SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform Review

It allows the analysis of business data and enables decisions based on the analysis.

What is most valuable?

It allows the analysis of business data and enables decisions based on the analysis. I found the SAP suite of products powerful. They scale well for enterprise use, i.e., thousands of recipients of the output of the products as dashboards and/or reports.

How has it helped my organization?

It gets people off Microsoft Excel spreadsheets and sharing the same reports/dashboards, so departments receive the same figures for KPIs and company performance.

This stopped the waste of time in management meetings, whereby people would spend a lot of time explaining different performance results (different Excel spreadsheets) so they could analyze results and plan to act on the results.

What needs improvement?

More thorough testing of Service Packs before release.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used Webi, Universe Designer, and Dashboards for 12 years. I’ve used Lumira for one year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We had stability issues, mainly with the integration of the SAP BI products with SAP’s EIM products (Data Services, Information Steward). We had some instability when applying patches and new releases.

There was poor quality of the testing of new functionality introduced in new releases.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have not really had scalability issues. The readiness of the products for the enterprise was a strong point.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

Patchy. Depending on the product with the issue (eg WebI or Information Steward) the responses can be good (WebI) or awful (Information Steward).

Technical Support:

Technical support was hit and miss. Sometimes it was good. Other times it was awful. Especially when the problem raised was hard for them to reproduce. They often ask the same questions over and over.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We didn’t have a previous solution. We have pretty much been an SAP BI shop for a long time.

How was the initial setup?

Setup was quite complex due to the number of environments being used (Dev/SIT/UAT/Prod) and the integration between BI and EIM products. It is even harder now that we use SAP HANA.

What about the implementation team?

Implemented in-house.

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

Make sure you factor in plenty of time for regression testing as the way SAP release Service packs these days there is good (new functionality) and bad (lack of thorough testing) news.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Over the years, we have reviewed other BI products, such as IBM Cognos and Tableau. Some of them are also in use along with the SAP BI products.

What other advice do I have?

Check the number of intended users and which part of BI you are intending to introduce (reporting, analytics, etc.).

Check out the free trial periods and see if there are options to use cloud computing versus installing it in your own data center.

Which version of this solution are you currently using?

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