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TEC Product Certification Report: SAP BusinessObjects Edge for BPM
SAP Businessobjects Edge BI
is also known as : SAP BI Products
, SAP Business Intelligence Software
, Capabilities of Businessobjects Edge BI
, SAP Businessobjects Edge BI RFI Data
, SAP Businessobjects Edge BI Market Data
SAP Businessobjects Portfolio, SAP Businessobjects Explorer Tool, SAP Business Objects Explorer Search Engine, SAP Business Objects Modules, Edge BI Application, SAP Businessobjects Edge Business Intelligence, SAP Businessobjects Edge BI Features and Fucntions, SAP Businessobjects Edge BI Customer Reference, SAP Businessobjects Edge BI White Papers, SAP Businessobjects Edge BI Certification, Pre-packaging of SAP Businessobjects Explorer, SAP Businessobjects Edge BI Functionality, SAP Businessobjects Add-ONS, Edge BI Ease Od Use, SAP Businessobjects Security, SAP Businessobjects Edge BI Integration, BI Dashboard Application, Business Intelligence, Business Intelligence for Midsize Companies, BI Midmarket Software, Business Intelligence Requirement, BI Dashboard, BI Visualization, Analytical Power of BI, Enterprise Intelligence Platform.
Table of Contents
SAP BusinessObjects Edge Business Intelligence (BI) 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 BI, is now TEC Certified for online comparison of business performance management solutions in TEC's Evaluation Centers. The Evaluation Centers enable you to compare and evaluate software functionality based on TEC's comprehensive model of enterprise software. Data used in the Evaluation Centers are obtained from the vendor's responses to TEC's request for information (RFI). Certification ensures that
- the capabilities of BusinessObjects Edge BI 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.
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 the BI/BPM space. 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 application.
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 Webbased 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 BPM 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 11).
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 three modules in the Dominant zone: Support, Data Integration, and Analytics.
In these modules, SAP BusinessObjects Edge BI exceeds average functionality by almost 15 points. This is an indicator of the products consistent and relevant BPM functionality.
SAP BusinessObjects Edge BI has strong data integration capabilities, and very powerful analytic features: predictive analytics, text and Web mining, and a strong online analytical processing (OLAP) services tool.
More details for the modules in the Dominant zone are available in the Functionality Benchmark section of this document.
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 vendor has 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.
The Data Visualization functional module for SAP BusinessObjects Edge BI is located in the competitive zone. This module is comprised of reporting and dashboarding functionality. SAP BusinessObjects Edge BI has demonstrated a stable platform for this type of functionality. The product's consistent behavior in this section results in a stable and secure product for the user.
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
SAP BusinessObjects Edge BI's Workflow module is located in the Not Competitive zone. However, this doesn't necessarily mean that SAP BusinessObjects Edge BI does not provide satisfactory products and services in this area. For your specific needs, we recommend you look at the functionality in finer granularity, 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 document.
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 at our online 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 as well that just because a product has more or less functionality than other products, does not mean it is 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 bar chart, the closer the bar is to 100 percent), 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 dashed orange line.
Beyond general BPM functionality, it is important to consider indirect functionality, such as that provided in the Support module. The Support module groups a set of features that encompass several customer help features, including server and client support, as well as database and portal support.
As displayed in figure 2, SAP BusinessObjects Edge BI provides overall coverage above the average by almost fifteen points. Server Support and Application Fix Response Time appear to be major assets for SAP BusinessObjects Edge BI. The Client Support and Problem Resolution submodules are also strong, and deliver a strong set of features for compliance with quality standards. The only relative weakness appears in the Portal Support submodule, which ranks five points under the average solution.
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).
Clearly, SAP BusinessObjects Edge BI provides strong ETL functionality, as well as enterprise information integration features, rated more than 12 points above the average for both submodules.
Analytics are one of the key functional areas for any BPM solution. The functions of the Analytics module in the BPM space are divided in two major sets: predictive analytics, and mining features.
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 help users 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 strengths in both predictive analytics and mining features. Although it is above the average in predictive analytics and mining, there is a weakness in the administration area of this module. Overall, it demonstrates strong performance for this particular set of features.
About Data Visualization
The Data Visualization module is comprised of reporting capabilities as well as dashboarding features, and is very important for establishing mechanisms to deploy and deliver information in a convenient way for the end user. Reporting, dashboards, scorecards, and enterprise search enables users to interpret and analyze results.
SAP BusinessObjects Edge BI scores over 95 percent in almost every submodule (Reporting, Enterprise Search, Scorecards, and Dashboards). The product has solid functionality for powerful corporate dashboard tools: they are secure and attractive, and integrate with corporate portals as well as third-party applications. SAP BusinessObjects Edge BI's enterprise search features go beyond the average and provide a powerful means to easily locate information and distribute it. Despite being positioned below the average for business activity monitoring (BAM) and customization, SAP BusinessObjects Edge BI scores remarkably well for this module.
About Data Workflow
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 BPM 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 functionality provides strong competency under both the BI and BPM spaces. With particular strengths in the Support and Analytics modules, along with comprehensive data integration features, SAP BusinessObjects Edge BI offers a strong solution for mid-sized 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) in the BPM space.
Technology Evaluation Centers (TEC) provides insight and expertise in offering impartial resources and services to minimize the costs, risks, and time associated with software selection. Over 3.5 million technology decision makers visit TEC's Web sites each month to find information on hundreds of solutions, and to access articles, white papers, and podcasts. TEC's decision support system (DSS) and analyst data assist with the evaluation, comparison, and selection of enterprise solutions and services. TEC's offerings include in-depth research, detailed product information, and software selection services for any industry or company size.
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