SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform Review

A scalable solution for large organizations

What is our primary use case?

Right now, we're using SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform for an in-house project — we don't have any customers. 

I work for an educational institute — in the main reporting area. I create different reports based on student performance using exam results and other data from various schools. In our university, we have around 20 different departments. One for Computer Science, one for Engineering, one for Audio Civil, one for Electronics, etc. I was planning to build a consolidated report that would show how our students are performing compared to other schools — a consolidated view. Then I can drill down further into individual fields. 

What is most valuable?

Big organizations can implement Business Warehouse on the cloud. Small organizations, like educational institutes, don't have that much complex data, so it doesn't make sense for them to buy Data Warehouse on the cloud. We want to use HANA and something called SLT. This will cover our replication and allows us to do modeling directly in the cloud, which is a great feature. 

What needs improvement?

As the technology stands, and from what I have researched at this particular point in time, companies that don't have much complex transaction data available on a day-to-day basis, don't need Business Warehouse or Data Warehouse on the cloud. We want to use SAP Analytics Cloud directly and do our data modeling on HANA Data Modular. This would really help because we wouldn't need separate licensing for Data Warehouse and for SAP, etc. We could remove all of this. We could do everything with HANA and SAP.

There should be more integration with other platforms. 

Everybody wants to use SAP Business Intelligence. Because we need a Business Warehouse or a Data Warehouse, we have to create a universe consisting of everything that we'll use as an input in BI. For this reason, we have a lot of dependencies. We require connection with the two different platforms. If we were to use HANA, then we wouldn't need Business Warehouse or Data Warehouse — we could just use SAP Analytics Cloud. We could use SAP Analytics Cloud as a standalone solution for reporting purposes and we could also use Business Intelligence as a standalone solution for reporting. 

This should be fixed so that companies don't require three separate licenses for three separate applications. Not everyone has that kind of a budget. It should be an all-in-one solution — this only turns away potential customers. If SAP provided a feature like standalone BI, we could use it directly, access ERP, get the data we need and start building reports. Single application licensed universities are ready to pay for that. But when it's three to four different applications, it's beyond their budget. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have worked in data services for the last eight to nine years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I haven't used all of the features yet, so I can't answer this question properly. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform is definitely scalable. 

How are customer service and technical support?

I haven't connected with support because we're using it for an in-house project. We installed it and work on it ourselves so we haven't had to contact them regarding SAP. Regarding ERP issues they are proactively able to help clients. We're a client for SAP. They've been able to help us. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial installation is quite simple for me, but for inexperienced users, it may be difficult.

What about the implementation team?

At my previous job, I deployed this solution myself. Deployment took two to three days.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

As of now, we don't pay for a license. I think SAP has a program in which they give free access to Analytics Cloud for our university. Under that scheme, I have access to SAP Analytics Cloud, where I have explored different features; however, I don't have access to BI.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I am interested in SAP for the cloud because where I work, we have SAP ERP on the HANA Cloud. Currently, we don't have a license for SAP Analytics Cloud. That's why I'm exploring different methods to implement it. Currently, Business Warehouse is on-premise but I am planning to upgrade it to the cloud.

What other advice do I have?

Although I haven't been able to use the BI portion, I would give this solution rating of eight. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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Learn what your peers think about SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: July 2021.
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