BI user experience with SAP’s own Business Objects

>матрациng the Teched in Las Vegas last week, BI201 – SAP NetWeaverBusiness Intelligence Roadmap touted new Java-based Front-end and BI Integrated Planning as having high adoption and perceived as quantum leap in user experience.
And on Sunday, SAP’s planned acquisition of Business Objects creates interesting situation for end user (front end) access to SAP Business Intelligence (BI, or BW) data (good SAP has started inserting a disclaimer on every Roadmap document).
While the ‘new’ technology roadmap is far from clear, there is going to be significant overlap of end user tools amongst SAP BI, Business Objects and even an earlier acquisition from this year: OutlookSoft. Specifically, the performance management tools of OutlookSoft buyout (in turn acquired from Cartesis) overlap with Business Object’s own performance management offerings to a good degree.
This is just a clear admission on SAP’s part that its own BI end-user tools were not real. There indeed have been recent major reverses for SAP when big companies went through an evaluation of BI frontend tools, and many came up recommending Business Objects for giving end users’ valuable access to enterprise data in SAP BI cubes. This will clearly be a win situation for many clients, and market intelligence of this nature could have be a factor in influencing SAP’s move in acquiring Business Objects.
For foreseeable future, Business Objects’ products are expected to remain “agnostic” – able to work just as well with databases and applications from competitors as with SAP systems. In its understanding of the world, SAP may be able to teach a lesson or two in process ‘centricity’, as compared to data-centric view most BI Vendors traditionally hold. What will be critical in coming months would be how much a focus does Business Object entity loose on innovaton and product improvement as it tries to integrate with the acquisition. And in longer term, as it tries to integrate its products with SAP’s product line.
SAP’s Web Services enabled Netweaver platform, standardized on top of J2EE should make integration easier. Business Objects end user queries run on Java, .Net and COM technologies. One quick next step could be to standardize BusinessObjects Enterprise, Application Foundation, BusinessObjects Enterprise XI and specifically BusinessObjects Analytics on SAP’s own Java application server. Then may follow other products like SAP Identity Management as the LDAP repository.

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2 Responses to “BI user experience with SAP’s own Business Objects”

  1. Marie Passareli Says:

    Performance management is best done by Cognos. And the user reporting tools are almost best. Go with Cognos – bet is – you win if Cognos remains a pure play independent vendor. Sorry if gets acquired by likes of HP.

  2. Business Objects is seeing a big push from SAP.