SAP to Bring Predictive Analytics to the Masses

Traditionally, SAP has not been a leader in predictive analytics, at least not until its acquisition of Business Objects and the advent of SAP HANA. SAP has announced its plans to acquire KXEN, a provider of predictive analytics technology. KXEN is intended to complement SAP Predictive Analysis software, a workbench for defining, executing, and visualizing predictive analysis.

With increasingly pervasive big data environments, companies must not only sense the present but also see the future and proactively shape it to their advantage. SAP Predictive Analytics software gives line-of-business users and analysts the ability to acquire and manipulate data as well as visualize results with embedded SAP Lumira (formerly SAP Visual Intelligence) software.

Based on patented innovations, KXEN's flagship product, InfiniteInsight, and its pure cloud-based platform, Cloud Prediction, cater to improving the customer lifecycle—through acquisition, cross-sell, up-sell, retention, and next best activity. Headquartered in San Francisco, California, KXEN has more than 500 deployments at companies such as AAA, Barclays, CBS Interactive,, Shutterfly, and Vodafone.

Since KXEN predictive technology is focused on the line-of-business user and the data analyst (rather than the data jock), it will complement SAP Predictive Analysis  by automating key modeling and analytical tasks. Its technology is aimed at driving greater adoption of predictive analytics across the business and enhancing the value of core SAP applications for managing operations, customer relationships, supply chains, and risk and fraud.

Additionally, SAP plans to incorporate KXEN technology into cloud and on-premises SAP applications built on SAP HANA, including the SAP Fraud Management analytic application, SAP Smart Meter Analytics software, and the SAP 360 Customer solution. The software also enables accelerated predictive analytics, expanded data scope, and improved model scoring by leveraging the embedded predictive analysis library in SAP HANA. Additionally, the interoperability of the R statistics programming language with SAP HANA opens up all the statistical functions available in one of the world’s most popular open source projects.

The acquisition is expected to allow SAP to introduce new predictive capabilities to the portfolio of solutions for more than 25 industries, particularly data-intensive vertical industries such as telecommunications, retail, consumer products, manufacturing, and financial services.

With these capabilities, SAP should give the traditional predictive analytics players—SAS, IBM SPSS, Pegasystems (formerly Chordiant), Oracle (formerly Sigma Dynamics), Infor Epiphany, and others—a run for their money.
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