SAP launches on-demand business intelligence suite

Enterprise software vendor SAP has launched an on-demand business intelligence suite, which the company says will make BI functionality available to the ‘casual’, untrained user.

The offering is a hosted suite of tools including on-demand reporting application, a hosted version of BusinessObjects’ Explorer data search tools (SAP acquired BusinessObjects in 2008) and workflow functionality that will guide untrained users through the BI process.

“Customers will be able to go to one vendor for all their on-premise and on-demand BI needs,” the company said in a statement, “rather than having to assemble a patchwork approach to their BI deployments.”

SAP – like all on-premise enterprise software vendors – is currently wrestling with the challenge of satisfying demand for software-as-a-service without destroying its existing business.

In pitching the on demand suite to the casual user, SAP seems to imply that the more sophisticated user still needs an on premise BI solution. The substance of this implication is unclear, however, as SAP claims its new SaaS suite will allow ‘business users’ to “provide customers, partners and employees across all lines of business with immediate, anytime access to the most current data”.

The on demand suite will be available both via SAP channel partners, and directly from the company itself.

A report from IT market watcher IDC published earlier this month predicted that the market for hosted BI systems is poised to expand quickly, at a compound annual growth rate of 22.4% until 2013. However, it will remain a small proportion of the total BI industry, IDC said.

Pete Swabey

Pete Swabey

Pete was Editor of Information Age and head of technology research for Vitesse Media plc from 2005 to 2013, before moving on to be Senior Editor and then Editorial Director at The Economist Intelligence...

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