SAP Launches SaaS Solution for Casual BI Users

Addressing a growing demand for software-as-a-service (SaaS) business intelligence (BI) tools that are easy to use, SAP AG announced the SAP BusinessObjects BI OnDemand solution. Targeted at casual BI users, which SAP describes as currently underserved by products on the market, the solution will deliver a complete BI toolset in one offering that allows users to be up and running with no prior experience or training.

With SAP BusinessObjects BI OnDemand, business users will be able to access and visually navigate data from any source using SAP BusinessObjects Explorer software. Users can then combine that data in just a few clicks, and follow a guided path that walks them through reporting and analysis. The solution will have scalable pricing models based on business need, allowing companies to scale as required.

SAP BusinessObjects BI OnDemand brings together all SaaS BI solutions from the SAP BusinessObjects portfolio into a complete, integrated BI toolset. The solution will also include capabilities that make it easy for business users to tap into their data online, get better insight into their organization and securely share illustrative reports and dashboards with colleagues inside and outside the firewall.

It has been nearly now 4 years since SAP entered the on-demand business from a business intelligence standpoint, stated Marge Breya, executive vice president, SAP, during a teleconference announcing the new solution. In 2006, SAP introduced on-demand reporting with its Crystal Reports launch; in 2007, it added to this portfolio with full business intelligence on-demand; and then in 2009, with the Explorer launch, SAP started moving into the visualization and exploration of data.

Noting that on-demand BI is expected to grow strongly within the overall BI category, which itself is one of the fastest growing markets in software, Breya noted, "One of the areas of the market from a BI standpoint, though, that we believe has been underserved and has a big goal of ours over the last few years has been for the casual user." Citing industry research as well as insight gleaned through SAP customer meetings that suggest that only in four people have access to business intelligence tools, Breya stated, "One of the things that we are really eager to do is raise the penetration and adoption of analytical information and tools to a much higher rate-let's say to 70%, 80% over the next coming years."

Three editions of SAP BusinessObjects BI OnDemand are planned that range from a comprehensive version with limited storage to one with more advanced capabilities and the ability to handle larger data volumes.

SAP BusinessObjects BI OnDemand will be available as industry-specific and line-of-business-specific solutions through Oco, Inc., an SAP BusinessObjects OEM partner with a focus on large enterprise and upper-midmarket business segments. SAP is currently planning to make SAP BusinessObjects BI OnDemand available through its SAP PartnerEdge program in the channel partner ecosystem later in 2010.

For more information about SAP BusinessObjects BI OnDemand, go here.

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