SAP Watch

Jun 14 2010   1:58PM GMT

SUGEN to tackle BusinessObjects product roadmaps

CourtneyBjorlin Courtney Bjorlin Profile: CourtneyBjorlin

Today, SUGEN announced that it’ll work with BusinessObjects customers — both SAP and non-SAP shops – to give them a stronger voice with SAP on product roadmaps.

SUGEN is made up of representatives of SAP user groups worldwide.

“There’s a great thirst for knowledge not only of the BusinessObjects portfolio, but also on the integration roadmap,” said Craig Dale, chief executive of the UK and Ireland SAP User Group, which is leading the charge. “We’ve seen a vast rise in special interest groups dealing with BI.”

To that end, SUGEN sent a survey to every BusinessObjects user to determine what they want and how the user group can support them better. The organization is asking questions like — what are their requirements? What are they looking for from a user group around education, networking? What do they want from SAP? How do they see SAP? The survey closes at the end of June, and SUGEN expects to have the results by August, Dale said.

“We can probably offer them a lot of benefits they don’t understand yet,” he said.

From what SUGEN has learned so far, customers’ main questions are around product roadmaps, Dale said. So BusinessObjects users aren’t clear on where BusinessObjects is going. And having just completed a survey of our own readership on, the same is true for SAP shops – folks are still contemplating where BusinessObjects fits into their BI plans and where.

In this sense, bringing the two user groups together is a win-win. It may prove especially valuable for SAP shops that haven’t yet deployed BusinessObjects and are looking for an SAP BI roadmap.

SAP BusinessObjects BI tools will replace SAP’s BI products going forward, yet SAP customers are still confused on where BusinessObjects will fit into their landscapes and how to adopt them. Networking with BusinessObjects users will give SAP customers real examples of the good, the bad and the ugly on how these tools work in practice.

In turn, SUGEN’s hope is to give BusinessObjects customers a stronger voice on product development. SUGEN has a good track record of getting its point across. With more clout, BusinessObjects customers can call out what they don’t like about the tools, what needs to be fixed, and influence future produce development – providing a stronger product for SAP customers.

The key challenge will be reconciling the heterogeneous customer base – BusinessObjects users on different data warehousing platforms, different ERP and software backends – and ensuring that product improvements useful to not only the largest and most strategic customers make their way through.

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