Category Archives: Business Objects

about business objects.

Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for BI and Analytics

Gartner

Right from the name change of Gartner’s usual Magic Quadrant for BI to include analytics system, this year’s report has a lot to cheer about. There is more clear definitions on what makes up Business Intelligence and Analytics systems. Its broken down into 3 categories: Integration, Infomartion Delivery and Analysis.

The image is self descriptive and more info on each vendor is available as apart of this 35 page report.

SAP Enhances SAP BusinessObjects Edge Solutions

SAP BusinessObjects Polestar Delivers the Value of BI to Everyone

With intuitive BI tools and increased support for customers using non-SAP applications, users gain better visibility into business information from across their organization–regardless of their skill level or IT system.

Business users within organizations of any size need simpler, more intuitive BI tools that allow them to quickly search, explore and retrieve business information.

With SAP BusinessObjects Polestar provided as part of SAP BusinessObjects Edge BI, now employees can use an easy-to-use keyword search to find information from any data source. This solution displays results like reports and easy-to-read dashboards, automatically creating visual representations of data, such as charts and graphs.

SAP BusinessObjects Polestar has intuitive data exploration and visualization capabilities that let users drill down into a particular topic, like sales by region, by simply clicking on the report, data set or dashboard. No prior BI training or IT expertise is required.

From PR Newswire

Business Objects Dives Into Predictive Analytics

Business Objects is now officially into Predictive Analytics with its new tool Predictive Workbench and that’s a good news. Read more from Infoweek.

Business Objects on Wednesday announced Predictive Workbench, a new module for its business intelligence platform that lets businesses make predictions about such things as customer behavior and business performance. The module, based on technology from SPSS Inc., is the latest example of a traditional BI company looking to move beyond its expertise in reporting and analysis tools.

Predictive Workbench is the result of an OEM deal Business Objects struck last December to offer SPSS’s technology. IBM (NYSE: IBM)’s Cognos struck a similar deal with SPSS in March, and also plans to integrate IBM-developed predictive analytics within Cognos. Both efforts take a direct competitive shot at SAS Institute, by far the market leader in predictive analytics.

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Since the December OEM deal, Business Objects has worked to integrate the SPSS technology, called Clementine, into Business Objects X1 3.0 so that it’s “totally transparent and seamless for customers,” said Franz Aman, VP of BI product marketing. The result is Predictive Workbench, from which a user can launch the Business Objects Universe metadata layer to run predictive analytics against various databases and data warehouses. Business Objects will disclose the price of the module only to interested customers, Aman says.

BI market consolidation: What does it mean for you?

A must read article for BI entusiasts on the recent consolidation of the BI industry. Well researched and informative article by Stuart Lauchlan, MyCustomer.com.

Still, it’s encouraging that the BI market is still showing signs of life after a period of considerable turmoil and consolidation over the past two years with IBM, Oracle and SAP swallowing up Business Objects, Cognos and Hyperion Solutions. Since March 2007, the three enterprise giants have dished out $15 billion to bolster their BI credentials. Oracle offered $S3.3 billion for Hyperion, SAP pitched $6.8 billion for Business Objects while picking up Cognos cost IBM $5 billion.

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Another development is the blurring of boundaries as BI starts to encroach on other technology areas. For example, Forrester Research cites the merging of BI and search technologies to provide business people with better context and information to make daily decisions. “As search and BI get ever closer, the lines could eventually blur to the point of simply going away,” said Forrester in its ‘Search + BI = Unified Information Access’ report. “This will help bridge the artificial system boundaries between structured data and unstructured content. It will not only affect the interfaces we use to search for, discover, analyse, and report on what we need to know, but help us learn more about what we don’t know.”

This is one of the immediate advantages of convergence between BI and search – the ability to discover things you didn’t know you didn’t know. Forrester noted: “As search gets more powerful and begins to understand the meaning behind unstructured text, entity extraction and other linguistic analysis methods will be able to be used to reveal unforeseen and highly illuminating connections among documents or between documents and data.”

Breakthroughs in Analytics – Part 3

Here’s a follow-up to the previously posted series, Breakthroughs in Analytics, from Tech News World.

In the latest update, Ned Madden talks about the various tools and vendors in the Analytics domain. Read more.

Today’s software packages are much more focused on the actual application of analytical approaches to specific types of decision problems and specific types of industries, according to Anthony Milano, GMI’s VP of professional services.

“In the old days, tools were typically very general purpose in nature,” Milano told TechNewsWorld. “Now, oftentimes, tools are much more focused on helping users solve specific types of problems in business verticals and industries.”

Vendors are even adapting their core analytical engines to specific needs by creating a packaged solution that includes a version of the engine, analytic models, processes, methodologies, add-ons and extensions that allow the product to solve a very specific need, Milano said.

“Importantly, this type of solution minimizes the amount of time required to solve the problem and makes it easier for the client to get the job done without requiring a deep topic expert,” he added. “In effect, these packaged solutions embed the expertise in the solution.”

Milano stressed the importance of analytics solutions that are provided under the rental model from an application service provider (ASP) as Software as a Service (SaaS).

“These software delivery models have proved to be very cost-effective and efficient for customers, particularly when all the costs of owning and installing your own software are understood,” he said.

Thoughts on Cognos 8.3

I had a chance to watch a Cognos 8.3 demo for evaluvation purposes. The Cognos Team had created a prototype cube for the demo. Having worked with Cognos for nearly 4 years at my previous assignment, this version of Cognos was completely new to me.

The version that I worked before Cognos EP Series 7. The latest version is Cognos 8.3 and there has been fundamanetal changes made to the UI as well as the architecture.

Here are some of the key improvements that I think are striking

- Metadata management has improved significantly. Instead of metadata being stored as a file, like the previous version(catalogs), they are now stored in the database, just like how Informatica stores them.

I wish Business Objects would also make metadata management as seamless as Cognos. File based metadata management will hit the file size limitations and then they cannot grow anymore.

- The client application’s UI has become simple and helps in faster authoring of reports.

- Their web interface is very intutive. With drill down/up capabilities, enterprises can now have business analysts do adhoc queries on the fly.

- Good integration of all the different tools into one big tool. Cognos used to have Impromptu, Powerplay and host of other tools. Now they all work as one Cognos tool. This could potentially make their prices high but it could help the enterprises with one BI tool solution and could also reduce licensing costs from various tools.

- Though I didn’t dig too much into their scorecarding tools, scorecard portlets is a cool concept.

Looks like Cognos 8.4 is at Beta and is expected to hit the markets soon.

SAP retires overlapping BI products

With the new thoughtful and successful buy of Business Objects, this was an inevitable move by SAP. And I’m sure its helping to better focus on their flagship products.

The ERP (enterprise resource planning) vendor gained a raft of BI (business intelligence) capabilities through its $6.8 billion purchase of Business Objects, but the deal also created significant overlap, especially in performance management tools. Much of that overlap was caused by acquisitions made by both companies before the deal. Those included SAP’s purchase of Pilot Software and OutlookSoft, and Business Objects’ acquisitions of ALG, SRC and Cartesis.

Some of those decisions have now been made, said John Schwarz, CEO of the former Business Objects, who is now in charge of BI at SAP. Analysts said they expect further cuts to follow in other product areas.

“They were obviously difficult [decisions], in the sense that each product has customers, each has its merits, each has a team that’s passionately committed to it, so the debates, as you might imagine, were fairly heated,” Schwarz said in an interview at SAP headquarters on Wednesday.

Read more at InfoWorld.

The Core Performance Management Vendors for 2008

Yes, all the ones whom you think about are there. No Misses. Good Going !!

Read More about each of these vendors on the story.

There are 9 vendors on the core list for 2008, same number as last year. This may surprise some people after all of the mergers and resulting consolidation of 2007. The fact is that some vendors that were not on this list before have now made it because of their acquisitions. Therefore, while the number is the same, the names of the vendors on the list have changed quite a bit. In addition, some smaller vendors that have been around for awhile have broadened their product set or customer base or both and now merit inclusion. Here now, in alphabetical order, are the core performance management vendors for 2008.

Adaptive Planning
Clarity Systems
IBM/Cognos
Infor
Longview systems
Microsoft
Oracle
SAP
SAS

BO Announces Industry’s First Intelligence Platform

Should try to get my hands on this next version soon. Seems like a fine platform.

Here’s more from the official press release -

Business intelligence has traditionally focused on the most easily obtainable data: process-centric ‘structured’ information – numbers and text stored in internal databases – analyzed by a select group of data analysts and shared among slices of isolated user communities. With BusinessObjects XI 3.0, all information will be accessible to people throughout the organization and their extended business network. According to a recent survey of 154 global C-level executives conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and commissioned by Business Objects, less than one in 10 corporate executives believe they have the right information needed to make critical business decisions. BusinessObjects XI 3.0 gives businesspeople the confidence to know their data is clean, and the ability to link it back to its source, so information is easily auditable, accurate and trustworthy.

BusinessObjects XI 3.0 is the first and only BI platform with integrated text analysis, allowing the thoughts and opinions of customers and other people found in unstructured sources such as the Web, notes fields and emails to be easily incorporated into business intelligence and decision making. BusinessObjects XI 3.0 also provides the first platform that delivers BI-ready consumable external information on demand, from the de facto leader in software-as-a-service (SaaS) BI. For example, by using BusinessObjects XI 3.0-ready reports and metrics from sources such as Thomson Financial and Dun & Bradstreet, organizations can compare and track key performance metrics against their direct competitors and the overall market.

Business Objects’ Founder Bernard Liautaud Resigns

Following the close of SAP acquisition of Business Objects, the man who founded Business Objects, Bernard Liautaud, resigned today as Chairman and Chief Strategy Officer.

Here’s the press release -

“The industry I helped create almost two decades ago has changed dramatically over the years, and I am very proud to say that Business Objects has consistently been a pioneer in bringing innovation to the market,” said Liautaud. “The vision we started out with is now a reality and the need for business intelligence has become pervasive across enterprises large and small. This industry is now at a tipping point and I am confident that, together with SAP, Business Objects will continue to innovate and help transform the way the world works by connecting people, information and businesses.”

Bernard Liautaud co founded Business Objects in 1990 and was chief executive officer until September 2005, when he brought the Company to the one billion dollar revenue mark. Liautaud took the company public on NASDAQ in September 1994, and established a precedent by making Business Objects the first French software company listed in the United States. Since that time, Liautaud led Business Objects through 15 successful years of growth and profitability, transforming the Company into one of the 15 largest software companies in the world and the clear leader in the business intelligence market. In parallel to his successful stewardship of Business Objects, he created the Business Objects Foundation to channel employee and corporate philanthropic activities into communities around the world.