Software company SAP announced enhancements to its line of BusinessObjects Edge solutions, including BusinessObjects Edge BI, the company's business intelligence software for small to medium-size businesses.
BusinessObjects Edge BI 3.1 also offers integration with data sources from a variety of vendors, including Oracle and Microsoft. Now midmarket companies will also be able to use SAP's Polestar software, a guided data navigation application that helps any business user to easily explore information and answer business questions via search. SAP argues that given the current economic reality, SMBs must have easily accessible, accurate insight into their business performance information. The company says Polestar allows users to gain better visibility into business information from across their organization, regardless of the level of their IT department.
Jeff Stiles, SAP's senior vice president of SME marketing, says the new SAP BusinessObjects Edge solutions provide customers with unprecedented transparency, so employees throughout the organization can make better decisions more quickly. "With this knowledge, every business user can help to build a leaner, more efficient organization--the key to survival in today's climate," he said. "With the ability to more easily and effectively define strategies, plans and manage performance, our customers will be poised to move from simply reacting to economic challenges to positioning themselves for future success."
In response to the demand from partners, SAP is also packaging its BusinessObjects EPM Solutions offering for the midmarket, offering strategy management to help SMBs improve performance and align execution with strategy by connecting goals, initiatives and metrics. SAP said their BusinessObjects Edge Planning and Consolidation software helps midmarket companies to create, execute and monitor budgets that are aligned to financial plans and resources.
Brian McDonough, research manager for business analytics at IDC, said SAP is taking further steps to meet midsize organizational requirements for BI technologies. "Vendors offering flexible tools that enable resource-constrained IT departments to meet ongoing change requests in a timely manner will appeal to this market segment," he predicts. "These tools must further provide access to actionable and trusted information and deliver it through more intuitive interfaces to ensure both business decision makers and IT are satisfied with the solution."
SAP is putting a strong focus on ease-of-use, noting Polestar's intuitive data exploration and visualization capabilities that let users drill down into a particular topic by simply clicking on the report, data set or dashboard, as well as keyword searches that display reports and dashboards that automatically create visual representations of data.
Dennis Kause, executive vice president of software company and long-standing SAP partner Idhasoft, said the increased functionality in SAP BusinessObjects Edge BI 3.1 will enable their clients to meet their overall BI deployment objectives of improving insight across their organizations.
"We have provided BI training to more than 2,200 people from more than 600 organizations," he said. "Integration with multiple data sources has also been a top priority for many customers with varying IT environments -- we've seen that clients have been eagerly anticipating the empowering capabilities of Polestar."