By now, you're well aware that SAP bought out Business Objects in what the press release termed a "friendly take-over." The analysts and pundits are pretty excited about it, which makes sense, given Business Objects' dominance in the BI space.
But stock prices aside, what does this mean for the average IT department?
Unlike many mergers, this deal involves giants, and that means there will be plenty of businesses impacted long-term, for better or for worse. The fact that SAP is a heavyweight doesn't need further commentary. And Business Objects CEO John Schwarz has been quoted as saying that Business Objects is three times bigger than Hyperion.
Hyperion, you'll recall, is the BI company Oracle acquired. So, obviously, there's been a lot of discussion about what this acquisition means for the ongoing SAP/Oracle rivalry. (Hint: Unlike sports rivalries, it doesn't involve anything so fun as tailgating.)
It's still early, and Business Objects will remain a standalone company. SAP promises this buy-out is about growth, not cost reduction. So it's hard to predict at this point what this will mean in terms of integration.
But SAP customers should certainly expect integration of Business Object's BI functionalities at some point, and vice versa. According to this post from Webware, approximately 40 percent of Business Objects' customers use SAP, and about 20 percent of Business Objects' business overlaps with SAP in the performance-management software side. Between them, SAP and Business Objects offer three financial consolidation products, according to the Webware item.
But beyond the obvious potential for integration between SAP and Business Objects, how will it impact integration? Forrester's Boris Evelson tackled this topic in a recent post, as did, to a lesser degree, IT Toolbox blogger Vincent McBurney.
If you're an SAP or Business Objects customer, I suggest you read the full posts. However, if you're short on time or just curious, here are a few key items I culled from their analysis: