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TEC Product Certification Report: SAP BusinessObjects Edge BI
Business Intelligence Software
is also known as :
BI Software Certification
Business Intelligence Solutions
BI Features and Functions
Business Intelligence Functions and Features
Edge BI Application
Edge Business Intelligence Application,
Business Intelligence Systems,
Business Intelligence Functionality,
Functionality for BI Analytics,
BI RFI Data,
Business Intelligence RFI Data,
BI Request for Information,
BI Market Data,
Online Evaluation of BI Solutions,
Business Intelligence Market Data,
Business Intelligence Support,
Business Intelligence Needs,
Business Intelligence Space,
Functionality Spectrum for BI,
Business Intelligence Tools,
BI and Business Performance Functionality.
SAP BusinessObjects Edge Business Intelligence has been certified by
Jorge García, TEC Research Analyst
Gabriel Gheorghiu, TEC Research Analyst
Demonstration conducted by
Tony Firmani, Sales Consulting, Business Objects, an SAP Company
Technology Evaluation Centers (TEC) is pleased to announce that the SAP product SAP BusinessObjects
Edge Business Intelligence (BI) is now TEC Certified for online evaluation of BI
solutions in TEC's BI Evaluation Center. The BI Evaluation Center enables you to compare and
evaluate functionality based on TEC's comprehensive model of BI software. Data used in the
Evaluation Center are obtained from the vendor's responses to TEC's request for information
Certification ensures that
- SAP BusinessObjects Edge BI product capabilities are demonstrated to a TEC analyst based
on the responses SAP provided in its completed TEC RFI;
- SAP BusinessObjects Edge BI RFI data has been reviewed analytically and comparatively by
a TEC analyst against known benchmarks.
Benefits of Evaluating a TEC Certified Product
There are many benefits to evaluating a TEC Certified product. To potential clients of a software vendor,
TEC certification provides the following:
- Reassurance: You can be assured that the data TEC provides about its certified
products conform to a well-defined standard of accuracy. When a vendor's product is TEC Certified,
it means that a trusted, independent third party has seen the product up close.
- Better Communication with Vendors: TEC certification helps ensure that vendors
understand and respond accurately to their clients' RFI criteria. Certification with TEC analysts provides
the opportunity to clarify any issues with the RFI criteria. This ensures that the vendor is speaking the
same language as its potential clients—and gives the clients an unambiguous specification of product
functionality to inform their selections.
The certification seal is a valuable indicator for organizations that rely on the integrity of TEC's
research services for assistance with their software selection projects. Organizations looking for a
solution can be confident that they're comparing the product on an "apples to apples" basis with other, similar products.
SAP BusinessObjects Edge BI Market Data Summary
SAP BusinessObjects is easily one of the historical leaders in the BI space. The SAP BusinessObjects portfolio is
perhaps one of the most complete sets of tools, and covers almost the complete functionality spectrum for BI.
Delivering reporting and dashboarding capabilities, information management, and business performance solutions,
SAP BusinessObjects enables large, medium, and small organizations to define and monitor their business strategies
and measure their execution.
Now, with the release of SAP BusinessObjects Edge BI, SAP can deliver this same set of features for small and
midsize organizations to meet their needs for BI and business performance tools. SAP BusinessObjects Edge BI
can help these organizations to achieve the same functionality that large enterprises already have, with a
lower price tag.
SAP BusinessObjects Edge BI can be an ideal solution for midsize and small organizations. With a strong combination
of BI and business performance functionality, it is a powerful tool that enables midsize and small
companies to address their BI needs.
The Edge BI application combines performance, ease of use, and an attractive design for delivering crucial
information to decision-making teams. An enterprise Web portal enables centralized control and secure
administration. Its powerful report builder and dashboard application offers a wide variety of data delivery
solutions, such as appealing dashboards, static and dynamic reports, and integration with Microsoft Office.
Its Web Intelligence tool enables ad hoc reporting and business-oriented data visualization, straightforward
end-user report design, online analytical processing (OLAP) analysis capabilities, and a
very powerful and flexible
Web interface. Native keyword search is also included to allow users to search for data objects within the
It is also worth mentioning that Edge BI can include additional functionality for an additional fee, such as
scorecards, along with forecasting and planning processes. This will enable small and midsize companies to
take advantage of business performance functionality.
Based on four main principles, here is how SAP BusinessObjects Edge BI fared.
Ease of Use
- Layout: All application screens are elegantly distributed, with an attractive color
combination that is easy to interpret and understand.
- Interface: Edge BI has the flexibility to work seamlessly with both powerful
client/server and Web-based interfaces. Its Web interface is tidy and easy to use. The Web version
has almost the same functionality as the client/server interface version.
- Performing tasks: Tasks can be easily identified and performed via the use of
clear contextual and easy-to-read menu bars, along with an easy-to-read graphical interface.
- Information retrieval: The use of the SAP BusinessObjects Explorer tool provides
users with an intuitive way to search for data and obtain quick access to all available corporate information.
- Security: Edge BO has inherited powerful security from SAP BusinessObjects, and
delivers a powerful set of security combinations for role- and user-based access.
- Reporting capabilities: Reporting is straightforward with both client/server and
Web-based interfaces, making it possible to manage reports in either a "user" or "central" mode, with
specifics roles assigned for this purpose.
- New features: It's worth mentioning the availability of the SAP Business Objects Explorer
search engine provided with all other SAP BusinessObjects products, which allows users to search documents within
the SAP Business Objects Explorer platform via a browser-based search.
- Scalability: SAP BusinessObjects Edge BI can be scaled to larger functional sets, or
escalated to SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise Edition.
Using the TEC Advisor decision support engine, we have prepared a few high-level graphs that identify this
product's functional focus and competitiveness.
The TEC Focus Indicator (FI)TM
This TEC Focus Indicator (FI)TM tells you which types of functionality are most likely to differentiate SAP
BusinessObjects Edge BI from other products in the BI space. It includes three zones indicating the product's
focus: the Dominant zone, Competitive zone, and Not Competitive zone.
TEC's model of BI systems is designed with a comprehensive breadth; generally, vendors will deliver a common
base of functionality. While we believe in the necessity of knowing whether a product supports a base of common
functionality, it's very helpful to understand how a product really differs from the crowd.
The bars in this FI chart represent neither the quality of the product nor an absolute quantity of supported
functionality. Rather, the bars show support relative to the average solution.
The functional focus arrow indicates which modules of this product provide an equal or greater quantity
of support than the average solution. Modules near the top of the functional focus arrow reveal where
SAP BusinessObjects Edge BI is more likely to differentiate itself through breadth of functionality.
The more concern you have for the type of functionality near the top of the functional focus, the more
it's to your advantage to explore this product further.
Understanding the TEC FI Zones
The top Overall bar shows the overall difference in supported functionality between SAP BusinessObjects
Edge BI and the average solution. To understand how we calculate this difference, read the Calculating the
TEC FI section (page 13).
The Overall bar is our measure for determining which modules fall within the Dominant zone. If a module's
difference from the average is greater than the product's overall difference from the average, we label it
dominant. Those are the modules most responsible for pulling the Overall bar beyond the average.
Modules with values that do not extend beyond the Overall bar, but still provide as much or more functionality
than the average solution, are labeled competitive.
SAP BusinessObjects Edge BI has five modules in the Dominant zone: Data Integration; Support; Analytics;
Reporting; and Analysis and Data Warehousing.
It comes as no surprise that SAP BusinessObjects Edge BI exceeds the average functionality by almost 20
rating points, with five of the six modules in the Dominant zone. Business Objects has been a leader in
the BI space for almost a decade; with its technology background and support from SAP, it has consolidated
with a powerful and complete BI solution for the middle market.
As we can see in the TEC Focus Indicator, SAP BusinessObjects' strength is based primarily on three modules:
Data Integration, Support, and Analytics.
SAP BusinessObjects Edge BI's outstanding data integration and support ratings are buttressed by consistent
and powerful functionality for BI analytics. These main modules give SAP BusinessObjects Edge BI the power
to provide users with powerful data transformation and loading processes, strong support for users, and
effective analytics tools.
More details for the modules in the Dominant zone are available in the Functionality Benchmark section of
The area of functional focus within the green Dominant zone indicates two things. First, it indicates which
of the most competitive modules contribute the most pull in raising the product's score above the average.
Second, it indicates where the product has a significantly greater level of support for functionality than
the average solution in this space.
This also may reveal how the vendors have focused its product development. These modules may or may not make
up the bulk or even the core of the functionality within the product, but if your clients require more than
the average breadth of functionality from these modules, this product will stand a better than average chance
of satisfying your requirements.
Because of the dominance and strong performance of SAP BusinessObjects Edge BI, there is no module located
in this area.
More details for the modules in the Competitive zone are available in the Functionality Benchmark section
of this document.
The area of functional focus within the green Competitive zone indicates where the product has a level of
support for functionality that is somewhat greater or on par with the average solution.
In some cases a module may be considered a commodity within the market: many vendors offer the majority of
the functionality, which makes it difficult to differentiate a product based on breadth of functionality.
In other cases, a vendor may intend its product to compete on a level that satisfies most customers' requirements
for certain modules, with a market focus requiring that it differentiates itself through other modules.
Not Competitive Zone
In terms of workflow functionality, SAP BusinessObjects Edge BI is located in the Not Competitive zone.
Workflow is not one of the strengths or priorities of SAP BusinessObjects Edge BI. For your specific
workflow needs, we recommend that you look in finer granularity at the functionality, in accordance
with your requirement priorities.
More details for the modules in the Not Competitive zone are available in the Functionality Benchmark
section of this report.
The area in the red Not Competitive zone indicates where the product supports a lesser quantity of functionality
than an average solution. Modules listed in this section are unlikely to be as important to the vendor's target
market as the other modules. It may also be the case that the product is a newer entrant to the space. If the
product has many modules in the Not Competitive zone, this indicates a more finely scoped target for its
functionality than other products, which may be indicative of a point solution.
Even if a product has modules in the Not Competitive zone, it may still be entirely capable of satisfying your
requirements for this functionality, particularly if the average solution offers more functionality than you
require. Nevertheless you should be aware that if you require a greater-than-average breadth of functionality
from a module in the Not Competitive zone, this product may not offer all that you require. It's likely that
you would need to review the product in more depth to determine whether its functionality is sufficient.
Calculating the TEC FI
TEC defines an average solution using data about real software products available on the market. We calculate
an average of the capabilities about which vendors recently provided us with information and that we've
certified. We define these capabilities and assign numeric ratings representing various levels of support
in our models of enterprise software. These models may be accessed on our publicly available Evaluation
Centers. Typically, we use anywhere from a thousand to several thousand criteria to determine the average scores.
The average solution forms the benchmark from which we calculate the difference in functionality offered
by SAP BusinessObjects Edge BI. We plot the average solution's capabilities at point zero on the x-axis.
Next, we determine the quantity of functionality supported by SAP BusinessObjects Edge BI for each module
in our model. We assume that all criteria are equally important. In a real-world situation, of course, you
would give a greater priority to criteria that are more important for your needs. However, for the sake of
the TEC FI analysis, we want to draw conclusions about the product's focus independently of any users'
functional priorities. (Note: If you wish to prioritize and evaluate the product's functionality, you can
do so online in our Evaluation Centers.)
We calculate the difference between SAP BusinessObjects Edge BI and the average solution, and we plot that
value as a positive or negative distance from zero (the average solution's capability). If, for example,
SAP BusinessObjects Edge BI offers a greater quantity of support for a particular module than found in the
average solution, its line will extend to the right of zero.
It's important to note that just because a product has more or less functionality than other products,
it is not a "good" or "bad" product. To understand whether it will do what you need it to do, at a price
within your budget, you must evaluate the product in depth.
The following functionality benchmark graphs represent SAP BusinessObjects Edge BI's quantity of
support for the functionality within each module identified in the TEC Focus Indicator. The further
the solid line extends toward the edge of the graph (or, in the case of the initial bar chart, the
closer the bar is to 100), the more functionality SAP BusinessObjects Edge BI supports. For the sake
of comparison, you can see what you might expect from the average solution by referring to the orange bar.
About Data Integration
The Data Integration module involves functionality that addresses extract, transform, and load (ETL)
processes. These processes combine data from different sources to provide a unified perspective of the
data. They involve the processes of data quality and cleansing, along with the capability of loading data
into a unique information recipient (usually a data warehouse system).
SAP BusinessObjects Edge BI is very strong in this module, due to its powerful ETL functionality and data
quality, which are provided by the SAP BusinessObjects information management solutions included in the
bundle. Its comprehensive set of functionality features supports ETL and enterprise information
integration (EII) services, reaching almost 90 percent of the functional criteria for both submodules.
Besides general BI functionality, it is important to consider other features, such as support. The
Support module groups the set of features necessary for evaluating the customer help component of BI
functionality. Server and client support, as well as database and portal support, are some general features
that are measured in this module.
The Support module is another of SAP BusinessObjects Edge BI's strengths in the BI space. With the
background support of SAP and the legacy of Business Objects, SAP BusinessObjects Edge BI comes to the
BI space with all the necessary background to help users address major technology problems and establish
problem resolution strategies. There is a particular focus on client support, database support, Web
services support, and application fix response times, where the breadth of functionality is significantly
above that of the average solution.
Analytics are one of the key functional areas for any BI solution. The functions of the Analytics module are
divided into two types of analytics: core and predictive. While core analytics assume the task of leveraging
analytic tools to examine the current state of a business area or organization, predictive analytics help
users to unveil trends and create hypothetical future scenarios. This module is also comprised of data, text,
and Web mining functional criteria, which enable a BI tool to discover hidden patterns underlying the data.
Online analytical processing (OLAP) services provide users with tools to drill into any data set and to
perform personalized analyses.
SAP BusinessObjects Edge BI has outstanding strength in both core and predictive analytics, as well as for
About Reporting and Analysis
This module addresses all reporting capabilities and dashboarding features, and is important for establishing
mechanisms to deploy and deliver information in a convenient way for users. Reporting, dashboards, scorecards,
and enterprise search enable users to interpret and analyze results.
SAP BusinessObjects Edge BI scores more than 95 percent in four of the five submodules: Reporting, Enterprise
Search, Scorecards, and Dashboards. The product provides powerful corporate dashboard tools, in the sense that
they are secure and appealing, and can integrate with corporate portals as well as other third-party applications.
Its enterprise search features go beyond the average, and provide a powerful means to locate information and
distribute it with ease.
About Data Warehousing
The Data Warehouse module addresses functionality for providing data, as well as the software infrastructure
for deploying, integrating, and storing data from different sources in a unique information repository. This
module thus refers to the system's ability to perform major data warehouse functions: dimensional modeling,
data-related functions, etc. There is also a submodule that defines product support for these types of operations.
SAP BusinessObjects Edge BI scores more than ten rating points over the average for the Data Warehouse Functions
and Product Support submodules. Also notable is the fact that Edge BI has strong support for data warehouse functions:
training, dedicated resources, and support engineers are available for this purpose.
Workflow is a commonly used term that describes the automation of internal business operations, tasks,
and transactions, to simplify and streamline current business processes. This module incorporates major
workflow functionality that is useful from the BI perspective.
SAP BusinessObjects Edge BI does not provide significant functionality for the Workflow module,
which expresses a characteristic of the application rather than a fault in the general product.
SAP BusinessObjects Edge BI provides strong competency in the BI space. With particular strengths for the
Support and Analytics modules, along with comprehensive data integration features, SAP BusinessObjects
Edge BI offers a strong solution for midsized organizations.
The Workflow module proves to be SAP BusinessObjects Edge BI's major weakness, but the software product
still has a significant edge as far as the breadth of standard functionality is concerned. It will be interesting
to monitor future improvements of the product regarding business activity monitoring (BAM) and workflow
Technology Evaluation Centers (TEC) helps private- and public-sector organizations choose the best enterprise
software solutions for their unique business needs—quickly, impartially, and cost-effectively. TEC's online
Evaluation Centers, containing IT research and extensive knowledge bases that catalog vendors' support for
thousands of enterprise software features and functions, are the leading resource for IT decision makers around
the world. By combining that information with a proven methodology, unique Web-based software selection platforms,
and years of software selection expertise, TEC delivers an unmatched range of online software evaluation and
selection services that bridge the gap between enterprise decision makers and the vendor/value-added reseller
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