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MC
Business Intelligence Functional Manager BU SAP at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
MSP
Easy to manage with good features for broadcasting information or scheduling reports

Pros and Cons

  • "The solution's user security is extremely effective. You can profile very well. All the users and all the functionality is protected and that includes information and data segregation."
  • "The self-service area, or dashboard, needs some improvement. While the reporting itself is great, the dashboard and Analytics Cloud are not user friendly."

What is most valuable?

The reporting is the most valuable aspect of the solution. The WebIntelligence Solution is the name of the reporting solution and it is very powerful. 

The solution offers very good features for broadcasting information or scheduling reports. You can schedule everything and make it very easy to disseminate by sending emails with a PDF or Excel. It's very quick and powerful.  

The solution's user security is extremely effective. You can profile very well. All the users and all the functionality is protected and that includes information and data segregation.

The documentation provided is very, very good. There's so much available, that if you ever run into any issues and need a workaround, you have it right there to guide you.

The solution offers good user management.

What needs improvement?

The self-service area, or dashboard, needs some improvement. While the reporting itself is great, the dashboard and Analytics Cloud are not so user friendly.

SAP's current strategy consists in keeping the reporting part On premise and delegating the Analytics part to the Cloud. You are therefore involved in a hybrid scenario.

The complete environment setup is pretty complex.

To carry out a real project that presents erp / business data on "Cloud Story Telling" you need more specialist actors who manage issues such as: Analytics and Data architecture, Data source identification, System Compatibility, Connectivity and Security.

These aspects are certainly also required on other vendor BI solutions.

On the SAP front, we are certainly trying to improve and complete the On Premise / Cloud integration, with the latest version SAP BO 4.3.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been working with the solution for twenty years now. It's been a very long time. I started using it around 1998.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is very stable, and, on the off chance you have a problem, SAP is very quick to help. There are lots of workarounds if you do run into issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

You can scale this solution if you need to. It's easy enough to do so.

How are customer service and technical support?

One of the great things about SAP is the information that is available. When you have a problem, SAP is very quick to give you an answer or solution. You can also Google a lot of workarounds. There's so much documentation online that it's really easy to troubleshoot. That's because if anyone has a problem, SAP notes it and finds a solution which they post.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is not straightforward. It's pretty complex.

The installation configuring environment is not so easy to work with. Also, the connection of the SAP Analytics Cloud is very complex.  It's not very easy to configure the environment.

The time I need to configure and install the solution is about one week for the BusinessIntelligence Platform solution, On premise. Another week is required for the connectivity aspect and settings of the Cloud (Analytics).

What other advice do I have?

We are working with an older version also well as the latest version of the solution. 

I would recommend this product to other organizations. It's a stable and powerful enterprise solution. Everything from the broadcasting to the scheduling, to the user management and the reporting, is very powerful. 90% of customers end up asking for a solid and consistent reporting solution. In these cases, I definitely suggest SAP Business Objects Platform.

That said, the dashboard isn't the best with this product.  It should be noted that SAP is working on their dashboards offerings in Cloud environment.

Overall, I'd rate the solution nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
LH
Global Product Manager at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Good for reporting and translating data into business language, but difficult to set up

Pros and Cons

    • "The user interface should be easier to use and navigate."

    What is our primary use case?

    We primarily use the product for reporting and dashboards. We only have those two use cases, although there are other ways to use them.

    What is most valuable?

    I have a 24-hour company, and the business layer on top of the database can translate database data into business language so that people can easily understand what's happening. It allows us to quickly create reports without IT or programming skills.

    The stability is quite good.

    What needs improvement?

    According to our experience, SAP BO is too heavy and very difficult for customers with medium, or smaller-sized businesses to install and maintain. It is such a heavy reporting tool.

    Even though they provide the business layer, it's difficult for the programmer to create their own business layer. It's too complex for them. They need to simplify this.

    The user interface should be easier to use and navigate.

    The initial setup is difficult. 

    Technical support could be more responsive. 

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've been using the solution for five years already. I've used it for quite a while. 

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The stability is pretty good. There are no bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze. It's reliable and the performance is good. 

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We only have three or four people who are using the solution at our company at this time. They are the admins and the ones who generate the reports for us. 

    We haven't really looked into scaling as the data volume is very limited. I can't speak to how easy it is to expand or how well it handles extremely large data sets.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Technical support could be better. We tried to get them to help us with the implementation, and they were not quick to respond.

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

    We currently also work with Crystal Reports, which is dated, and Jasper, which is also not that great of a product.

    When we began to switch to SAP, we really wanted customization capabilities and we wanted the business layer. We needed something to provide a middle layer or translation layer so that people can generate reports much quicker, and, at the time, SAP was a good option.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup is not easy. We need a very experienced developer and they need to get enough training from SAP in order to be able to do anything effectively. It's not like other reporting tools that are really easy to use or easy to install and maintain. This one is complex and takes work and inside knowledge. 

    There isn't too much maintenance required. You just need to update it every once in a while. 

    What about the implementation team?

    We needed some help implementing the solution, however, in the end, we weren't completely satisfied as the level of response time was slow. 

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

    I cannot speak to the exact cost of the product, as it's not an aspect of the solution I handle. 

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We're currently looking at Power BI and Splunk among other options.

    What other advice do I have?

    We are SAP partners. 

    I use the latest version of the solution. I cannot speak to the exact version number.

    I wouldn't necessarily recommend the product to others. Even now, for ourselves, we are looking into an alternative option. 

    I would rate the solution at a six out of ten.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    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: November 2021.
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    KS
    Director of Underwriting & Product Development at a non-profit with 51-200 employees
    Real User
    Beneficial dashboards, user friendly, and many drag and drop features

    Pros and Cons

    • "The feature that allows pivot users to create the report dashboards and run them when they want with a lot of flexibility with the drill-downs is very useful. The drill-down features are very good because, in other solutions, such as Excel, you have to create separate pivot tables and a lot of other operations to do drill-downs. SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform tool does the drill-downs automatically. Overall the solution is user-friendly and has a lot of drag and drop features."
    • "Tableau was easier for me to use because the interface is more similar to Excel which I was used to using."

    What is our primary use case?

    Our company is in the healthcare industry and we are using BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform for a lot of our data, such as eligibility, claims, premium, plan. We run all kinds of different reports for our customers and our brokers on how the claims and planners are performing and what is the utilization of different services throughout the claims.

    What is most valuable?

    The feature that allows pivot users to create the report dashboards and run them when they want with a lot of flexibility with the drill-downs is very useful. The drill-down features are very good because, in other solutions, such as Excel, you have to create separate pivot tables and a lot of other operations to do drill-downs. SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform tool does the drill-downs automatically. Overall the solution is user-friendly and has a lot of drag and drop features.

    What needs improvement?

    Tableau was easier for me to use because the interface is more similar to Excel which I was used to using.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using the SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform for a short period of time.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The solution has been stable in my usage. Our company has had SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform for as long as I have been here, which is 20 years. I think we have had dashboards with it before. I did not know how it worked with the data universes and we did not have a lot of data in the universe. Using software for service we will upgrade when they upgrade. I have heard that when we move to version 4.3, the user interface looks entirely different and I do not know how that experience will go.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Our IT department does the data and the universe design. We have a universe designer who does it and it is their full-time job. Additionally, they do all the ETLs and many other operations within the company. My team is more focused on business analysts and is trying to learn the report-building side of the solution, designing the reports, and working with the interface. I have one person that does works with the designer to try to make the connections better and they have a good understanding of the data. The IT people do not understand the data, we understand the data. We are trying to learn how to write the reports and we only have five people in training. I have five users that I want to learn how to be involved in the process and create these reports.

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

    I have previously used Tableau.

    What other advice do I have?

    For anybody who does not have a BI solution and is thinking about implementation should look at them all before deciding. We have another vendor we have worked with, Cognos, and I have worked with Tableau and it is important to evaluate all of the solutions to see which one makes more sense for their use case. I downloaded a list of the top five and they all are pretty similar, I will not say they are the same because there are a lot of differences but they are all heading in the same direction of getting the information to the universe and pulling out the data.

    I rate SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform an eight out of ten.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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    Vishal Khare
    Functional Lead APAC SAP Implementation for Demand Fulfilment & Logistics Execution at a wholesaler/distributor with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    Top 5Leaderboard
    Stable, easy to use, and scalable

    Pros and Cons

    • "We find the product to be very stable."
    • "It needs to be more flexible for the end-user."

    What is our primary use case?

    We primarily use the solution more for analysis and reporting.

    What is most valuable?

    The solution is very easy to use.

    We find the product to be very stable. 

    The solution is scalable.

    What needs improvement?

    SAP does force users to manage it a certain way. specifically around queries, and does not integrate well with other platforms, or lacks a certain level of flexibility. It needs to be more flexible for the end-user.

    For example, we have been using Cognos also for years now, however, if a user has to do a query on their own then it doesn't work. That's why we are now gradually trying to migrate to Power BI. And, while it's easy to integrate on the SAP landscape, when it comes to the flexibility for the user to create a report on their own, there isn't really an option to do that. 

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've been dealing with the solution for over ten years at this point. It's been around a decade since I started working with it. It's been a while. 

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The level of stability is very good. There are no bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze. It's reliable and the performance is good. 

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    The solution can scale if you need it to as an organization. 

    Globally, we have almost 2,000 users on this product.

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

    We are also using Power BI.

    When we moved into the SAP landscape we had two choices. We had IBM Cognos and could integrate SAP with Cognos or we go for an SAP solution which is an SAP BI that automatically integrated with SAP ECC. We chose SAP BI. However, now, we are moving more towards Power BI and moving away from SAP.

    How was the initial setup?

    I did not handle the implementation and therefore cannot speak to the process. I'm not sure if it's easy or difficult. 

    We have our own support and architecture teams and they are able to handle any maintenance necessary if it comes up. We generally have five to six people who could handle such tasks. 

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

    We pay for an enterprise license. We pay yearly when we renew our license. 

    What other advice do I have?

    I'm not sure which version of the solution we're currently using. What we have is completely on-premise as we are still on ECC. We are using the HANA architecture, and we are still on-premise.

    I'd rate the solution at an eight out of ten.

    I would recommend the solution to other users and companies. 

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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    GL
    Enterprise Architect at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Real User
    Top 20
    Fairly scalable and stable but WebGUI presentation layer could be improved

    Pros and Cons

    • "To share a metadata service layer, you don't need to add a user or write a SQL query. Instead, you can present a raw database to your end user."
    • "The platform uses a lot of Java technologies so the performance and system-level management are tricky because it needs a lot of resources."

      What is our primary use case?

      Our primary use case for this solution is business enterprise reporting. 

      What is most valuable?

      The most valuable SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform feature are metadata service layers. To share a metadata service layer, you don't need to add a user or write a SQL query. Instead, you can present a raw database to your end user. The end user can then use this data to create a report, dashboard, or whatever else.

      It also has scheduling and can generate BI content for you. 

      What needs improvement?

      Their WebGUI presentation layer could be improved. They are still a little bit behind, for example, Tableau and QlikView.

      For how long have I used the solution?

      I have been using this solution for about nine years. 

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      The features SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform provides are fairly stable. I only noticed one data error in the past.

      Of course, the platform uses a lot of Java technologies so the performance and system-level management are tricky because it needs a lot of resources.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform is fairly scalable. You can either scale it up or create a cluster. They do have load balance and we have a cluster for important stuff. However, we use it relatively lightly, so we never have performance issues when we needed to scale up or scale out. Mostly, we have to scale up to give it enough RAM.

      Currently, we have a couple hundred people using SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform at our institution. 

      How are customer service and technical support?

      The SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform we use are not too advanced so we haven't had much need to contact tech support. When we run into an issue, we can usually solve it through community answers. We have had some SAP technical support come in a few times and every time we met with them we had a good experience. We have a fairly good relationship with their tech support. 

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

      Just before switching to SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform, we were using QlikView. 

      How was the initial setup?

      The initial setup was was not bad, but it was relatively complex. It did take some time to get it to work for us. 

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

      I don't have the exact number, but SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform is not too cheap. 

      What other advice do I have?

      My advice is to try to truly understand the system. It is fairly complicated. To get this system to work, you need a systems engineer and an architect in addition to a lot of other people who understand what's going on behind the scenes. 

      Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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      NB
      Manager IT (SAP) at a manufacturing company with 1,001-5,000 employees
      Real User
      Top 20
      Scalable with good technical support and excellent reporting features

      Pros and Cons

      • "The reporting features the solution offers are excellent."
      • "The solution could be less expensive. It's a bit pricey now."

      What is our primary use case?

      We primarily use the solution for reports regarding sales inventory and production.

      What is most valuable?

      The reporting features the solution offers are excellent.

      Technical support is quite good. They are responsive when we reach out.

      The solution can scale.

      What needs improvement?

      We are not on the latest patch, the latest version. There are different pain points, such as data loading or inventory issues. It can take a lot of time to load.

      The solution could be less expensive. It's a bit pricey now.

      For how long have I used the solution?

      We've been using the solution at the company for around six or seven years at this point. However, I've only used it for the last two years or so.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      The stability isn't quite as good as it could be. It's not a perfectly scalable solution.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      The solution is very easy to expand. It scales quite well. If a company needs to expand the solution, it can do so relatively easily.

      I'm the only one who is using this solution and I'm publishing the reports and a few others are using Microsoft Analysis for SAP, doing the reports.

      How are customer service and technical support?

      I've used technical support in the past. I've found them to be responsive and knowledgeable. They are quite helpful. We're satisfied with the level of service we receive.

      How was the initial setup?

      I was not a part of the initial setup. I can't speak to how long the deployment was or how easy or difficult the process ended up being.

      In terms of upgrading, we have no need to at this point. 

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

      Licensing is paid on a yearly basis.

      There is room for improvement in the pricing. It could be more reasonable.

      What other advice do I have?

      We're just an end-user and a customer. We don't have a business relationship with SAP.

      We are not yet on the latest version of the product.

      I would advise new users to not go for these old versions and instead go for the new versions that at least use embedded analytics, et cetera.

      I'd rate the solution at around seven out of ten. There are a few areas it could improve upon.

      Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

      On-premises
      Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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      VivekGupta3
      Analytics Manager at a manufacturing company with 51-200 employees
      Real User
      Useful dashboard, beneficial fixed format reports, and reliable

      Pros and Cons

      • "The planning and dashboarding features have been useful. Additionally, the fixed-format reports are good."
      • "The solution is not good for self-services, they can improve in this area."

      What is most valuable?

      The planning and dashboarding features have been useful. Additionally, the fixed-format reports are good.

      What needs improvement?

      The solution is not good for self-services, they can improve in this area.

      We are in the beginning stages of the implementation and once we roll it out to end-users then we will see further improvement areas.

      In SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform we use Lumira Designer, or the earlier version is Design Studio, where we create management dashboards. We feel that the tool is very complex in terms of implementing the dashboard. Lots of coding and performance issues. We require particular skillsets and resources, regular users cannot understand it. The management dashboards should be easy to configure. The only option right now is Lumira Designer, but it is complex to implement. Maintaining and supporting it takes time, and something should be done to improve the experience.

      For how long have I used the solution?

      I have been using the SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform for approximately five years.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      The solution is stable.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      I have found the solution to be scalable.

      We have approximately 1,000 users using this solution in our company.

      How are customer service and support?

      We did not find any major support areas that needed the support from SAP. The majority of the application support our team managed fine and we did not suffer any hardware issues. Our issues were resolved. 

      How was the initial setup?

      The installation was a medium difficulty level because we do not have complex scenarios in our use case. There are some complex portions but there were no roadblocks that prevented us from continuing.

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

      The price and the pricing model are fine. We find the solution does not give us a lot of additional value.

      What other advice do I have?

      Our organization prefers one visualization tool, that's why SAP will be in our roadmap.

      I think companies prefer self-service. BSAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform seems a little typical tool in terms of self-service. We recommend other solutions, such as Microsoft BI, because they can do a lot more functions.

      Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

      Public Cloud

      If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

      Amazon Web Services (AWS)
      Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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      Thales Azevedo
      Gerente de BI at a government with 201-500 employees
      Real User
      Top 10
      Easy to set up with good stability and helpful technical support

      Pros and Cons

      • "The setup is pretty easy. It's not hard at all."
      • "The UI could be updated a bit."

      What is most valuable?

      The solution has been extremely stable. We haven't had any issues so far.

      The setup is pretty easy. It's not hard at all.

      Technical support, overall, has been very good and we've been happy with their level of service.

      What needs improvement?

      The basic components of the solution could be improved.

      The UI could be updated a bit.

      I can't think of any features that are currently missing from the product at this time.

      For how long have I used the solution?

      We've been using the solution for about seven years at this point. It's been a while. We have a lot of experience with it.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      We've found the stability of the solution to be very good. There are no bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze. It's reliable.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      Plenty of users in our organization actually use the solution.

      How are customer service and technical support?

      Technical support for the most part has been very good. We've had a positive experience and we are quite satisfied with the level of support they provide to us.

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

      I don't recall the company using a previous solution. As far as I know, the company has only ever really used SAP.

      How was the initial setup?

      We've found the initial setup to be pretty straightforward. It's not so complex. A company shouldn't have any trouble with the implementation process.

      What about the implementation team?

      We didn't need any assistance with the integration process. It's a process that I manage as an integration manager.

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

      We pay our licensing fees on a monthly basis. I can't speak to how much they are. I don't recall there being any extra costs above the licensing itself.

      What other advice do I have?

      We are customers and end-users. We don't have a business relationship with the organization.

      On a scale from one to ten, I would rate it as a perfect ten. It's been great. For the most part, we have been happy with the product.

      Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

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