When I told my husband I was going to be writing my first blog he almost fell on the floor laughing, as he is the master of all things geek and I’ve been giving him a hard time for a long time now about ‘blog’ this and ‘web 2.0’ that. So it is with great humility that I’m embarking on this first post…
Firstly, by way of introduction, my exposure to business intelligence started with a project for Telecom New Zealand in conjunction with the New Zealand Tourism Board. We had taken all of the tourism related listings from the Telecom Yellow Pages, contacted each company to get more information about their business, and created a comprehensive tourism database called NZHOST. The database was then combined with a booking engine and distributed on CD to Visitor Information Centres around New Zealand. As a visitor to New Zealand you could walk into any one of the Visitor Information Centres around the country, and ask for a Bed and Breakfast in Christchurch for example, and the staff could quickly find a number of options for you and make a reservation. Within the NZHOST application there were a number of pre-built reports to enable the Visitor Information Centre Managers to track, understand and manage their booking information and the resulting revenues. All of these reports were built using Crystal Reports. Little did I know in 1995 when all of this was happening, that I would one day be working for Crystal Decisions, the makers of Crystal Reports, and that through the spectacular growth and consolidation within the business intelligence industry I would be part of Business Objects and that Business Objects would be an SAP company all within a span of 5 years.
So now that Business Objects is joining the SAP family here’s a few of the things I’ve been thinking about lately. How do we ensure we continue to build the Business Objects ecosystem as we become part of SAP? How will our customers and partners respond as the two companies come together? How do we ensure we continue to offer the best business intelligence on any platform?
The answer to these questions centres on our ability to remain open and heterogeneous in our approach. After all BI is not a stand alone application, it requires a database, middleware and often integrates with a number of business applications. So as we become part of SAP it is imperative we continue to deliver the best BI on any platform if we are to meet the needs of our customers now and in the future. And I am pleased to say we are off to a very good start…
As per Henning Kagermann’s letter to Business Objects customers last year, Business Objects is operating as a separate entity within SAP. This really provides a “best of both worlds” situation – as it opens the doors to the SAP organization while at the same time providing the independence and autonomy to enable Business Objects to continue to go and grow beyond SAP.
There has always been a strong drive in the organization to deliver the best Business Intelligence solutions to the market and it’s been exciting to welcome the SAP GRC, and business performance applications into Business Objects, further strengthening the product portfolio.
There’s a strong allegiance in the company to providing interoperability with open, broad and integrated support for all of the major application, database, middleware, portal and development platforms. I’m really looking forward to the launch of BusinessObjects XI 3.0 and announcing some of new solutions we’ll be delivering in this space.
I think the thing that has impressed me the most as the two organizations are coming together is the level of customer commitment – commitment to doing the right thing for our customers, commitment to protect their existing investments, commitment to building a sustainable and vibrant community. I’m really looking forward to the next 12 months and helping to deliver on that promise!