SAP's Business Objects promises to 'break barriers'

SAP's Business Objects promises to 'break barriers'

Summary: Business Objects, which was just brought into SAP's orbit, announced BusinessObjects™ XI 3.0, which the company said "breaks the barriers of traditional business intelligence (BI).


sapboBusiness Objects, which was just brought into SAP's orbit, announced BusinessObjects™ XI 3.0, which the company said "breaks the barriers of traditional business intelligence (BI)." Every BI company makes a similar claim--promising to provide the key to making better business decisions and more profit.

According to the company BusinessObjects XI 3.0 has a claim to fame as the "first and only BI platform with integrated text analysis, allowing the thoughts and opinions of customers and other people found in unstructured sources such as the Web, notes fields and emails to be easily incorporated into business intelligence and decision making."

Business Objects' great discovery is basically integrating the search and unstructured data discovery tools, with text analytics, federated search, and data visualization, from its acquisition of Inxight Software in July of 2007. This allows Business Objects to harness the approximately 80 percent of corporate data, such as email, document and other unstructured content.

Business Objects isn't first with the concept of making unstructured data intelligible. In 2006, Cognos (now part of IBM) and Autonomy created a solution that converged unstructured and structured data for business intelligence. Search engines from FAST (acquired by Microsoft), Google and IBM working in conjunction with BI products provide similar facilities, although not as a native layer within the platform.


"We have been working with the SAP organization to put together a mission and vision to truly change the way people around the world work," said Marge Breya, executive vice president of SAP's newly acquired business intelligence platform. "We are taking the full power of BI and having it available with the kind of user experience that allows mere mortals to get access to the data, not just for specialized analysts."

"We address how to take information and share it and make it available across a extended enterprise, with a repository for replicated reporting across various companies in the ecosystem. And, it's quite clear we can publish to hundreds of thousands of users, and extend beyond the firewall," she added.

Business Objects XI 3.0 presents both structured and unstructured data as part of the analytical interface (below).


Breya described the data glut and opportunity for Business Objects--according to the company only 15 percent of employees (and Breya thinks the percentage actually is lower) have access to BI tools and 90 percent of executives are don't get the information they need to make informed decisions.


In addition, BusinessObjects™ XI 3.0 also includes Crystal Reports 2008 and the Polestar interactive search tool, mobile access to BI data, integration with Microsoft Live Office (embedding Microsoft Office documents within the platform) and improved federation capabilities, the company said.

BusinessObjects XI 3.0 will be available this quarter. The mobile edition and BusinessObjects XI 3.0 Polestar are due later in the year, the company said.

Topics: SAP, CXO, Data Centers, Data Management, Enterprise Software, Software, IT Employment

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  • 'break barriers' and break other stuff too

    'break barriers' and break other stuff too.. I would say that SAP could promise to break everything and break it often and deliver on that promise... Never again... No Thank you... I'm not into S&M IT...

    I'll stick with my Oracle Apps where everything is happy and reliable and I can spend my time focusing on the little things... because the big things are running on Oracle.
    • SAP's Business Objects promises to 'break barriers'

      If you had read the title or paid attention to the news over the past few months, you would have noticed that Business Objects was an acquired company and product line. SAP did not make it. It owns it.

      There are several reports, Gartner for example, that clearly show where Business Objects stands relative to Oracle apps.

      If you prefer Oracle app, then good for you, but don't polute the stream with invalid comparisons.

      Not bashing, just clarifying for those who may only see SAP in the title and react as you did.
      Rod Oatis
  • RE: SAP's Business Objects promises to 'break barriers'

    Unfortunately, almost all of the innovations mentioned have come from acquisitions, not internal innovation. The problem is that this actually creates barriers instead of breaking them down. It creates barriers because of the infrastructure required to get these independently developed systems up and running (let alone work well together) within a customer's in-house data center. To make matters more complicated, now Business Objects is going to try to integrate their massive technology stack into SAP's massive technology stack. I'm afraid this means that for SAP/Business Objects, BI is starting to stand for "bloated integration."
    Ken Rudin
    • SAP's Business Objects promises to 'break barriers'

      For the record, integration of Business Objects products with SAP and the other major vendors has been around for a number of years, so this is not a new thing. It's only new to those who have either not been paying attention or who are not qualified to have a fact-based opinion on the product stacks and how they integrate. The Business Objects stack is massive, yet modular. As with customers prior to the acquition, no one has to use everything. That's where analysis comes in. Truth be told, infrastructure challenges have existed long before a few weeks ago, so this is not unique to SAP/Business Objects. As I stated previously, folks should do actual research instead of relying on what they think they know, which are usually half-baked assumptions. Then again, why would true technologists want to do that? That might require that they take their heads out of the sand and learn something. And that's my fact-based opinion.

      Have a good weekend, Gents.
      Rod Oatis
      • SAP's Business Objects promises to 'break barriers'

        Bravo Rod!

        As a consultant in the BI field, I often see the problems with integration are purely environmental. Meaning that each Enterprise is deployed, configured and implemented with uniqueness that is specific to that particular environment. I have yet to see any 2 companies with the exact same architecture or Enterprise Framework. Yet Business Objects gets all the blame when there are challenges or difficulty in getting all the pieces and parts to work together!

        Business Objects XI is a true Enterprise Level BI Suite that interacts with every major aspect of a company?s I.T. infrastructure. This includes Authentication/Verification Systems, Access Management Systems, Database Systems, Network Infrastructure, Web Server and Web Application Server architectures, custom applications/portals, not to mention the myriad of delivery mechanisms within XI. Between Crystal Reports, Web Intelligence/InfoView, Xcelsius and Deski there are literally dozens of distribution mechanisms and avenue?s.

        Is it complex and a challenge to deploy sometimes? YES! But those challenges are most often related to environmental conditions that Business Objects has no visibility into or control over! My contention and opinion is that Business Objects XI is the most complete, cross functional platform available today for Business Intelligence! No other tool or suite can make the same claim with regard to breadth and depth in BI. Yes there are tools out there that may do some things better, but they are narrowly focused and for a more specific functional task.

        One of the biggest advantages is in consolidation of BI in XI. There is no longer a need to have a dozen different data consumption tools or environments. There are tools and specific functionality and distribution mechanisms for everyone. Not just for I.T. centric tools that require specific skills and expertise! This system supports those I.T. centric required capabilities but also caters to non-techies alike.

        You can not turn Oracle App?s development over to the end users! But Business Objects XI can turn some of the functionality over to end users so they can become empowered data consumers without someone in I.T. having to build it for them.

        But this too scares many I.T. folks because it takes some of their perceived power away and takes much of the mystery that surrounds I.T. out of the picture!