SAP Business Intelligence Solutions

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Business Intelligence Solutions

by Sherry Kercher

Docid: 00018366

Publication Date: 2003

Report Type: PRODUCT


SAP’s Business Intelligence (BI) portfolio is based on the
company’s 2008, $6.8 billon USD acquisition of French company
BusinessObjects. This move was widely perceived as an attempt to stay
competitive with other BI products from IBM (which acquired Cognos) and
Oracle (which had bought Hyperion). The company is currently working to
integrate Business Intelligence, Enterprise Planning, and Augmented
Analytics into a single engine, Analytics Cloud. This report looks at the
SAP BI portfolio and its features.

Report Contents:


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German software firm SAP extended its standing in the business
intelligence (BI) software segment when it acquired French software rival
Business Objects in 2008 for $6.8 billion USD.


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This merger brought together two of the largest enterprise software
vendors in Europe, also allowing SAP to better keep up with IBM (which
purchased Cognos) and Oracle (which had acquired Hyperion).
BusinessObjects is now operated as a unit within SAP. Its products form
the basis for SAP’s expanded BI portfolio. SAP also acquired Hana and KXEN
in 2013 and is working to consolidate its BI and analytics offerings by
embedding it into packaged applications powered by Hana as well as
bundling it with SAP’s Business Suite applications. SAP InfiniteInsight,
which is built on KXEN technology, is offered with SAP Predictive

SAP has reported that it is working to consolidate its BI portfolio,
focusing on core areas. To simplify its offerings, the company is working to move
its software to the cloud, with integration between on-premise and cloud
offerings. It has also stated that it is taking a “mobile-first” approach
to its BI development, planning to add additional functionality to
the line as well as enhance current functionality with customization

SAP Business Intelligence solutions – as this
technology is now known – allows a team to achieve results by providing
self-service access to information. It provides business users with
fact-based information – regardless of its origin – to extend decision


Name: SAP Aktiengesellschaft (SAP AG)
World Headquarters
PO Box 1461
Neurottstrasse 16
D-69190 Walldorf, Germany

SAP America
3999 West Chester Pike
Newtown Square, PA 19073
(888) 596-1727
Type of Vendor: Enterprise Software Vendor
Founded: 1972
Service Areas: Global
Stock Symbol: SAP (NYSE)

Figure 1 illustrates how BusinessObjects BI products and services provide
detailed reporting, query and analysis, and performance-management for
business intelligence over the complete information infrastructure.

Figure 1. BusinessObjects Interface

Figure 1. BusinessObjects Interface

Source: SAP

The portfolio also includes consulting and education services to help
customers deploy its BI products.

BI Software

SAP BI provides functionality for many different areas, including Data
Visualization and Analysis, Reporting, Business Intelligence, Dashboards,
and Mobile Business Intelligence, as expanded upon in Table 1.

Table 1. Business Intelligence Products and Capabilities
Product Category Description Features
BusinessObjects BI Platform Business Intelligence Single platform with a common semantic
layer, security, and delivery mechanism for business insight.
  • Auditing
  • BI Launch Pad
  • BI Widgets
  • BI Workspace
  • Information-Design Tool
  • Lifecycle Management
  • Platform Administration
  • Portal Integration
  • Publishing
  • SDKs
BusinessObjects Dashboards and
Dashboards and Apps Creates interactive dashboards to
better visualize complex data.
  • Interactivity features
  • Operational and Analytical Flexibility
  • Dashboard Templates
Business Objects Design Studio Business Intelligence Creates scalable, multi-dimensional
visualizations for dashboards and BI apps.
  • Native connection to NetWeaver. business Warehouse and SAP
Lumira Discovery and Visualization Builds BI visualization to assess risk, improve efficiencies, and
provide insight.
  • Access XLSX and CSV files
  • Access databases
  • Access SAP HANA and BI universes
  • Combine data
  • Create visualizations, infographics, and boards
Mobile Business
reports, metrics, and data from a mobile device.
  • Mobile Device Information Access
  • Mobile-Based Analysis and Critical Alerts
  • Updated Information and Trigger Actions
Analytics Cloud Data discovery and visualization Provides visualizations in the Cloud.
  • Access XLSX and CSV files
  • Create visualizations, boards, and infographics
  • Secure sharing
  • Web/mobile support

BI Consulting Services

SAP’s BI consulting service provides support to identify key performance
drivers, helping develop and implement a new IT infrastructure and
visualization strategy for distributing reliable information across the
enterprise. It is available in a BI-as-a-Service model. Using the BI
OnDemand interface, users can follow an intuitive process to upload a
spreadsheet, bring in different data sources, and explore data with search
and browse functionality. It allows users to create timely dashboards and
reports, helping pull sales reports from various sources or manually
create pivot tables, charts, and graphs. Users can also perform ad-hoc,
what-if analysis without having to share spreadsheets and reports via
e-mail or paper. Specific service areas of focus include:

  • Applying an approach for practicing BI
  • Streamlining software implementations
  • Extending user adoption

Table 2 takes a deeper look at SAP’s BI consulting services.

Table 2. BusinessObjects BI Services in Detail
Consulting Service Description
Business Intelligence Support Providing the ability to access BI
solution functionality, including executive dashboards and
operational reports, without initiating a full-scale
Performance Reporting and Analytics Developing visual representations of
processes and performance, providing insight for better making
informed decisions, accessing and planning a BI strategy,
deploying dashboard tools, generating management and operational
reports, and building an IT infrastructure that provides
scalability for user and data growth.
Applications Guidance and deployment expertise in
implementing analytic applications from SAP BusinessObjects. This
includes pre-built analytics and data models to help a
customer-specific business problem in various industries, helping
deploy applications.
Extending BusinessObjects Explorer
Focuses on extending the reach of
investments in BI, search, and content software, providing
guidance in deploying predictable, fixed-scope service packages.
BI Migration For migrating both SAP and non-SAP BI
software to a single platform running BusinessObjects software.


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SAP’s BusinessObjects BI portfolio was developed with the medium- and
large-sized organization in mind. This includes coverage in a number of
industries, including: Aerospace and Defense, Automotive, Banking,
Chemicals, Consumer Products, Defense and Security, Engineering,
Construction, and Operations, Healthcare, Higher Education and Research,
High Tech, Industrial Machinery and Components, Insurance, Life Sciences,
Media, Mill Products, Mining, Oil and Gas, Professional Services, Public
Sector, Retail, Telecommunications, Transportation and Logistics,
Utilities, and Wholesale Distribution.


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SAP’s BusinessObjects BI software generally supports Apple Safari,
Firefox, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Windows: Server 2008,
2012, and 2016; Suse SLES 11 x86_64; Red Hat EL 5 and 6 x86_64; AIX 6.1
and 7.1 Power; Solaris 10 and 11 SPARC. Its browser support includes HP
JSE, IBM JSE, Oracle (Sun) JSE, SAP JVMMicrosoft IE 8, 9, 10, 11, Mozilla
Firefox ESR 31.x, Google Chrome, and Safari.


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SAP offers its clients a range of services to support their BI Platform
deployments. SAP’s services include those for planning, building, and
running the Intelligence Platform, including business process design,
consulting, and integration services. The company also offers education,
training, and certification services for its clients.


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The cost for SAP BI products varies due to customizability. SAP asks that
all interested, potential customers contact its sales staff by calling
(800) 872-1727 or by filling out a sales
contact form
. SAP has expanded its SAP PartnerEdge program to add
select SAP BusinessObjects business intelligence solutions for SMEs. It is
in effect in Asia, North America, and other regions.


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SAP’s presence in the BI market is most directly affected by rivals such
as IBM Cognos and Oracle’s BI Solutions. Other competing products include
Microsoft Business Intelligence, SAS BI, Information Builders’ BI tools,
and MicroStrategy Business Intelligence, and QlikTech’s QlikView, among

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About the Author

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Sherry Kercher is an editor for Faulkner Information
Services. She holds a master’s degree in library and information science,
and tracks and writes about storage, communication networks and equipment,
and Internet technologies.

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