Can anyone (preferably from SAP themselves) explain what the future of the SAP BW/BI Consultant will be now that BO is the main focus for the future?
What is recommended as the path forward for an existing SAP BW/BI Consultant so that they can remain employable?
Think of the marriage of SAP BW and Business Objects as really being "best of both worlds". SAP BW, in the past and up to today, really doesn't have good tools for the presentation of reports and that's where Business Objects really shined.
On the other hand, Business Objects have Rapid Marts which are great for quickly getting reporting started, but only for detailed, operational type reporting in a subject area silo approach. SAP, however, is a complete data warehouse by definition whereby you have data marts, operational data stores and star schemas in order to support analytic reporting with drilldown capabilities.
Well, that's where SAP is going with SAP BW and Business Objects. The front-end tools will be moving to Business Objects tools where are far superior over legacy SAP front-end tools. On the back-end, the only changes being made is that Business Objects Data Integrator will be introduced into the SAP BW space for ETL of non-SAP source systems (e.g. PeopleSoft, Taxware, etc) and as a pre-PSA translation tool using extractors for SAP source systems. The standard content, whether on SAP applications or in SAP BW, that SAP has developed is not going away and is still going to be enhanced. They will, however, offer Rapid Marts as a solution for quick implementation and for smaller companies.
So, the knowledge that any good, experienced SAP BW consultant has won't be trashed. They'll have to learn some more tools however, which isn't really a bad thing.