How SAP/Business Objects Deal Could Affect You

Loraine Lawson

You've probably had it up to here (insert animated GIF of me, raising my fingers up to my forehead) with the talk about SAP's Business Objects takeover, which was closely followed up by Oracle's offer to buy out BEA and the inevitable comparisons.

Unless you own stock in SAP and Oracle, you can skim the headlines and learn what you need to know about most of these deals. Really, I'm a bit contemptuous of the SAP vs. Oracle dramatics. Everybody loves a good rivalry, but sometimes the dramatics of it get in the way of the relevant impact on your average IT shop.

In fact, you may have wasted your time if you read much about the Oracle offer -- recent reports suggest it's already fizzling. That's why, last week, I wrote very narrowly about how the SAP purchase of Business Objects would affect integration.

I mean, sure, it's tempting to compare these two corporate giants to two high school girls competing to top one another's fashion accessories. But this is grown-up world, with lots of people's money and lives at stake -- which, now that I think of it, doesn't negate the comparison. But you see my point.

Granted, I haven't read all of the stories. But there is one analysis I want to point out, though, because I found it shed light on how the SAP deal -- coupled with Oracle's acquisition of the business intelligence vendor Hyperion -- will affect your use of SAP and other business intelligence tools.

"Industry Reacts to SAP's Business Objects Acquisition," published yesterday on Enterprise Systems, seems at a glance to be a collection of PR statements by other BI and performance management vendors. But it does a good job of raising questions that could affect your IT decisions, including:

  • SAP now owns products that compete directly with most of the vendors who have worked hard to earn their SAP certification. Because of this, Philip Russom, a senior research manager with The Data Warehousing Institute (TDWI), says the Business Objects deal will impact nearly every BI, data integration and data quality vendor.
  • What will this acquisition mean for your poor computers and time-strapped developers? According to the article, the fact that Business Objects and SAP were largely built by acquisition, trying to add Business Object's functionality to Netweaver could lead to both company's customers being shortchanged or worse.

Oh, and in case you haven't read the headlines yet, the buying spree continued with yesterday's SAP announcement it will purchase Yasu, a business-rules engine that would then be integrated into an already-fat Netweaver.

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Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Oct 26, 2007 4:53 PM Jan Aertsen Jan Aertsen  says:
I believe this is a great move from Business Objects. Clearly even the biggest BI vendors are starting to feel the heat. Oracle has a extensive BI stack to match its ERP, Microsoft has invested heavily for BI to match its ERP. How many other big players were on the market to buy Business Objects. Alternatively more growth wasn't really an option. BO was covering all the possible angles busines intelligence has, what more could they have done. No, I'm quite sure they've done a great job in making sure SAP bought them. And they keep their independence from what I hear !! Future assured ! Reply

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