SAP: BI tool will help create 'clear enterprises'

SAP: BI tool will help create 'clear enterprises'

The company has high hopes for its new BusinessObjects Explorer tool

Companies must achieve "clarity" to navigate out of the global recession and SAP intends to help them with its BI (business intelligence) and ERP (enterprise resource planning) software, co-CEO Leo Apotheker said during the opening keynote of SAP's Sapphire conference in Orlando Tuesday.

"The only antidote against uncertainty is clarity," he said.

Apotheker's 75-minute address focused heavily on a new BI application called BusinessObjects Explorer, which is supposed to help average business users easily navigate and mine company data without the help of IT staff.

"We're not just talking about a reporting tool," Apotheker said. "I am convinced it will fundamentally change the way decisions are made in enterprises around the world. ... We're going to be able to cross the chasm from, 'I think this is a good decision' to 'I know this is a good decision.'"

In a demonstration, SAP showed how users could make natural-language queries to search for information about the rate of head injuries in car accidents during a certain period. Users can "drill down" into the results to view statistics for certain age groups, for example, as well as view it in various formats, such as pie charts.

The Explorer tool combines the Polestar technology SAP acquired by buying Business Objects, with SAP's NetWeaver Business Warehouse Accelerator software. It represents "the first huge salvo" in a strategy to push BI to all users in a company, said John Schwarz, CEO of the Business Objects portfolio, in an interview.

Global foods manufacturer Sara Lee was one of the beta testers for Explorer, said Vincent Vloemans, director of global information management at the company.

Sara Lee connected the software to a sandbox that contains 300 million rows of data, and despite the scope of the data store, performance has been strong, Vloemans said.

Also, the preliminary response among Sara Lee's business users has been "very positive," he said. I'm getting questions like 'When can we have it.'"

But Sara Lee has not yet decided to purchase the software, and there are substantial underlying tasks to perform as well, he added.

"This is giving us the horsepower [to analyze data] but we need to have harmonized and structured data underneath it."

The company also hasn't done a deep investigation into security measures or protocols, he said.

But the tool does seem to have some clear positives, according to Vloemans. For one, it doesn't require much training. "If you can use a PC then you can learn how to use it in one or two minutes."

Secondly, Sara Lee has a broad BI strategy, and making changes to respond to user demands, such as for a new type of report, is costly, he said.

Vloemans said he has "a gut feeling," but is not yet certain that Explorer could cut expenses overall, even weighed against the cost of preparing the data to be searched by Explorer.

Meanwhile, Apotheker's keynote also briefly touched upon SAP's plans for on-demand software, which include Web-based extensions for its on-premise business applications. Extensions for expense management and human capital management are in the pipeline, he said.

SAP is also continuing to work on its Business ByDesign integrated ERP suite for the midmarket.

The company has slowed the rollout of Business ByDesign while it works to ensure it can make enough of a profit at scale. SAP executive board member Bill McDermott said in a recent interview that the company would likely not ramp up Business ByDesign until the end of this year.

However, a running Business ByDesign system will be on display at Sapphire this week, according to Apotheker.

Follow Us

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags biSAPbusiness information



Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2019

Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2019

The leading players of the New Zealand channel came together to celebrate a year of achievement at the annual Reseller News Platinum Club lunch in Auckland. Following the Reseller News Innovation Awards, Platinum Club provides a platform to showcase the top performing partners and start-ups of the past 12 months.

Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2019
Reseller News hosts alumnae breakfast for Women in ICT Awards

Reseller News hosts alumnae breakfast for Women in ICT Awards

Reseller News hosted its second annual alumnae breakfast for the Women in ICT Awards in New Zealand, designed to showcase the leading female leaders in the industry. Held at The Cordis in Auckland, attendees came together to hear inspiring keynotes and panel discussions, alongside high-level networking among peers. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Reseller News hosts alumnae breakfast for Women in ICT Awards
Reseller News Innovation Awards 2019: meet the winners

Reseller News Innovation Awards 2019: meet the winners

Reseller News honoured the standout players of the New Zealand channel in front of more than 480 technology leaders in Auckland on 23 October, recognising the achievements of top partners, emerging entrants and innovative start-ups.

Reseller News Innovation Awards 2019: meet the winners
Show Comments