SAP’s new SaaS offering is for BI users

Meeting a growing demand from companies of all sizes for software-as-a-service (SaaS) business intelligence (BI) tools that are easy to use, SAP AG has announced the SAP BusinessObjects BI OnDemand product.
 
Targeted at casual BI users currently underserved by products on the market, the solution will deliver a complete BI toolset in one flexible offering. It will also allow users to be up and running with no prior experience or training. With SAP BusinessObjects BI OnDemand, business users will be able to access and visually navigate data from any source using SAP BusinessObjects Explorer software. Even casual users can then combine that data in just a few clicks, and follow a guided path that walks them through reporting and analysis. The solution will have scalable pricing models based on business need, allowing companies to easily and cost-effectively scale as required.
 
With more than 260,000 subscribers, on-demand offerings from the SAP BusinessObjects portfolio empower people with the tools and information required to drive their businesses forward. Responding to customer feedback, SAP BusinessObjects BI OnDemand brings together all SaaS BI solutions from the SAP BusinessObjects portfolio into a complete, integrated BI toolset. Customers will be able to go to one vendor for all their on-premise and on-demand BI needs, rather than having to assemble a patchwork approach to their BI deployments.
 
The solution will also include capabilities that make it easier than ever for business users to tap into their data online, get better insight into their organization and securely share illustrative reports and dashboards with colleagues inside and outside the firewall. Significant features include:
 
SAP BusinessObjects Explorer software, which empowers people with powerful data exploration and visualization capabilities.
 
Capabilities that guide people with no prior BI experience through the process of accessing, exploring, visualizing and sharing data – all without needing to switch between applications.
The ability to access all on-demand and on-premise data – including SAP data and data from the Salesforce customer relationship management (CRM) application. People will be able to easily upload data to create dashboards, reports or interactive visualizations.
 
An on-demand solution for creating ad-hoc reports, conducting what-if analyses and securely sharing this information inside or outside the company. Business users will be able to provide customers, partners and employees across all lines of business with immediate, anytime access to the most current data.
 
SAP BusinessObjects BI OnDemand will also include flexible pricing, allowing customers to try and use the product, and easily scale their deployment as necessary. Three editions are planned that range from a comprehensive version with limited storage to one with more advanced capabilities and the ability to handle larger data volumes. This pricing and packaging model allows even casual users to seamlessly move from individual use to departmental-wide deployments. They will be able to build out their SaaS BI system from a complete set of easy-to-use front end tools to add backend capabilities, such as a hosted data warehouse and development environment and single sign-on security.
 
SAP BusinessObjects BI OnDemand will be available as industry-specific and line of business-specific solutions through Oco, Inc., an SAP BusinessObjects OEM partner with a focus on large enterprise and upper-midmarket business segments. SAP is currently planning to make SAP BusinessObjects BI OnDemand available through its SAP PartnerEdge program in the channel partner ecosystem later in 2010.