SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform Review

It provides easy administration of content using web based CMC application.

Valuable Features

  • It provides centralized access for business users to all enterprise reporting content. This includes SSO access, reports with content personalization and tools for ad hock data access (Web Intelligence, Lumira)
  • Customers highly benefit from Semantic Layer applications – they successfully hide the complexity of the databases and provide possibility to build queries using business vocabulary
  • It provides easy administration of content using web based CMC application
  • It provides scheduling, publishing capabilities of Business Objects reports

Improvements to My Organization

My company creates SAP Business Objects based solutions for many customers in the Middle East. The benefit customers have is easy access to their company’s information, simple ad hoc reporting tools, and the possibility to share created reports by using the portal.

Stability Issues

There are a lot of stability related issues with all SAP BI products, especially compared with similar Oracle, Cognos or QlickView tools. This has a huge impact to BI implementation projects and overall customer satisfaction. Especially big issues are coming in SAP BW/BO integration project. Though SAP had acquired BusinessObjects quite long time ago still they did not manage to integrate their older SAP Business Warehouse with Front end BusinessObjects tools.

Customer Service and Technical Support

SAP Support is next to useless in many cases. Out of more than 100 tickets created by a project team in one of my projects, only less than a third was resolved by SAP support personnel. The resolution of tickets usually takes a long time. SAP engineers are mostly working from India, in a different time zone, and seem to be more interested in demonstrating proactivity by asking customers to perform various tests or activities which don't seem to be related with the original issue the customer has. Some of the questions they ask demonstrate that they have little knowledge about the products they are trying to support. In my biggest SAP BI/BW implementation project at British American Tobacco, SAP support asked me to demonstrate issues we were having with the Analysis For OLAP product, however after a call in a meeting, the minutes he had written said that we were having Web Intelligence session issues.

Other Advice

It is definitely useful as an integrated platform for medium or large enterprises which require a modern information management solution. It is definitely not without issues, but looks like SAP has a clear vision about where they want to get and that vision is supported by the customers.

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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