SAP users turn to BusinessObjects but grumble about support

Summary:A significant rise in the number of companies using SAP's BusinessObjects business-intelligence software is accompanied by dissatisfaction about disjointed support.

More SAP users have made BusinessObjects their principal analytics platform even though many remain unhappy about inconsistencies in support between the business-intelligence product and the software giant's ERP software.

Over half the BusinessObjects users quizzed by the UK & Ireland User Group find support for the software and SAP's Business Suite disjointed, despite almost one in three SAP customers now running the analytics suite.

The latest SAP UK&IUG survey puts BusinessObjects prime platform use at 30 percent, up from 21 percent a year ago, and compared with just seven percent in 2011.

Three-quarters of users see the value of running the analytics and ERP software together but 53 percent are still dissatisfied with support.

"It is evident that support for SAP BusinessObjects needs to be more joined up with the rest of SAP's other product offerings," SAP UK&IUG chairman Philip Adams said in a statement.

"We will be looking to work with SAP to help address this matter," he said.

SAP acquired business-intelligence firm Business Objects in 2007 for $6.8bn as part of a strategy of rapidly expanding its customer base.

For overall technical support, one in five SAP shops says the company fails to measure up to other software suppliers in ease of use. Most criticism focuses on SAP's Service Marketplace extranet support portal, which caused difficulties for 30 percent of users.

But one in four remains dissatisfied with the time taken to resolve problems and an identical number cite issues finding relevant support information.

SAP says it is taking the criticism seriously and has improvements in the pipeline, including remote support tools for BusinessObjects to speed up the time it takes to respond to requests and to provide ongoing quality checks.

Among other developments are specific online training and improvements to SAP Service Marketplace later this year. The company said the new sapbusinessobjectsbi.com website launched to accompany last week's general availability of the 4.1 release of BusinessObjects will help users implement SAP business-intelligence software.

The SAP UK&IUG, which polled 328 users for its survey, is holding its annual conference in Birmingham, UK, on 24-26 November.

More on SAP

Topics: Enterprise Software, Business Intelligence, SAP

About

Toby Wolpe is a senior reporter at ZDNet in London. He started in technology journalism when the Apple II was state of the art.

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