Is SAP Ready for BI? - InformationWeek
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Software // Information Management
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2/21/2007
08:46 AM
Mark Smith
Mark Smith
Commentary
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Is SAP Ready for BI?

The market for BI has never been more vibrant, or the interest by midsized to large organizations in adopting BI greater. Yet in the face of this opportunity, I continue to hear reports of unrest on the part of companies using SAP for BI - reports about its lack of enterprise capabilities and the usability of the technology. SAP has declared it understands the importance of BI, but it has yet to offer cutting-edge products.

The market for BI has never been more vibrant, or the interest at midsized and large organizations in adopting BI greater. Yet in the face of this opportunity, I continue to hear reports of unrest on the part of companies using SAP for BI - reports about its lack of enterprise capabilities and the usability of the technology.Recently I heard from Clorox that it is planning to decommission its SAP BI technology, which is called SAP Business Information Warehouse or SAP BW. Also, Estee Lauder is transitioning its SAP BW deployment to become just a data source for its enterprise BI needs.

With market demand expanding faster than SAP's capability to respond, there is clear opportunity for vendors like Cognos, Hyperion, MicroStrategy and others that interface to SAP BW and R/3 to further supplant SAP as the application-level data source across areas like accounting and the supply chain.

SAP has declared it understands the importance of BI, but it has yet to offer cutting-edge products that meet the needs of today's intensely competitive organizations. As these large enterprises are standardizing on vendors for BI, it will be interesting to see if SAP will be able to respond to its customers' and potential customers' needs to be taken seriously.

Are you challenged making BI work on SAP? Share your comments below.

Mark Smith is CEO And Senior Vice President Of Research at Ventana Research. Write to him at mark.smith@ventanaresearch.com.The market for BI has never been more vibrant, or the interest by midsized to large organizations in adopting BI greater. Yet in the face of this opportunity, I continue to hear reports of unrest on the part of companies using SAP for BI - reports about its lack of enterprise capabilities and the usability of the technology. SAP has declared it understands the importance of BI, but it has yet to offer cutting-edge products.

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