SAP BO BI
The SAP BusinessObjects (BO) Business Intelligence (BI) Suite (SAP BO BI Suite) is part of SAP’s on-premises BI portfolio, which incorporates various end-user business intelligence tools with a moderate level of integration. The suite contains a few strong individual products for reporting as well as several clients for various types of analysis. It also offers good capabilities for building customized guided BI applications that can be published to the web or mobile devices.
SAP was founded in 1972 by five former IBM employees but really came into prominence in the 1990s with the ERP boom. Its ERP solution (R/3) was first released in 1992. The vendor employs more than 98,000 people worldwide and has a turnover of over € 24 billion. It is one of the largest business software vendors in the world.
SAP launched its packaged SAP Business Warehouse BI solution, which included data storage and front-end components, in the late 1990s. To support a broader user spectrum than was possible with SAP BEx (the SAP BW front ends), the vendor acquired Business Objects in 2007 and complemented it with the self-developed SAP BusinessObjects Analysis for Microsoft Office (SAP AfO) and SAP Lumira. All of them are packaged together as SAP BusinessObjects BI platform.
For planning, budgeting and consolidation in on-premises scenarios, SAP positions its Business Planning and Consolidation (BPC) product, which was originally acquired from OutlookSoft. In the cloud analytics segment, SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC) consolidates analytics functionality such as analysis, reporting, planning and predictive analysis for various types of user into one product. For predictive and machine learning usage scenarios, the vendor recently launched SAP Data Intelligence cloud service.
User & Use Cases
Customer data clearly shows that SAP BO BI is mostly used by large companies in mid-sized to large deployments. The typical usage scenarios reflect the fact that most of the responses we received in this year’s BI Survey came from Web Intelligence and Analysis for Office users. In fact, the various SAP BO BI platform modules can be used for a range of scenarios including ad hoc reporting/query, standard/enterprise, dashboard/BI application building and analysis.
The list of rival solutions evaluated in competition with SAP BO BI reveals one of its weaknesses: the lack of a mature business-user-oriented data discovery solution. SAP Analytics Cloud is the vendor’s recommended product for data discovery tasks.
Current vs. planned use
5 products most often evaluated in competition with SAP BO BI
Percentage of employees using SAP BO BI
Number of users using SAP BO BI
Tasks carried out with SAP BO BI by business users
Company size (number of employees)
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