SAP Geo-tagging Business Analytics Data With Google Maps

SAP is leveraging the Google Maps API to integrate enterprise data online in real-world maps, satellite images or Street View views.

SAP AG (NYSE:SAP) July 27 will soon allow its Business Objects analytics, StreamWork collaboration and other enterprise customers to use Google Maps to see a geographical visualization of product sales and other information.

Google Maps is an application that lets consumers access interactive map, satellite and street-level views of the world's geographical locations via the Web.

SAP said it is seeing a trend where corporate data is being increasingly tagged with geospatial information, improving data visualization and rapidity at which customers can consume, digest and act on the info they see on a map.

Steve Lucas, general manager of business analytics for SAP, noted that SAP business analytics customers have previously been free to marry their data with Google Maps through their own mashup development work.

Now SAP is letting its software customers integrate their data using the Google Maps API Premier and plot the data out on Google Maps for enhanced visualization.

Graphing product sales by geography and porting this content to a PC, tablet computer or smartphone is one way this would work.

A telecom operator might use Google Maps and SAP Business Objects Explorer software to find the exact location of faulty towers yielding dropped calls for its subscribers. There are obvious applications for such a mashup in supply chain, manufacturing and retail industries as well.

The idea is that SAP customers will be able to grok the "where" of their information against a backdrop of global, regional and local trends.

The SAP-Google Maps API integration will be available in future releases of SAP's Business Objects software, the StreamWork real-time collaboration platform and SAP mobile apps.

StreamWork, a more serious enterprise riff on the failed Google Wave platform, could be wed with Google Maps to let customer service representatives discuss the geographic locations of consumer complaints.

Lucas said the Google Maps integration is a natural one from the standpoint of two giants in the consumer and enterprise software information markets.

Perhaps the bigger story that bears watching here is that traditionally buttoned-down SAP is reaching out to consumer-happy Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) for integrations.

For example, SAP sells StreamWork, which also lets users upload their Google Docs for sharing with work groups, through the Google Apps Marketplace.