SAP Lumira Review

There are improvements that need to be made everywhere. Its capabilities feel like that of a store app with the intuitiveness of a desktop app, which is not a good combination.


What is most valuable?

The most value that Lumira provides is in its ability to consume the Business Objects universe.

How has it helped my organization?

In our experience, it hasn't improved our organization.

What needs improvement?

There are improvement that need to be made everywhere.

Lumira's capabilities feel like that of a store app with the intuitiveness of a desktop app, which is not a good combination. For SAP, Lumira may seem phenomenal, but when you take your SAP glasses off, it pales in comparison to other products in this space. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using it for one year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The product crashed on several occasions, particularly when dealing with larger data sets.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I got an error when trying to load more than 10,000 rows, while I was able to load 200 million in PowerBI.

Which solutions did we use previously?

I started with Lumira first, but it’s like Chinese food - it's satisfying at first, but you quickly find yourself wanting more.

How was the initial setup?

As SAP products go, the initial setup was easy, but, again, when compared to PowerBI, Lumira was more cumbersome.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

PowerBI is way more capable at a much better price point: $10 per user without all the associated setup costs.

What other advice do I have?

Don't waste your time. Lumira falls short of its competitors in this space both in capabilities and in ease of use. It has somewhat of a updated front end, but it suffers from its cobbling together of older technology components, i.e Webi menu hierarchy and a dialogue-box approach.

As a visualization tool, Xcelsius is superior to Lumira; as a data acquisition tool, Lumira is a vast improvement. In Xcelsius, it's difficult to get a finished product, but the finished product can be stunning. Although not as difficult, Lumira makes getting lack luster results harder than they should be. Lumira leaves you wondering whether the result you get is worth the effort you put in. 

If you put your SAP glasses on and make believe the rest of the world does not exist, Lumira can seem like a God-send. Short of that, I cannot in good conscience recommend rolling this out to end users. It feels very much like a concept-in-progress rather than a finished product. Unlike true technology companies (Google, Apple Microsoft) which invest billions a year in research projects -- research projects that may not have payoff in 10 years -- Lumira is the result of a quarter-to-quarter company mentality. What can I rehash to sell you now to meet my numbers? If SAP wants our money, they are going to have to meet us half-way and start investing some of theirs in products that we can use today and which put us in a position to take advantage of tomorrow, i.e. wider data integration with non-SAP data sources (the world doesn’t revolve around HANA), Cortana, conversation OS, SMS instead of screens, and the list goes on.

The challenge should’ve been simple: give me the same capabilities of Xcelsius with some updated features, and deliver it in a package that’s simple, intuitive and easier than before. Although clever, Lumira falls short on all these fronts.

Instead of improving or expanding the capabilities of Webi, SAP decided to create a new product. However, instead of the product being new, it seems to be a new face atop a set of glued components from their older products. From what I have gathered, there is nothing in Lumira that is not already available in an existing SAP product in some form or another. Lumira appears to be a watered-down version of these capabilities found across the SAP product line. I guess all this is to limit cannibalization. What this watering down leads to is an artificially-limited BI tool. This watering down is done while retaining the complexity inherited from the grafted pieces of its older technology. 

This is a reflection of how SAP views BI. Instead of BI being ubiquitous, SAP views BI as products they can sell. You have to go to a product to do a certain type of “BI”. Hence, SAP takes BI capabilities and provides them across twelve products (four in the future, which is still too many). Conversely, the Microsoft philosophy is to provide BI capabilities within and across all its tools, with PowerBI being a standalone culmination. Microsoft accomplishes all this elegantly in a well thought out product without adding complexity. Lumira is to PowerBI what Blackberry is to the iPhone. 

I get it, SAP must sell "new" products. With the saturation of the traditional ERP market, SAP must introduce new products to grow revenue. They have to do so without cannibalizing the products they have in other markets. This drives how SAP approaches the market. This reality appears to limit Lumira’s capabilities and feature set as it must always be careful not to cross over into capabilities found in sister products BO or Data services, Explorer etc. This is not the case with PowerBI, hence PowerBI has a broader feature set that, ironicall, is easier for SAP to use.  As a result, PowerBI is a superior product which widens the gap with every month’s release. 

Making the comparison is almost unfair. Even though they are both cars, it’s like asking to compare an upgraded Yugo to a new Ferrari. And in this case, the Ferrari costs less. So why would anyone in their right mind choose the Yugo? Someone who is used to using horses, of course, and no one is better at selling used cars than SAP.

The good news is that SAP can change this. But it’s going to cost them to convert from a technology company with products from a product company that has acquired some technology. One has immediate payback while the other may take years to see a profit.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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