Clariba, SAP’s #1 analytics partner launches operations in Saudi Arabia

SAP Saudi Arabia and Clariba, recognised as one of the leading SAP big data analytics partners in the Middle East with offices in the UAE and Qatar, are proud to announce the expansion of Clariba to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

“With our expertise and references across the region, we look forward to providing our customers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia best-in-class analytics solutions powered by SAP’s world leading analytics and big data platform”, says Abdulgader Al-Harthi, General Manager – Saudi Arabia, Clariba. From its newly launched offices in Riyadh, Clariba aims to provide customers across the kingdom with the ability to unleash the potential of their data to drive their digital transformation initiatives. “We look forward to offering incremental value to our customers with our trusted partner Clariba”, says Ahmed Al-Faifi, Managing Director, SAP Saudi Arabia.

Present in picture (left to right): Abdollah Faadhel – Head of Ecosystem & Channel SAP Saudi Arabia Marc Haberland – Founder, Managing Director Clariba Ahmed Al-Faifi – Managing Director SAP Saudi Arabia Abdulgader Al-Harthi – General Manager Clariba Saudi Arabia Hossam Darra – Head of Industries Sales SAP Saudi Arabia Andy Froemel – Chief Operating Officer SAP Saudi Arabia

Present in picture (left to right):
Abdollah Faadhel – Head of Ecosystem & Channel SAP Saudi Arabia
Marc Haberland – Founder, Managing Director Clariba
Ahmed Al-Faifi – Managing Director SAP Saudi Arabia
Abdulgader Al-Harthi – General Manager Clariba Saudi Arabia
Hossam Darra – Head of Industries Sales SAP Saudi Arabia
Andy Froemel – Chief Operating Officer SAP Saudi Arabia

Aspire Academy Enables Sports Talent with SAP and Clariba

SAP's Digital Boardroom presenting Sports Analytics powered by SAP and Clariba. Photo by Stefan Wagner (@Stefan_Wag) SAP

SAP's Digital Boardroom presenting Sports Analytics powered by SAP and Clariba. Photo by Stefan Wagner (@Stefan_Wag) SAP

Rising from the desert, Aspire Academy is a symbol of Qatar’s ambition in sports. Boasting coaches and sports scientists from around the globe and housed in some of the best training facilities in the world, Aspire Academy exists to develop sporting champions.

In June 2016, Aspire Academy and SAP announced an historic agreement in Doha, Qatar. This strategic partnership stands for a strong commitment between a global leading technology company and a knowledge-driven youth athlete academy with Aspire Academy becoming the ‘Strategic Sports Partner’ for SAP and SAP in the role of ‘Strategic Technology Partner’ of Aspire Academy.

The alliance aims to deliver a significant contribution not only to Aspire and SAP but also to the world of sports with a special focus on young athletes’ and team development by innovating in sports performance data management and analytics. The premise is to utilize performance data in new ways to unlock innovative approaches in developing sporting talent, starting at the sub-elite level.

Since its start in 2004, Aspire has invested in numerous performance and science technologies. In any given week, the number of data points added to the information ecosystem from matches, training sessions, assessments and more, is substantial.

Allowing coaches, sports scientists and management to tap into this valuable sports performance data in real-time, and providing them with a self-service analytics capability across all data sources became a critical requirement for Aspire Academy. In addition, engaging Aspire’s high school age student-athletes with visually appealing and motivating information by bringing together information from sources from inside and outside of the organization was a critical success factor. They also applied for sport results and performance planning data, medical, sports science and academics input, as well as data from the clubs, leagues and federations of the sports to which they belong.

Underlined by SAP’s principle to Run Simple, and thanks to the in-memory technology platform SAP HANA and the company’s analytics portfolio, a first step was to integrate the rich data sources of Aspire’s operating environment. In co-innovation with Aspire Academy, SAP and Clariba – an independent Big Data analytics consultancy based in Europe and the Middle East – the team developed Aspire’s Football Performance Analytics solution that provides the necessary analytical capabilities to the Academy allowing it to develop one of the world’s smallest talent pools and deliver on the State of Qatar’s global sporting ambitions.

Leveraging Aspire Academy’s expertise in driving sport performance, and equipped with the latest technology powered by SAP and Clariba, coaches can now analyze team and player performance right on the pitch. With the Football Performance Analytics solution, coaches now have access to all performance data around match analysis, training, individual player development and even video analysis on one single, easy-to-use iPad application.

The team at Aspire is currently working on finalizing its world leading Football Performance Center, to be inaugurated in summer 2017. For this prestigious project, Aspire Academy will be bringing together the most advanced technologies and are thinking toward leveraging SAP Digital Boardroom to provide interactive player assessment analytics.

At the recent Aspire Academy Global Summit 2016, Stefan Wagner, SAP’s global manager for Sports & Entertainment, and Luca Spinelli, general manager of Clariba in Qatar, presented the latest insights of the collaboration with Aspire Academy in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The joint presentation to Aspire’s fellows from across the world outlined the importance of the integration and connection to multiple data sources — such as GPS data from training sessions, match data from external providers, or club-internal information — in order for today’s clubs and associations to achieve a competitive edge.

With a small talent pool and high global expectations Aspire is forced to develop competitive advantage in different ways than leading sport nations with a strong sports culture and ready access to talent can do today. In partnership with SAP and Clariba, Aspire Academy is now more than ever striving to become the world’s leading academy with the objective to enable the best coaching and performance decisions.

The original press release published by SAP can be found here.

Clariba is expanding globally — the sky is the limit

Clariba began with offices in Barcelona, Spain and then expanded internationally to Doha and Dubai, attracting the best talent to work with leading customers in telecommunications, retail, healthcare, transportation & logistics, oil & gas, and banking sectors. We believe that sky is the limit and therefore we are opening other global offices in order to fulfill the needs of our growing customer portfolio and to continue to provide the best service possible. 

We are happy to announce that we’re opening new offices in Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates), Riyadh (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) & Pretoria (South Africa). Follow us on social media — Don’t miss out!

Top 10 Reasons to Move Business Intelligence to the Cloud

1.    Capital-expenditure Free

No need for costly in-house infrastructure makes it attractive for business owners — a low-risk venture with great reward potential. Businesses can take advantage of the fact that a cloud-based BI solution reduces the capital expenditure as there is no hardware or infrastructure to set up. 

2.    Scalability

Cloud BI applications are easily scaled to accommodate the growth of the business and its number of users. Hosting BI in the cloud enables organizations to cope with growing data volumes without having to upgrade or migrate to other systems. 

3.    Security

Data is every organization’s key asset.  One of the challenges for many organizations can be protecting this sensitive data. Cloud BI stores company data in actively managed data centers where security experts are actively monitoring for security threats around the clock.

4.    Disaster recovery

There is no need for in-house disaster recovery as soon as companies start relying on cloud-based services. Robust disaster recovery solutions are provided by the cloud provider. 

5.    Automatic software updates

Unlike on-premise solutions, cloud-based BI does not tie up an organization’s internal resources for costly upgrades. Applications are automatically updated by the cloud provider with minimal downtime. 

6.    Increased collaboration

With BI in the cloud, teams can access, edit and share content anytime, anywhere, and make decisions in real time. 

7.    Content control

While all data is stored centrally, employees see only relevant information for their line of business. This enables everyone to see only one version of the truth yet optimize the necessary data management.

8.    Work from anywhere

Cloud-based BI applications can be accessed from anywhere, at any time, on any device by using a web browser. 

9.    Competitiveness

BI in the cloud provides access to robust, enterprise-class technology, while ensuring an agile BI environment. This means more flexibility and faster response to changing market demands. 

10.    Environmentally-friendly

Cloud solutions are here to help optimize the usage of server infrastructures, they are also effectively reducing carbon footprint, which means making cloud a more environmentally-friendly proposition.

Not moved to the cloud yet?

Perhaps it is time to think about moving your BI to the cloud and leverage these advantages? Contact our team at in order to start your cloud experience NOW.

Design Studio: Formatting the Crosstab Component

As you may know, when it comes to changing the appearance of a crosstab in Design Studio you need to add some properties in the CSS file. To do so, there are some posts available on the Desing Studio Community Forum that advice on changing the style of the different parts of the crosstab (headers, rows, etc…), but there is not much information about complex changes such as hiding columns or changing column names. 

In this blog article, we are going to explain some tricks and tips that we have found in the community and which allowed us to implement new functionalities following the idea of different workarounds. As a reminder, the image bellow shows the structure of the Crosstab component in Design Studio.


The tips we are going to explain here are:

  • Hiding Dimension Columns
  • Changing Column Names
  • Allowing Row Selection without measures

Hiding Dimension Columns

Sometimes we want to hide some columns in order to add new functionalities to the dashboard. For example, when we need a dimension’s value of the selected row but we don’t want to display that dimension in the crosstab, or when the user wants to select which measures to display in the table using input controls.

Following the workaround explained in the post “SAP Design Studio - Showing/Hiding Crosstab Columns with Measures with CSS and Scripting” it is possible to achieve the same purpose but with dimension columns, we only have to add the following line of code in the CSS file:

The class .sapzencrosstab-HeaderRow belongs to each row of the dimension columns and the function nth-child() allows us to select the column we want to modify. In that case, we specify to not display the second dimension column by overwriting the display parameter.

Changing Column Names

This is one of the most in demand features of the developer community, it may be a simple functionality but at the present time it’s only possible to achieve via CSS. Following the workaround of the thread “cross tab – change column name” in the forum of the Design Studio Community it is possible to change the name of any header and any content in the crosstab.
In the next example, we explain how to change the header name of the first measure column.
Original table:


Step 1:
First we have to find where the header is placed in the HTML code and the class that references it. Once we find that, we can add the following CSS code:

In that case, the class of the header's measure columns is .sapzencrosstab-ColumnHeaderArea and using the function nth-child() we can decide which header we want to modify. What we do here is add “Link to document” before the content of the header. If we want to modify the dimension column headers we have to use the class .sapzencrosstab-DimensionHeaderArea

Step 2:
To remove the content of the header we have to add the next line of CSS code:

Here we hide the default content of the header and set the height of the cell to zero. That will make the string that we added in the previous step to be displayed as a header.

Allowing Row Selection without measures

The row selection in the Crosstab component is done in the measure area, meaning that if we do not display any measure in the table we are not able to select any member. To solve that limitation, we can use the same workaround explained in the previous point. The solution consists of adding a dummy measure and changing the content of the cell to a text such as “Click here” or “Link”.
Original table:

Step 1:

First, add a dummy measure in the Crosstab component and add the following CSS code: 

As we mentioned, we use the same approach as changing a column name, but in this case we change the CSS class .sapzencrosstab-DataArea and using the function nth-child() we specify that we want to modify the second measure column.

Step 2:
The final step consists of hiding the header of the new added column and hiding the default content of the measure for each row. To achieve that we have to add the following CSS code:

To hide the header of the new added column we take advantage that this column is the last one of the table so we can use the class .sapzencrosstab-HeaderCellLastRow to modify the content.


The benefits of the different tips and tricks explained here are the following:

To the developer

Knowing how to implement new functionalities in Design Studio that are not quite well explained in the Design Studio Community allows the developer to reduce time to build a complex dashboard, and avoiding wasted time researching possible workarounds and testing them. Additionally, it offers a great opportunity to impress the client with these new functionalities.

To the end user

The business user does not need to know about the implementation but with the techniques explained here he will enjoy new functionalities that may have been requested, and were previously not possible to achieve.


SAP Design Studio - Showing/Hiding Crosstab Columns with Measures with CSS and Scripting

SCN thread: “cross tab - change column name”

Customize your layout in SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio

Top 5 UNX Roadblocks and How to Overcome Them

I am writing this blog based on my experience using BOC and its connectivity with a Unx.

#1 I am unable to see the “200” confirmation message.

This is a notorious error and it comes up pretty frequently for most new users of BO Cloud. It can be frustrating but it’s actually pretty simple. The “200” message is not as flamboyant as you might think.
To resolve this, you need to make sure of the following:
    1) Make sure your tomcat service is running! Hold windows button + R, then type services.msc, locate Apache, then confirm that the service is started

    2) You haven’t deployed the BO Cloud Agent correctly. Go to tomcat folder then webapps folder, and look for the BO agent folder. OR go to http://[localhost]:[port]/manager/html and make sure BO Cloud Agent is running. I like to deploy by simply coping the .war file and pasting it into the webapps folder. It works every time.

    3) Your tomcat-users file is not updated correctly. I will save you the headache. The lines below work so just copy it and you should be up and running. Make sure to open the file with administrative rights in order to edit and save.

    4) Finally, before typing the magical url “[localhost]:[port]/C4A_AGENT/service/api/epm/bw” into your browser, make sure you have fiddler installed! (or any browser extensions). Make sure fiddler is running, then visit the URL, enter your credentials, then the “200” message should show up in fiddler like the image shown here.

#2 I have configured tomcat correctly and received the “200” message; I think my HCC is configured incorrectly and therefore the unx connection is not working.

Assuming you have already opened a ticket with SAP Ops team to open an HCC account, you need to make sure of three things:
    1) Make sure that /C4A_Agent/ is set to path and all sub-paths.

    2) The virtual host and port in HCC matches the one in both the Administration screen and connection screen in BOC.
    3) The username and password in the administration screen in BOC matches the one set in tomcat-users file.

#3 I have configured both HCC and Tomcat correctly, but now I am receiving an Error that says “Make sure BO Cloud Agent is Deployed correctly” and wouldn’t let me create a connection, what should I do?

This issue had taken me a while to figure out but the resolution is easy and silly. Make sure that you are creating the connection in the BOC tenant that your HCC account is designated to. For example, if your BOC runs on tenant 005, and you were assigned an HCC account for that tenant, then you cannot use the same HCC account for tenant, say, 008. So, only 1 HCC account (S-User) can be assigned to only 1 tenant.

#4 I have finally managed to create a connection but now I am receiving an error when I query the Universe.

This is another sticky error that takes some time to figure out, yet the solution is simple – again. You need to be using a BI platform account that has administrative rights in order to avoid receiving errors when querying a UNX. As of now, it is unclear what specific rights are needed to avoid errors, but having administrative rights resolves the issue.

#5 A new version of BO Cloud agent is out. Please update your agent.

I dislike receiving this error because it interrupts my workflow but the message is self-describable. You need to go to, download the new agent .war file, remove/undeploy the old agent, and deploy the new one in tomcat.

#6 My BOC cannot locate my BI platform, why?

You need to be using your BO Cloud inside the local network where your BI platform sits. So if your BI platform is hosted in the cloud, then you need to remotely access that virtual machine and do the configuration there. Once the connection is setup, you can acquire data from your BI platform from any internet connection.




#Euro2016 – Analytics driving performance to new levels

N matches and counting… it’s that time of year again when the football fever brings nations together, touching the hearts of its citizens and excitement takes over our daily lives for an entire month…!

Will a proven strategy along with passion, skill, endurance, training and preparation with the right players, a seasoned coach who can bring in-game intuition into play and perhaps a bit of luck be enough to determine the winner? While these are all the right ingredients, teams need to be able to differentiate in this high stakes business to score big.

Just like in the business world, sports is rapidly changing. Relying on outdated, offline and disparate systems, pre- and post-event analysis is no longer sufficient to win. Also in sports, where fractions of seconds can make a difference, digital transformation is taking hold. Enhancing player preparation, optimizing training drills, real-time, in-game challenger analysis and even penalty shootout predictions requires real-time data and analytics to be delivered to coaches throughout all phases of a tournament.

It is therefore no surprise that the German football team has once again teamed up with SAP to drive innovation and provide it the winning advantage with SAP’s in-memory big data platform delivered to coaches and players on mobile devices. But not only in football or in tournaments of this size are analytics (aka “sabermetrics”) taking hold. Data driven sports performance and analytics solutions are being implemented in leading clubs and sports academies across the world. Clariba, as the #1SAP Analytics partner in MENA has recently engaged with the leading sports academy in the MENA region to do just that – delivering the platform for winning athletes! Stay tuned for an update…

For now, back to exciting games at Euro 2016 - may the best team win!


PS: Interesting read -

SAP BusinessObjects Cloud – exceeding your expectations

SAP BusinessObjects Cloud is one of SAP’s newest product offerings to customers. It is also one among of the most extensively developed tools. In fact, SAP has a large team of developers working on BusinessObjects Cloud that produces new features and enhancements every two weeks! This product initially started out as a small project to create a planning product in the cloud that turned into a tool that customers are mesmerized by.

SAP BusinessObjects Cloud has impressive Business Intelligence and Planning capabilities, which I will highlight later on. It is worth mentioning that BusinessObjects Cloud also provides Predictive and is planning to offer GRC (Governance, Risk, Compliance) capabilities this year. Everything will be included in one product running on HANA Cloud Platform, which has amazing data processing performance.

These following screenshots demonstrate some of the BI capabilities...

As you can see here, you have a nice variety of charts and controls to view your data: ESRI Maps, waterfall charts, input control, and time-series charts.
It is worth mentioning that time series charts are rare to find as an out-of-box chart in most BI tools.


Here is another example of how your story can potentially look like. In this example, we are demonstrating the variance between actual data and forecast data using bar charts. Also, you can add positive or negative comments, line charts, and pie charts.

Speaking of Planning…

The planning capabilities of SAP BusinessObjects Cloud are pretty impressive too. With BusinessObjects Cloud planning you can allocate general expenses, such as IT expenses, using predefined allocation methods or by creating your own allocation method. In addition, you can set KPIs, create multiple versions of your data, and use built-in calculations like YoY (year-over-year) in an Excel-like spreadsheet.

Here is a snapshot of how your story can potentially look like. Again, you are the artist who is empowered to create your own business story.

Finally, all of what you have seen can be created by knowledge workers, even those who have never used SAP products before, and that’s because of the consumer-grade user interface. As a result, once your employees create a story they like, they can easily share it among their teams, start discussions, create events, and assign tasks all using one platform – SAP BusinessObjects Cloud.

Ending Remarks

Business Analytics tools have always made decision-makers empowered –make better decisions with lower risks. What SAP had done with BusinessObjects Cloud is that it extended the power of HANA and delivered much needed Business Analytic tools which are relatively inexpensive. To wrap it up, there is no better time to become empowered!

Exploring SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.2

BI4.2 beta testing has been very smooth and BI4.2 is now available for all customers to download.
There are numerous performance enhancements to the platform, tools and some very useful features have been implemented. One feature has even been added arising from popular demand via the ‘Idea Place’ portal. 
We have played with the platform and we highly recommend an upgrade. 

Below are a few of the important features we came across that will surely catch your interest. Note that there are many more enhancements but the ones listed below really left an impression on us. 

1. BI Administrators’ Cockpit

BO Administrators can now have a real time view of the infrastructure. This includes Servers, Scheduled jobs, Content usage and Applications. A demo can be found here.
The cockpit accommodates both an overview of the platform and a detailed view of the platform components.  

Location under CMC

Location under CMC

Example of a BI Administrator's Cockpit 

Example of a BI Administrator's Cockpit 

- High level overview of the actual status of the servers: 



- Detailed status of all the servers with different display options: All, Failed and Running.

Server status

Server status

Scheduled Jobs
- High level overview of the scheduled job status with the possibility to filter by time

High lever overview

High lever overview

- Detailed overview of the scheduled jobs status with different display options: All, Failed, Running and Statistics (jobs with most instances and jobs with longest run time).
- Details of the selected instance. From the Failed tab it is possible to execute the failed instance.

2. Recycle Bin

Another great addition to the BI4.2 platform is the Recycle Bin. This comes from popular demand via the ‘idea place’.
Put simply, administrators can now recover deleted content without the need to look into backups (biar files or other possible sources). This feature saves time and provides an addition level of security for those accidentally deleted contents moments.
By default this is disabled and has to be enabled. 
However, there is a limitation of what can be recovered. Documents deleted from public folders may be recovered. Documents deleted from personal folders are not retained by the recycle bin and are not recoverable.

Location under CMC

Location under CMC

Example of Recycle Bin

Example of Recycle Bin

It is also possible to empty the recycle bin, same as in a windows environment context.

3. Notifications

Another great innovation for BI 4.2 are the new user notifications. This allows administrators to easily broadcast information to single user/group or to all users. For example, if there is upcoming system maintenance. Administrators can specify the timeline for the notification to be visible and also send it as an email notification. Notifications will show up in the BI Launchpad and the “My Alerts” area as well. 
In yellow, on the side screen the alert can be seen.

Alert notification when logging in

Alert notification when logging in

Example of notification

Example of notification

4. Webi Comments

The new Commentary feature allows any user with assigned rights to add comments to a report in the form of cell element. The comment appears in a different format from a normal cell and can only be added under “design” mode view. Users can assign the comment a title and corresponding text.
After the initial comment is created and document saved, another user can open the same document and view the comments. They can then reply to this comment thread in the side panel, all categorized under the title, and add additional notes to the comment as well.
Webi comments get exciting in the context where multiple business units need to interact on a single report. Imagine a manager, report designer, data analyst, key user or more stakeholders sharing comments on a WEBI document without a single email!

Commenting directly on webi document

Commenting directly on webi document

5. Parallel Queries in Webi

Parallel queries are now activated by default. There is the option to deactivate and the also number of concurrent refreshes are customizable. 
Before 4.2 queries were run in sequence and the performance was obviously highly affected. 
Now with BI4.2, queries are run in parallel. This has a huge impact on report performance. 
This feature is supported on UNX, SAP HANA direct access (we will come to this shortly). Can be performed via rich client, html and applet. 

The side screen shows an example of the parallel feature which was non-existent before BI4.2.

The side screen shows an example of the parallel feature which was non-existent before BI4.2.

6. Webi Direct access to SAP HANA

Now you can create a document directly on a Hana view as source. Same as you would do for an excel as source. 
All calculations will be done on Hana engine as much as possible adding a great performance touch to the report. 
There is no query panel, only drag and drop. This leverages the full power of SAP HANA on a simple WEBI document.
This is supported on OLAP and relational connection, html interface as shown and with the java applet.

Source of information for this blog can be found here. In case you are thinking about upgrading to BI 4.2 and are seeking the best partner to support you, don’t hesitate and contact us at  We are running time-limited offers on upgrades to BI4.2 which you can review here.

Clariba sponsors first official installation of the SAP Digital Boardroom in MENA

Recently awarded by SAP the Best Analytics Local Partner in MENA, Clariba is delighted for being chosen to sponsor an innovative solution at SAP MENA Headquarters in Dubai

When required to make highly informed business decisions, board members, executives and decision makers are often faced with separate reporting solutions that present data in a static, isolated way. SAP Digital Boardroom aims to harmonize the view of company operations across all lines of business on multiple devices. This view enables users to understand the past instantly, predict the future and conduct business successfully in today’s digital economy.

Built on the SAP Cloud for Analytics solution, SAP Digital Boardroom is expected to utilize line-of-business data from the SAP S/4HANA suite and SAP HANA Cloud Platform to provide a single source of truth about a company’s critical business metrics.

Clariba together with SAP hosted an event on March 22nd at SAP Head Office in Dubai to launch the Digital Boardroom in MENA and introduce it to the leading companies in the region. Top finance executives attended and were the first ones to get the opportunity to lay hands on the solution.

“We will be showcasing the SAP Digital Boardroom and offering live demonstrations to our clients starting April this year. Contact us on to reserve your seat to see the Digital Boardroom in action”, added Marc Haberland, Managing Director of Clariba.

Marc Haberland (Clariba) and Hannes Liebe (SAP) inaugurating the SAP Digital Boardroom in SAP MENA Headquarters in Dubai.     

Marc Haberland (Clariba) and Hannes Liebe (SAP) inaugurating the SAP Digital Boardroom in SAP MENA Headquarters in Dubai.