Today the most hot topic in the SAP BI community forums (includes both SAP BI and SAP BOBJ) is- what is the right BI/BOBJ Integration approach for their company . It may sound so complex with so many reporting tools and with so many possibilities out there but at the very crux comes the basic question- What the users want for reporting?
This one questions clears all confusion and helps in deciding what integration approach and what reporting tools are best for the company. Unfortunately I have seen clients spending very less time to carry out this initial analysis. The decision makers often look at the scenario from a distance and very rarely interact with the actual reporting users for their needs. Thus it has become even more important for a BI/BOBJ Consultant to make the correct recommendation and in less time.
This post in an effort in that direction.
Here are the 3 possible scenarios for BI-BOBJ integration which I am going to address first in my initial posts:
1) Client already has BW and is looking for BOBJ line of products for enhancing the reporting infrastructure
2) Client has ECC but no BW or BOBJ.
3) Client doesn’t have ECC, BW or BOBJ.
This is pretty common scenario today and a number of clients who already have BW wants to explore how BOBJ line of products can help them in effective reporting and managing robust data warehouse.
For this scenario some key points which are must to discuss in the initial interaction with clients are:
1) What are the repeorting needs at a little detailed level? But the details not in terms of what information is requested rather how they want to analyze and look at the information.
How the answer helps: Though only through the complete stack of reporting tools all different kinds of users and their reporting needs can be addressed, but it helps in deciding on which of the reporting tools should be the prime ones.
2) Is there any existing portal infrastructure? It may be SAP EP or sharepoint.
How the answer helps: It helps in deciding what should be the presentation layer for the reports and how it should be designed.
3) What are the planned timelines for initial release?
How the answer helps: It helps in making sure that the expectations of customer are set at realistic level and customer gets enough matter too to make him feel confident for the full blown solution and future rollouts.
4) Does the client has lot of information stored in 3rd party applications or legacy system? How often he will need to access this information from the source system?
How the answer helps: It helps in making recommendation on ETL process and if BOBJ Data Services is suitable for the scenario.
There are of course other important questions which I am going to cover but the point I am trying to make is that this initial interaction is very important and a must to do, before making the final recommendation. One shouldn’t be influenced by the features of a particular reporting tool rather the findings from this initial interaction should drive the reporting strategy.
I am going to cover the first point in detail in my next post wherein I will be discussing the capabilities of each of the reporting tool, their usage Matrix with examples and how each one of them contributes to the harmony of effective Reporting.
I hope the post was informative. Please feel free to provide your feedback and also post any questions you have on this topic. I will try to answer all the questions during the week.
See you next week.