August 12th marked Business Objects’ influencer summit in Boston, which hosted over 115 industry analysts, bloggers, press, partners, and customers. The day-long event included keynotes from Jonathan Becher, SVP of Marketing; Doug Merritt, GM and EVP of Business User Global Sales; and Marge Breya, GM and EVP of the Business Intelligence Platform and breakout sessions with a more in-depth look at future products and customer presentations.
The main premise of the event, aside from giving an overview of platform moving forward, was to emphasize the connection between strategy and execution when implementing a BI or performance management solution. By mirroring their product offerings to what customers require to move from simple reporting or dashboarding towards the strategic linking of corporate strategy to defined metrics and from there to the overall connection of turning data into information, Business Objects hopes to increase market share and provide overall integrated solutions.
Using the acquisition by SAP and successful quarterly financial results as the basis of future success, Business Objects believes that by creating an overall platform that goes beyond business intelligence, customers will be able to optimize overall performance. Included within the Business Objects product suite is enterprise performance management (EPM), Governance Risk and Compliance (GRC), Information Management (IM), and Information Discovery and Delivery (IDD). Together these products do provide the insights required for businesses to stay on track and even potentially ahead of the competition.
Unfortunately, most talk still exists in the realm of what will be as opposed to what is actually happening in the market. And although roadmaps and views of the ideal implementation of business intelligence and how to use information to drive forward looking decision making, compliance initiatives, etc. do exist, the reality is that few if any organizations actually use the overall platform to drive corporate performance. This phenomenon exists within the industry at large – good intentions and marketing hype extend beyond actual BI and performance management implementations. Hopefully within the next few years these gaps will close and software providers will have customer implementations that match the overall vendor’s vision.
In addition to gaining insight into Business Objects’ overall platform and products that fit within their overall suite, the company used the summit as a chance to make several announcements. These included:
- The newest version of EPM suite which boasts new functionality, tighter integration with the Business Objects BI platform and SAP NetWeaver® technology platform. Additionally, the new version integrates with SAP® solutions for governance, risk and compliance (SAP solutions for GRC)
- BusinessObjects™ Xcelsius® Present that enables organizations to embed interactive visualization and general analytics into their PowerPoint, bringing real-time analysis to presentation
- A free basic version of Crystal Reports® software for SAP® Business One users to increase reporting capabilities within their SAP application
- A new collaborative initiative with partners including Deloitte, IBM Global Business Services, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Protiviti to help give customers the solutions and services they need to best prepare for Standard & Poor’s (S&P) new enterprise risk management (ERM) evaluations, which the agency recently announced will soon be included in its credit ratings analysis for non-financial corporations.
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