The new version of BI OnDemand lets customers search on-premises and on-demand data sources to create the reports needed to see the entire pipeline in order to save time and cut administration costs. Business users can just type in a keyword to find the data they need for a certain report and make it available within the data warehouse for future reports.
"We've created technology that lets you easily tap into that information that's sitting all over the place," Gill said, adding that Business Objects also licenses third-party data from Dun & Bradstreet and Thomson Reuters for its BI OnDemand software.
Moreover, the absence of business intelligence support for large Salesforce.com data sets has to date challenged customers who need to dive deeper into their Salesforce data and combine it with data from other applications.
The new Salesforce.com accelerator lets customers create a cloud-based data repository for their gigabytes of Salesforce.com data on Business Objects' servers, which can be combined with data from other on-demand and on-premises sources. This lets customers migrate large amounts of data and prepare it for reports, ad hoc reporting and dashboards, Gill said.
BI OnDemand is offered in a monthly recurring subscription model. For a typical midmarket implementation with 75 users and 100GB of storage, the average cost per user per month would be approximately $107 over two years. For a typical large enterprise implementation with 1,500 users and 500GB of storage, the average cost per user per month would be approximately $47 over two years.
It's early days for BI OnDemand and for the SAAS BI market overall. Gill said Business Objects released the first version of its SAAS solution more than two and a half years ago; it now has more than 200,000 subscribers (ADP is a major user). This is a drop in the bucket compared with the 46,000 companies all over the world that use BusinessObjects XI.
Business Objects has erstwhile challengers for BI OnDemand, including IBM's Cognos, whose Cognos Now! package includes self-service dashboards, integrated data, analysis and reports as a prepackaged BI appliance or as a hosted service, and startups PivotLink (formerly SeaTab), LucidEra, Panorama and Good Data.
But Gill dismissed these challengers, noting that the biggest competition is from customers trying to decide whether to go to SAAS or stick with traditional on-premises solutions from Business Objects, Hyperion, Cognos or the raft of other players that flesh out the broad BI market.