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BI paves the way for ERP

Business intelligence adoption provides SAP an inroad to sell its main enterprise resource planning product to companies in Asia-Pacific region, says executive.
Written by Victoria Ho, Contributor

Business intelligence (BI) adoption is paving the way for SAP's entry into organizations in the Asia-Pacific region, according to an executive.

Diane Fanelli, senior vice president, industries and solutions for SAP Asia-Pacific and Japan, said customers signing on with SAP's BI offering--by way of its Business Objects acquisition--is providing SAP an inroad to sell its main ERP (enterprise resource planning) product.

"In many cases, companies begin their SAP journeys with the BusinessObjects suite," said Fanelli, during an SAP event Tuesday.

Another reason for the BI tool's popularity is its "bite-sized" and modular nature, allowing companies an "introduction" to SAP. It is platform-agnostic and does not require SAP on the backend, but the quicker return on investment (ROI) is allowing CIOs to justify embarking on a larger ERP implementation with SAP, she added.

SAP raised this point in a previous interview with ZDNet Asia, on the company repackaging software-and-service combinations under its Best Run Now banner, in order to make it more palatable to customers on tight budgets.

Eric Sin, senior director, Southeast Asia hub, for SAP BusinessObjects division, said Asia's interest in BI is "very high" and stems from the region's diversity between its markets.

Unlike the United States, which provides a more "homogenous environment", the Asia-Pacific's markets vary from emerging to mature markets and present companies a landscape with differing elements including government restrictions and economic prosperity, he said.

According to Gartner, spending on BI technologies grew 22 percent last year, in spite of the economic downturn. In terms of revenue, SAP was ranked the top BI company, followed by SAS, Oracle, IBM and Microsoft.

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