SAP enhances analytics solutions for SMEs

By Nathan Luck

SAP has announced upgrades to its business analytics portfolio with the release of BusinessObjects Edge 4.0 and Crystal Server 2011, featuring new capabilities that cater to the increasing needs of SMEs.

BusinessObjects Edge now features a consistent look and feel within the user interface, and allows customers to effortlessly switch between Crystal Reports, Web Intelligence and other solutions. It also now incorporates mobile functionality, allowing SMEs to interact with reports on Blackberry, Windows Mobile, Symbian, iOS and Android devices, and analyse both structured and unstructured information such as blogs, articles and Twitter feeds.

An Event Insight solution add-on allows customers real-time visibility and response.

According to SAP, Crystal Server has been revitalised as an entry-level BI Suite with added functionality including BusinessObjects Explorer, an ad-hoc query, search and analysis tool.

The company said the fact that data universes are easily adapted between platforms allows customers to protect their SAP investment – for instance in the event they outgrow Crystal Server 2011, they can convert to BusinessObjects Edge in a few simple steps.

Eric Duffaut, president, Global Ecosystem and Channels, SAP, said these solutions are examples of how it is innovating to alleviate pain points commonly experienced by SMEs and lines of business.

“We work closely with our customers, and we are turning analytics into something that is easily accessible by making it more affordable and less time-consuming. A broader range of organisations and departments will now be able to get stronger value and insights to solve business problems efficiently and effectively,” Duffaut said.

“In a new era of economic growth, small and midsize companies constantly need insights that help minimise risk and capture fleeting new business opportunities,” said Dan Vesset, program vice president of Business Analytics research, IDC.

“The latest release of business intelligence software for small and midsize companies from SAP empowers growing companies to adopt brand-new innovations such as integrating structured and unstructured data and even information from social networks,” he added. “Newly refreshed and intuitive user interfaces and brand new mobility functionality help more users in the growing company get the relevant and accurate data on time, decide and act with confidence, and contribute to greater growth and profitability.”
According to IDC, 14 per cent of SMEs use mobile BI and 25 per cent will adopt it in the next 12 months.

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