Business Objects Adds Features To SMB BI Tools

SMB Server business intelligence software

BusinessObjects Edge 3.0 and Crystal Reports Server 2008 mark Business Objects' first expansion of its SMB efforts since the company was acquired by SAP in January. About 75 percent of Edge Series and Crystal Reports Server sales are made through the company's 1,700 channel partners.

Some 6,000 customers have purchased either the Edge Series or Crystal Reports Server products since Business Objects began its SMB push in 2005, said Todd Rowe, vice president and mid-market general manager at Business Objects, Paris. He said mid-market sales are growing at 18 percent annually -- 50 percent faster than the business intelligence software market overall, he said.

Business Objects Edge Series was launched in early 2007, but the functionality of the new release is now equivalent to the vendor's enterprise-class BI products, Rowe said. Edge 3.0 adds mobile business intelligence capabilities, data quality management tools and the ability to rapidly assemble data marts linked to SAP applications.

Crystal Reports Server 2008 supports the Crystal Reports 2008 desktop software that shipped last December. It's also integrated with Microsoft's Live Office and offers improved IT administration features.

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Business Objects is still recruiting channel partners for its SMB program, although Rowe said the company is focused on enlisting resellers in specific geographies, including emerging markets like Eastern Europe, and in specific industries such as oil and gas. Rowe also said tighter integration between Business Objects and SAP software is providing new opportunities for solution providers, particularly those with business process management expertise.

Both Business Objects Edge 3.0 and Crystal Reports Server 2008 are available now.