The long history of Business Objects
The first version of Business Objects (BO) was developed in the early 90s. In the years since, it has become one of the key players in the BI market. During the period of BI product takeovers, BO was acquired by IT giant SAP in 2007. This company has been the supplier of ERP solutions for (medium-sized) enterprises for a long time.
Since the takeover, SAP has been busy integrating different solutions with its existing ERP solutions. Besides Business Objects, SAP delivers Crystal Reports, for example.
SAP’s BI solutions are relatively independent from each other, overlapping in some key parts, and are not yet fully integrated. The problem with the subpar integration of these packages is that clients often have redundant functionality or need to purchase Business Intelligence functionality at additional cost. This also emerges in the Passionned Parabola for BI & Analytics.
At the tail end of 2015, SAP announced a new solution: the completely cloud-based Lumira. It seems that Lumira was developed alongside the existing BI solutions. The question is: What is the best SAP BI solution for you and your organization?
What is Business Objects?
Business Objects is one of the many BI solutions offered by SAP. The software focuses on the integration of Business Objects with its existing ERP solutions. If your organization is an ‘SAP-house’, then BO is the go-to solution when it comes to business intelligence.
Business Objects is very rich in functionality but is now closely linked with the data model offered by SAP BI’s ERP solutions. This makes it easy to produce reports and dashboards. In the areas of performance management, reporting, and planning this solution scores above average. The search function, alerting, and certainly security and connectivity are of a standard that you would expect from any great player in the market.
The well-known universes of BO
Business Objects is known for its ‘universe’ solutions that enable end-users to produce independent reports using unambiguous definitions. As a stand-alone BI solution, BO is much less likely to qualify, because BO prominently opts for the SAP ERP data model. This large data integration advantage is not present if there are no SAP ERP solutions running within your organization!
What are the benefits of Business Objects?
The main benefits of Business Objects are:
- Rich functionality when it comes to the main aspects of Business Intelligence.
- Very good integration with the various SAP ERP solutions. This allows you to quickly get to work with reports.
- Strong reporting focus on performance management and planning within (semi) large enterprises.
- Security and alerting are very mature and adapt to what you’d expect at this point from a reputable supplier like SAP.
- Changes in the (standard) data model of SAP ERP are automatically translated to Business Objects.
What should you look for in Business Objects?
Suppliers tend not to reveal their weak points. Here’s what to look out for with BO:
- There are several SAP BI solutions to be implemented in parallel. This leads to overlap in functionality, causes additional costs, and creates difficult choices when it comes to integration between SAP’s different BI solution.
- Business Objects is strongly linked to the SAP solutions. For organizations that don’t have an SAP ERP solution, this stand-alone solution is less suitable, in our opinion.
- The BI solution scored notably less well when it comes to Big Data analysis. For Big Data, you’ll need the costly HANA. In the Collaborative and Social BI areas, the score is lower.
- SAP is completely focusing its (BI) future on the Cloud now. Contrary to expectations, SAP Business Objects will not be ‘migrated’ to the Cloud, but they have a new solution for that (Lumira with or without HANA)
How is SAP Business Objects strategically positioned?
Business Objects is the go-to business intelligence solution if you are an SAP ERP house. 90% of users say they have the solution or consider purchasing it. BO has a rich functionality, but is distributed over many different BO modules, each covering a portion of the functionality.
There are other solutions available from SAP, such as Crystal Reports and the all-new cloud solution Lumira. Which choice is best for now and in the future? How do you avoid overlapping and thus duplicating costs for your organization as much as possible? Is Business Objects the best solution for you or are there other suppliers?
Many questions, but using the Passionned Parabola for BI & Analytics you can see at a glance where Business Objects is in the BI field.
Business Objects and the other BI tools
If you want to buy Business Objects or if you wish to extend the existing environment with, for example, a Big Data solution and you don’t want to make an unnecessary investment, take a look at our fully independent Business Intelligence Tools Survey 2019 first. A large number of features are compared to other Business Objects BI products.
It’s possible to compare functionality in numerous ways and this comparison will help you make the right decision. This independent BI guide is essential if you’re considering Business Objects and if you want to compare it to other solutions. The guide is now available through our website.
Should you purchase Business Objects or another solution?
If you want to purchase Business Objects or any of the other BI products from SAP, the next step is deciding which one to choose. A choice that seems right at the moment might be less desirable in the future. When it comes to purchasing new licenses, or if you’re facing software compliance challenges related to SAP BI products, we encourage you to consider contacting one of our SAP BI specialists.
Experience has shown us that large discounts are often available and conditions of the contract can be negotiated. This can also result in lower licensing costs.
SAP BI expertise
If you want to immediately start analyzing your SAP data and start building dashboards and improving the performance management and planning of your organization, then you need experienced Business Objects developers. Our interim services help you find the best developers.
Other BI solutions
You can’t make an informed decision about a BI tool overnight. Let yourself be inspired by other Business Intelligence suppliers that can deliver a solution that best suits you.
Want to learn more about Business Objects / Business Analytics?
Passionned Group can not only provide SAP Business Objects developers, but the Passionned advisers and experts are by your side with services like business intelligence and continuous improvement programs, business intelligence consulting, and implementation. You can find more information in Passionned Group’s knowledge base.
A total package of (independent) services that’s going to help you to become even more successful. If you want to know more, please feel free to contact us.