SAP BusinessObjects BI, Now On-demand

Yesterday, SAP announced the release of the SAP BusinessObjects BI OnDemand solution. This new product will enable users with no previous experience with business intelligence (BI) applications to use a BI toolset with complete ease. It also will let users access and navigate through their on-demand and on-premise data by incorporating the complete set of BusinessObjects tools. This announcement brings to mind the phrase “where there’s smoke, there’s fire,” with respect to increasing interest in the SaaS market segment on the part of BI vendors. It will be interesting to see how software giants like Oracle and IBM will position themselves in the software-as-a-service (SaaS) BI space.

Recently, SAP made corrective and strategic changes (signaled by recent executive staff movement), looking to improve its product offers and marketing strategies. With the launch of this BI on-demand solution, it is clear that SAP is looking to repositioning its products by redirecting efforts toward the SaaS BI market. Now, on-demand SAP subscribers (more than 260,000 according to the launch press release) will have the possibility to work with a complete SaaS BI solution. Meanwhile, new costumers may be attracted to SAP’s BI on-demand solution based on the combined BusinessObjects and SAP brand prestige versus new SaaS BI providers.

According to the press release:
SAP BusinessObjects BI OnDemand will be available as industry-specific and line of business-specific solutions through Oco, Inc., an SAP BusinessObjects OEM partner with a focus on large enterprise and upper-midmarket business segments. SAP is currently planning to make SAP BusinessObjects BI OnDemand available through its SAP® PartnerEdge™ program in the channel partner ecosystem later in 2010.

Also from the same press release, these are the BusinessObjects BI OnDemand main features:

  • SAP BusinessObjects Explorer software, which empowers people with powerful data exploration and visualization capabilities.

  • Capabilities that guide people with no prior BI experience through the process of accessing, exploring, visualizing, and sharing data – all without needing to switch between applications.

  • The ability to access all on-demand and on-premise data – including SAP data and data from the Salesforce customer relationship management (CRM) application. People will be able to easily upload data to create dashboards, reports, or interactive visualizations.

  • An on-demand solution for creating ad-hoc reports, conducting what-if analyses, and securely sharing this information inside or outside the company. Business users will be able to provide customers, partners and employees across all lines of business with immediate, anytime access to the most current data.
    SAP BusinessObjects BI OnDemand will include flexible pricing and ease deployment scaling features, according to the vendor.

This announcement could signal a new point of reference regarding SaaS BI adoption trends.

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