SAP Adds Reporting To Its BusinessOne SMB App


The move is SAP's latest effort to leverage the business intelligence technologies it acquired earlier this year when it bought Business Objects for $6.8 billion. Business Objects also unveiled a new release of its enterprise performance management software and announced the availability of BusinessObjects Xcelsius Present, a new data visualization tool.

The announcements were made Tuesday at the Business Objects Influencer Summit in Boston.

BusinessOne is SAP's application for companies with 100 employees or less and is largely sold through SAP's channel partners. New and existing BusinessOne customers (under maintenance agreements) can receive a free basic version of Crystal Reports, the popular reporting software that Business Objects acquired in 2003. The combination of BusinessOne and Crystal Reports will help business users access BusinessOne data and generate analytical reports.

The BusinessOne-Crystal Reports package will provide SAP channel partners with more opportunities to offer BusinessOne customers business intelligence services, said Timo Elliot, Business Objects senior director of strategic marketing.

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Many companies already have Crystal Reports implementations scattered throughout their operations and solution providers can play a role in pulling those together to help customers create an integrated reporting system, Elliot said. And channel partners can up-sell customers to Crystal Reports 2008 Visual Advantage, which provides a view of information in multiple data sources, and Crystal Reports Server 2008.

"We see a real need for and#91;smalland#93; companies to take the data that exists across their organizations and turn it into business insight," said Stephen Lloyd, president of Coastal Range Systems, an SAP channel partner in Burnaby, B.C., in a statement.

BusinessOne already includes a basic reporting tool called the Print Layout Designer and an ad hoc information query tool called the Query Generator. SAP will continue to support those features in BusinessOne, but Crystal Reports will become the de facto standard in the application package for transactional reporting.

The new BusinessObjects Xcelsius Present data visualization software provides a way to convert static Microsoft Office Excel spreadsheets into interactive graphics that can be shared via Microsoft PowerPoint or Adobe PDF files. The product, sold by Business Objects and through its resellers, is currently available priced at $195.

BusinessObjects EPM version 7.0 offers a new spend analytics tool that extends the software's performance management capabilities beyond finance to business operations, according to the company. The EPM software is also more tightly integrated with the flagship BusinessObjects XI 3.0 business intelligence system, SAP's NetWeaver technology platform, and SAP's applications for governance, risk and compliance management.