At the beginning of 2015, I wrote about the great BusinessObjects Resurgence as organizations re-strategized to either bring back BusinessObjects into their BI future plans or expand its usage. Not only has this resurgence continued but it has grown and 2016 is likely to be another banner year for the world’s leading Business Intelligence suite.
The amazing thing is that all this is happening without any effort or involvement from SAP who owns the product which must be music to their ears since they are very much focused in other areas. Their recent announcement of another BI solution, SAP Cloud for Analytics, has put their other Analytics tools – Lumira, Visual Design Studio and Predictive Analytics – on a back-footing since they have not gained much market share outside of the SAP ERP space and we will need to see how they will converge these with their new offering going forward.
Meanwhile BusinessObjects is thriving. Existing customers continue to upgrade to the BI 4.1 platform and there’s lots of brand new implementations happening every week. Many of the new implementations are as part of bundled applications for the whole spectrum of vertical industries. This makes a lot of sense since OEM solution providers want to embed a tried, trusted and best-of-breed BI toolset with their applications.
BI 4.2, the next major release of BusinessObjects, has completed its beta phase and is now in customer validation and will be available to all in the coming months. There are many enhancements to the product across the board including the core products of Web Intelligence, Crystal Reports and Xcelsius (SAP BO Dashboards) as well as the platform. I shall write more about these in a future blog.
I am also seeing a lot of BusinessObjects customers using Tableau for performing data discovery and visualizing the results. This is most popular for the power users who want to analyze their data and are not quite sure what they are looking for. What I am not seeing is customers replacing BusinessObjects with Tableau for their Bi reporting and application needs. The few I know who tried are still using BusinessObjects. This again makes sense since Tableau has nowhere near all the functionality and capability of BusinessObjects as well as being an expensive proposition for an enterprise deployment.
The BusinessObjects ecosystem and community also continues to grow with established user groups drawing more people and many more new BusinessObjects user gatherings and events starting up all over the country. This year’s IBIS Conference will be completely focused on the core BusinessObjects products again with more hands-on training, real customer case studies and sessions to show you how to the get the best out of your BusinessObjects deployment than ever before.
So this will definitely be an exciting year for all users of BusinessObjects and lots to look forward to for many more to come.