Back in February, SAP announced the arrival of SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise Information Management (EIM) 4.0 as part of the overall SAP BusinessObjects 4.0 release. Since then, many have focused on the new and updated BI tools in this release, but I haven’t heard many talking about EIM (apart from SAP).
I suspect some of this is due to the fact that many are unfamiliar with EIM and what it does. I confess, prior to the 4.0 release, I wasn’t always clear myself. However, it’s interesting to note that with the 4.0 release, EIM seems better integrated with SAP applications, especially SAP NetWeaver BW, Solution Manager, the Business Suite and HANA.
Although many companies would say that data management is a key priority, apart from master data management, the applications within EIM 3.1 were not exciting as the BI applications such as Web Intelligence and Xcelsius (no, I’m not ready to call this “Dashboards” yet).
Sue Hay, senior solutions manager for SAP BusinessObjects EIM, recently outlined some of the major changes and updates with EIM 4.0. While I now have a better understanding of the applications suite, I am curious how customers feel about these changes. With 4.0 is EIM now a part of the SAP conversation?
According to Hay, every part of SAP BusinessObjects has “had some major upgrades.” In EIM, some applications that were formerly available separately (e.g., text analysis) are now bundled into new and updated applications (text analysis is now part of Data Services). Here are some of the highlights of the new release:
· SAP BusinessObjects Information Steward: This allows organizations to improve the quality of their data. Companies can discover data through data cleansing, define data through validation rules and business terms and monitor data through dashboards and alerts. It includes the Cleansing Package Builder, which contains a business user interface for identifying common words and their variations and categorizing them according to the business needs.
· Event Insight: This enables companies to continuously review what’s happening with their data in real time and react as needed when situations go awry (as in when a company has a hot product that is mistakenly sitting in a warehouse instead of eager customers’ hands).
· Integrated access to the Business Suite through SAP NetWeaver BW 7.3: Using familiar business content extractors, companies can import non-SAP data (such as from third-party data warehouses) into the SAP system for consistent data management.
· Integration with Solution Manager 7.1: This allows companies to view all the SAP software installed on their systems via the System Landscape Directory. They can also use controlled monitoring by using Solution Manager diagnostics from CA/Wily.
· HANA modeler: This generates the initial loading jobs to HANA and uses Data Services to view and assess the impact on external metadata.
· Common server and services layer: This enables companies to manage security and administration – such as passwords and password policies — for both BI and EIM in a single location.
· Data quality management SDK: Through APIs including Java, .NET and C++, developers can apply tools such as global address validation, data matching and cleansing and geocoding.
I expect we’ll hear more about EIM 4.0 at next month’s SAPPHIRE. What are your thoughts on EIM? Do you think this is a project your company will explore in the next 12 months? Why or why not?