Business Object Releases Aim at SMB Sweet Spot


I wrote back in November about how the flux in the business intelligence market following a heated round of consolidation might have an especially large impact on SMBs.


I noted that SAP's VP for midmarket strategy was convinced that many of the company's 17,000 midmarket ERP customers would see BI as a "logical extension of ERP, be it from SAP or otherwise." That conviction is likely what led SAP to purchase BI pureplay Business Objects last year.


It remains to be seen whether the move will pay off. In a year full of PR black eyes for the German software giant, it took another punch when it was recently unable to move all of its newly acquired Business Objects customers to its own customer support system.


Migration issues notwithstanding, Business Objects just rolled out upgrades to two of its products aimed at the midmarket sweet spot, reports internetnews.com.


Edge 3.0 promises an easy-to-use Web-based interface for analyzing and customizing data. Crystal Reports 2008 lets users create information that can be delivered inside and outside a firewall via e-mail, corporate portals or Microsoft Office.


The article includes a couple of complimentary analyst takes on Business Objects' SMB-oriented offerings and a look at the competition, including Microsoft, Oracle and IBM. Microsoft is both partner and competitor to Business Objects, as the latter's Live Office product is bundled with Microsoft Office.