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SAP Customers to Face BI Disruption
NetWeaver Business Intelligence Apps to be Phased Out

by Maroushka Kanywani, Editor, Dashboard InsightThursday, October 2, 2008

By Rosalie Marshall, Computing

SAP (NYSE: SAP AG) has completed the integration of Business Objects and released more details of its roadmap for the combined sets of business intelligence (BI) tools.

John Schwarz, Business Objects chief executive, told Computing that the operational disruption following the $6.8bn (£3.8bn) acquisition by SAP last October has been resolved, and that there should be no further mishaps as integration is now complete.

Schwarz cited as an example the two-week "hiccup" in customer support services as the Business Objects support system was brought under SAP control.

"We have now pretty much completed our integration with SAP, including the customer support, back-office processes and field forces," said Schwarz. "We have finished ahead of schedule and the response by customers has been positive. "

However, SAP's BI customers can expect future upheaval resulting from the consolidation of product portfolios.

SAP's NetWeaver BI applications, including Business Explorer, Web Application Designer and Report Designer, will be phased out completely, although Schwarz said that this would not be until 2016.

"When they switch to the Business Objects premium tools, their operational data will remain in the NetWeaver Business Warehouse product," he said. "All the BI tools SAP supplies run on top of the warehouse offering so customers can switch their BI tools easily."

But Ovum analyst Helena Schwenk suggested that customers switching to the Business Objects premium offering are likely to demand increased support from SAP to make the change.

SAP needs to ensure that its support system is up to scratch, or risk losing customers to IBM and Oracle, especially after the support problems Business Objects customers experienced earlier this year, she said.

According to Ovum, SAP also still needs to resolve product integration issues in three particular areas: BI; enterprise performance management; and governance, risk and compliance.

SAP announced integration between the three portfolios in August 2008, with products such as a spend analytics solution, but plans to build on this in the near future.

Schwarz explained that SAP aims to create a master data management solution from the product integration, as well as "other exciting things we can't talk about".

Source: Computing


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