SAP unifies compliance and BI tools

SAP has unified its compliance tools into a single platform under its BusinessObjects banner.The release, announced on Wednesday, integrates elements of its business intelligence toolkit with the newest version of its governance, risk and compliance (GRC) tools into a single platform that can plug into other business intelligence software, such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications.

SAP has unified its compliance tools into a single platform under its BusinessObjects banner.

The release, announced on Wednesday, integrates elements of its business intelligence toolkit with the newest version of its governance, risk and compliance (GRC) tools into a single platform that can plug into other business intelligence software, such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications.

The refreshed GRC suite — comprised of SAP's BusinessObjects Access Control, Risk Management and Process Control components — is the culmination of more than three years spent trying to bring a common interface to the toolkit.

"The new release introduces a common look and feel across all applications in the GRC suite; embedded business intelligence (BI) reports and dashboards; and a graphical tool to define and depict risks," SAP said in a statement. "[It provides] far greater transparency, control and support for corporate strategy."

The company also said the new features make the products easier to use and enable people to more easily communicate risks to business managers who may have limited GRC experience.

"By integrating GRC activities into core business processes and applications, executives can manage their businesses proactively and strategically rather than reactively," the company said. "This unified approach helps companies gain complete management of all risks and controls from a single environment."

In addition, the GRC platform is also open to partner-built content via the SAP Ecohub. SAP envisages developers producing industry-specific GRC content for sectors such as financial services, oil and gas, utilities, aerospace and defence, and life sciences.

At the end of September 2010, SAP rival IBM purchased OpenPages, specialist developer of enterprise compliance and risk management software.