Business Objects CEO: Biz Intelligence 'Revolution' Under Way


Major changes in information distribution are reshaping the capabilities for managing, mining and using data and driving the segment into a "Business Intelligence 2.0" phase, Business Objects CEO John Schwarz said Wednesday at the AIIM/On Demand Expo in Boston.

"There is a merger of two very important adjacent markets," Schwarz said in a speech at the event. "The business intelligence set of solutions, and a market for information."

Business Objects, a San Jose, Calif.-based business intelligence software vendor, is working to drive more and more data and information to all employees in a business, Schwarz said. The combination of BI software and data "makes decisions that were very difficult to make in the past" possible now, he noted.

Schwarz said Business Objects provides analytics solutions that are geared for tapping into Web 2.0 behavior by companies and individuals. He cited an example of when a news photographer took a shot of a hurricane victim who had been provided a preloaded Visa cash card for relief purposes. The photo was in such high resolution that, within two minutes of its posting on the Web, there were 65,000 attempts to make illegal purchases using the card's number. The bank that issued the card acted within two minutes, after seeing a spike in the user pattern attached to the card, and shut the account down. Schwarz said the bank used Business Objects software.

Overall, Schwarz described a "Business Intelligence 2.0 revolution" sparked by smaller revolutions in human networking, user patterns, community development, application development and platforms.

He said the "old way of writing code, where you had to have IT and some vendors in to reconstruct the software" is giving way to "mash-up" development, where components of applications are fused and, in some cases, creating "disposable" software on the fly.

Schwarz also talked about the growth of communities like Wikipedia, developments like "tagging" items on the Web and other new means of organizing data that require open, collaborative platforms.

Business Objects is tailoring its strategy toward open, broad and integrated technologies for end-to-end business intelligence, according to Schwarz.

"At the end of the day, if that solution is not open to different application styles, data styles, architectures ... If it's not broad, if it's not integrated so it's easy to mash up with other parts of your environment, it's not good," he said.

He said his company stood alone in providing "end-to-end" business intelligence, "despite what Oracle or SAP or Microsoft might claim."

The keynote was delivered before more than 1,000 attendees at the AIIM/On Demand Expo, the annual document capture, workflow and printer conference.