Business Objects (NASDAQ: BOBJ) today announced support
for TopTier Software's new Enterprise Unification
Platform Version 4.0, an enterprise portal designed to unite enterprise
resource planning (ERP), customer resource management (CRM), supply chain
management (SCM), and e-business intelligence solutions. TopTier and Business
Objects plan to deliver the data from these enterprise applications in
one desktop window thereby consolidating analysis across entire companies
for customers, suppliers, and vendors.
and Business Objects will integrate TopTier's Enterprise Unification Platform
and BusinessObjects InfoView, a Business Intelligence Portal, to enable
business users to easily access, analyze, and share detailed corporate
information created from raw data housed in web-based applications hosted
by TopTier. Users simply Drag and Relate any field, such as a customer
name or billing address, into InfoView, which automatically presents the
user with all relevant information on that customer. This saves users
time and ensures accuracy. Users can then analyze this information to
make more informed business decisions.
Business Objects' Open Portal Initiative, Business Objects and TopTier
are collaborating to enhance our joint customer's experience by providing
the e-business intelligence they need," said Shai Agassi, CEO and founder
TopTier Software. "Unlocking this information across the entire enterprise
is vital to survival in today's business world, and our joint solution
will do this."
market space is expected to become extremely lucrative as businesses try
to unlock the information buried in their ERP, CRM, and SCM systems and
turn it into knowledge. The addition of an enterprise portal to provide
a unified view of this knowledge is also very compelling. The problem
for software vendors of these types of products is that everyone came
to this realization at about the same time. Analyst firms and the trade
press are being inundated with product release announcements for business
analytics packages, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to tell
which ones do what, of course assuming that they all do something.
will have to work very hard to highlight their distinctive competencies
to prospects. Tight integration with specific ERP packages will be especially
important. TopTier's HyperRelational technology is used in several applications
of leading software companies including SAP, and Invensys'
Baan Data Navigator, so this product is off to a
One of the best ways to leverage value from investments in ERP, SCM, and
CRM packages is to acquire technology that combines the information into
a "logical view" from some specific perspective (the inward-facing view
for the company, the outward-facing view for the customer, etc.), with
some personalization capability built in. A variety of vendors who tout
their "analytic applications" packages should be included on a long selection
list. The ensuing interviews with the vendors should help the customer
codify their actual needs in their own minds, as well as eliminate some
vendors from contention. Some of the candidates for a long list would
include Business Objects, Brio, Cognos and
QueryObject (see "QueryObject
Partners with Cognos"), Hummingbird, Hyperion Solutions,
Plumtree, Siebel (see "Informatica
Powers Siebel's new e-Business Analytics", MicroStrategy, and
Knosys (see "Knosys
'in the kno' with ProClarity 3.0 Analytical Platform").
may be many other candidates that a specific company is interested in
for the long list of potential vendors, but the final short list should
include no more than five.