Category Archives: SAP

about sap

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.

Gartner – Worldwide BI and Analytics Market up 4%

“Even though growth was nowhere near the levels of 2008, and by no means immune to the recession, BI showed that it is not as cyclical as many other software areas, recording healthy growth in one of the toughest years recorded in software history,” said Dan Sommer, senior research analyst at Gartner. “The dominant vendors continued to put BI, analytics and PM front and center of their messaging. Organizations largely continued their BI projects, hoping that resulting transparency and insight would enable cost-cuts and improved productivity and agility. However, there is no doubt pressure has intensified on deal sizes and price points on new sales throughout the year.”

The top five vendors continued to make up most of the market with 71 percent market share. “The large vendors held their own. As IT is consolidating, BI spending often went to a few strategic vendors. However, the application-centric vendors didn’t have the same up-selling momentum as they did in 2008,” said Mr. Sommer.

More here and the full paper can be reached here.

BI the Answer to Supplier/Supply Chain Management?

Short and Interesting Post by Jason Busch -

There are a few reasons why the nirvana of BI supplier and supply chain visibility is most certainly a noble objective, but one that is unlikely to ever fully take hold outside of a few very expensive, highly customized implementations. For one, BI tools (especially those we think of, which are tied to an underlying data warehouse) mimic the inflexible characteristics of the ERP systems, which generate the data that we need to analyze. In other words, once you “pour the enterprise-data concrete” so to speak, such systems become rigid and unbending and make it difficult to rapidly adopt new data sources into an analysis. Perhaps there’s a new third-party data enrichment that you want to add (one not supported or resold by your BI vendor), or maybe you’ve acquired a new facility from a supplier that is running a different ERP environment. Good luck rapidly adding these new data sources into any BI model.

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.

..
..

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.

..

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.

Top 100 Most Influential Technology Vendors for 2008

You can check out the list of Top 100 Most Influential Technology Vendors for 2008 as anounced by the Aberdeen Group.

My takeaway was that the Top 4 vendors [Microsoft, Oracle, SAP and IBM] of this list are already biggies in the Business Intelligence world. And that’s another evidence that BI is the way to go in the coming years.

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.

MicroStrategy Rated #1 in Customer Loyalty

From Fox Business

Comparing a peer group of BI products reviewed in The BI Survey 7, the customer loyalty scores were as follows:

Overall Customer Loyalty Score
MicroStrategy .846
Cognos Reporting .725
Cognos Analysis .653
BusinessObjects .641
SAP BW .641
Oracle Hyperion Essbase .565

“It is a remarkable achievement that MicroStrategy was rated number one in customer loyalty for the fourth year in a row,” said Nigel Pendse, author of The BI Survey 7. “As in the past, the Survey found that well-known vendors with growth strategies based on acquisitions covering the entire BI spectrum have low, and in some cases declining, customer loyalty. MicroStrategy, with its single product architecture and organic growth, was at the top once again. The fact that no other product has achieved such high levels of consistency suggests that MicroStrategy’s customers are extremely loyal and see no alternative to the product.”