pack in BI 4.1 (see related article).

Customers starting on their upgrades today should place a line item for BI 4.1 into their project plans and go live with that release.  SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence 4.1 combines new features with additional platform stability.

Every customer situation is unique.  If you are still unsure which upgrade path to take, we’d love to talk to you. Contact us today.

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