The SAP acquisition of Business Objects (BO) brings a mix bag of good and bad news to both SAP and non-SAP customers, according to Naeem Hashmi, Chief Research Officer at Information Frameworks. First the good news:
The BO acquisition brings a large BI market share to SAP.
Most importantly, BO will bring a good team of experienced BI professionals who are fluent in the business intelligence language spoken by small and midsize enterprises (SME) where SAP is heavily targeting its solutions.
BO will be highly valuable for enabling SAP customers in such SME segments to enjoy a powerful BI environment that users are already familiar with. BO will be very instrumental in meeting BI needs for SAP Business ByDesign initiative without much worrying about NetWeaver BI infrastructure support.
BO will bring a good proven reporting tool, Crystal Reports, back in SAP BI which used to be shipped with SAP BI in its earlier versions.
BO will also bring the ETL missing link. Behind all flashy user facing tools in BO, the most important component of any BI suite is the ETL engine. The Acta ETL engine, which Business Objects acquired a few years back, will be an excellent ETL engine to pull data from the core SAP Enterprise into customer data marts (BO universes, databases or even in core BW.)
Granted, Acta is a lightweight, but it’s a very sophisticated ETL engine originally designed for SAP R/3 while other ETL tools vendors were not. The Acta engine will also fill the ETL gap for non-SAP data sources under NetWeaver BI infrastructure as well.
That sounds pretty reassuring. So what’s the downside? Read the bad thing about SAP buying Business Objects for Naeem’s observations on the dark side of this landmark deal.