BusinessObjects Enjoying the Summer of Surprise Winners

It’s been a summer of exciting and surprising wins in the international sports world. The Women’s World Cup saw some amazing upsets and results and then the World Track and Field Championships in Budapest had many surprise wins.

Sha’Carri Richardson’s 100-meter gold medal was all the more fantastic because the pundits did not even expect her to medal in the event – but then experts often get it wrong!

It’s also been a winning summer for BusinessObjects. Not only are more and more customers upgrading to BI 4.3 but many are completely abandoning their plans to get off BusinessObjects and expect to continue to use it for the foreseeable future.

As a BI platform, BusinessObjects has always been and remains a winner yet so many pundits (those experts again!) and many within SAP itself, have written it off many times over the last decade.

So let’s dispel a few myths (4 big ones) and set the record straight as to why BusinessObjects remains the most widely used Business Intelligence suite in the world today.

Myth Number 1: BusinessObjects is end of life. FALSE.

BusinessObjects is not end of life and has never been. In June 2022, SAP announced a new statement of direction for its BI strategy that included a 10 year plus roadmap for BusinessObjects. A new release BI 2025 was announced that will be the follow-on to the current BI 4.3 release.

Myth Number 2:  Future Releases of BusinessObjects can only run in the Cloud. FALSE

The current and future releases of BusinessObjects will run on premise or in the cloud and will continue to do so through the entire announced roadmap, including BI 2025. While SAP does offer their own cloud hosted option for BusinessObjects, most customers who have moved to the cloud have chosen to host it on their own private cloud which they can do with their existing BO licensing.

Myth Number 3:  Organizations believe they can save money by replacing BusinessObjects.  FALSE

There are multiple facets to this each justifying a full blog of its own, but I will try to summarize it as follows. There are no conversion tools to convert BusinessObjects reports to another BI tool. The only viable way to replace BusinessObjects reports and dashboards is to re-create them in the new tool. Whether that tool is PowerBI, Tableau, Looker or something else, it will be incredibly expensive. Two clients recently told me they were quoted $500,000 to reproduce 1 Universe with 50 Webi reports in PowerBI. Yes, some enterprise customers pay more than 6 figures for their annual BO maintenance, but you cannot run the equivalent deployment in Tableau or PowerBI Premium Capacity for less than 6 figures annual subscription. Of course, the math is different for each unique customer situation, but I have not come across any enterprise customer replacing BusinessObjects with PowerBI or Tableau saving money over a 5-year period or more.

Myth Number 4: Nobody is buying BusinessObjects and none of the large global organizations use it anymore.  FALSE

Well, we are still selling it to new name customers as I believe many other partners like us do. SAP sells a ton of new Crystal Reports licenses every year. Apple, one of the largest companies in the world, reportedly has 40,000 BusinessObjects users and 2 million Webi reports. Government agencies around the world have hundreds of thousands of BusinessObjects users and millions of Web Intelligence and Crystal Reports.

BusinessObjects has matured over 30 years to provide organizations with operational and business intelligence reporting and ad-hoc analysis that is both comprehensive and user friendly. During the first 20 years of its existence, it was primarily used for operational reporting and both Web Intelligence and Crystal Reports were embedded into hundreds of thousands of business applications both in-house and off the shelf. In fact, SAP has no idea exactly how many organizations use BusinessObjects because they do not track those sold as embedded in third party applications.

There is a lot more but If you want to learn about the winning future of BusinessObjects, look at attending the SpeakBO Experience on September 25-27 with sessions from top BO Experts and the SAP Product group showing what’s coming.

Congratulations BusinessObjects on a winning summer.

About pgrill

Paul Grill started his career in Information Technology in the U.K. in 1978, as an Executive Data Processing Trainee for Honeywell. More than thirty years later, he still has a voracious appetite for learning as Information Technology continues to advance at an ever accelerating pace. He was first introduced to the world of Business Intelligence in 1991, in France, when he saw a demonstration of an early version of BusinessObjects on Windows 2.1. He returned to the U.S. to rave about this phenomenal product, but it was many years before BusinessObjects made it into the mainstream. Paul founded InfoSol in 1997, and made Business Intelligence one of the key solutions offered by the company. Today, InfoSol is a leading SAP BusinessObjects solutions partner, known for its expert consulting, education and innovative add-on solutions. Paul is well known within the SAP BusinessObjects community for his extensive knowledge of Business Intelligence, and he has lectured and written many articles on the subject. Paul enjoys writing, running and coaching kids soccer, and is passionate about Ancient Egyptology.

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