SAP Watch

Dec 5 2008   4:41PM GMT

Who’s shopping for Business Objects?

JackDanahy Jack Danahy Profile: JackDanahy

Business intelligence initiatives are on the wish lists of many CIOs this year. That even includes President-elect Barack Obama, according to this InformationWeek story on a government pilot BI program.

That’s why it was good to hear from Business Objects CEO John Schwarz that SAP Business Objects isn’t laying off people in research and design in this recession. He gave the lunch keynote recently at the Credit Suisse Technology Conference in Scottsdale, Ariz. He said they’re not hiring or filling empty positions,, but these days there’s not too many people doing either.

And there seems to be some neat things happening as a result. In October, Schwarz said they put the NetWeaver and Business Objects teams under one management for development.

Moreover, unstructured analysis is being embedded in the entire BI suite. They’re building an integrated business planning and analysis suite on top of OutlookSoft and Cartesis and hope to deliver a fully integrated suite of financial planning applications in the next year. Just to name a few initiatives, Schwarz said.

So it begs the question many readers have been asking — should you wait until the dust settles on the Business Objects acquisition to invest in Business Objects?

In fact, the full product integration between SAP and Business Objects will probably take another nine months to a year, Schwarz said.

It’s certainly on people’s minds. SDN has an excellent post on SAP and Business Objects front-end integration. And Jon Reed is fielding questions on the Business Object product roadmap in his blog.

But, from the numbers Schwarz gave, it doesn’t appear that many customers are sitting on their hands when it comes to investing in the BI technology.

When SAP acquired Business Objects, it represented 1/7 of SAP’s business. Today, it’s more than three times that portion of revenue.

Uptake is particularly high in the SAP base, Schwarz said. With only 5,000 common customers between SAP and Business Objects at the time of the acquisition, the latter has seen uptake “we could not have dreamed of in our own, independent life.”

Are you waiting for another product roadmap before investing in Business Objects? Or is business intelligence too important for you to wait for?  

Courtney Bjorlin, News Editor

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