SAP Adds 'Google-Like' Search to Business Software

SAP extends its SAP BusinessObjects Edge solutions to small to midsize businesses, giving them access to SAP BusinessObjects Polestar software, which allows employees to search and retrieve data from across the company. Other Edge solutions are designed to create efficiencies in these companies' budget and strategy processes. SAP has been introducing enterprise solutions at a steady clip throughout 2009.

SAP has expanded the reach of its SAP BusinessObjects Edge solutions, now allowing small to midsize businesses to utilize its SAP BusinessObjects Edge BI (business intelligence) software. In turn, those smaller companies will now have access to SAP BusinessObjects Polestar software, an application that allows information search and retrieval from across an organization.

SAP BusinessObjects Edge BI 3.1 supports Oracle integration kits for the Oracle eBusiness Suite, as well as Microsoft Windows Server 2008, Sharepoint Server 2008, an updated .NET development kit, and applications from JD Edwards, PeopleSoft and Siebel.

The integration of SAP BusinessObjects Polestar into the solutions suite allows employees to utilize a keyword search to find information within their company's database. The results can be displayed visually, via charts and graphs. When designing the solution, SAP focused on making the user process an intuitive one that required no IT expertise or prior experience with business intelligence software.

"The idea is to bring Google-like search to business intelligence capabilities, to make it easier for a broad set of users without a lot of IT intervention," Jeff Stiles, senior vice president of SME marketing for SAP, said in an interview. "We packaged them modularly because that's how people buy and deploy."

In addition, the SAP BusinessObjects enterprise performance management (EPM) solutions have been released for small to midsize companies, allowing them to make planning and budgeting a more cost-effective and efficient process. Strategy Management will help these customers connect goals, initiatives and metrics, thus improving performance and aligning execution with strategy; Planning and Consolidation assists in creating, executing and monitoring budgets aligned with financial plans and resources.

SAP has been steadily rolling out new products in the first few months of 2009, many of them related to supply-chain management.

On March 18, SAP announced a new version of its SAP BusinessObjects Global Trade Services Application, integrated along with its SAP BusinessObjects Risk Management application, designed to automate regulatory compliance across the supply chain.

Another of SAP's competitors in the supply-chain space, Oracle, released Oracle Sourcing On Demand, a SAAS solution for strategic sourcing on March 9.

The company has also engaged with partners in order to deepen its products' availability. Thanks to a pairing with Sybase, a provider of enterprise and mobile software, SAP announced on March 11 that SAP Business Suite 7 will fully run on the Apple iPhone, Microsoft Windows Mobile, BlackBerry smartphones and other mobile devices.