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SAP Overhauls Its Business Intelligence Portfolio

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Posted February 23, 2011 By Stuart J. Johnston     Feedback

SAP releases Version 4 of its BusinessObjects business intelligence and Enterprise Information Management products.

SAP today rolled out version 4 of its business intelligence (BI) and enterprise information management (EIM) products after three years in development.

Version 4, launched Wednesday at an event in New York, essentially overhauls the company's BusinessObjects portfolio, with a focus on the "real-time enterprise," as SAP (NYSE: SAP) calls it.

Built on a "common infrastructure," version 4 provides integration with social networking sites as well as with a range of mobile devices. Additionally, as in-memory, real-time processing of both structured and unstructured information takes off, and wireless networking bandwidths improve, users will be able to access business analytics from a smartphone or a tablet.

"The 4.0 releases are part of our ongoing commitment to help customers get the most out of their analytics, beginning with tighter integration of our BI and EIM solutions, giving them a common look and feel, making them easy for people to use and derive value from, and delivering it to them quickly, in real-time, any way they want it, on any device — at their desk or on the go," Steve Lucas, SAP general manager and head of business analytics, said in a blog post.

Further, version 4 takes advantage of both the SAP High Performance Analytic Appliance (HANA) software for high-volume in-memory processing, and the Sybase database, which SAP purchased for $5.8 billion last summer.

Besides having its own database, SAP reiterated plans to take advantage of the Sybase Unwired Platform. In addition, SAP has implemented an ability to examine and weigh information from social streams.

"People can now monitor, analyze, explore, report and act with confidence in the accuracy of not only their transactional data, but also with full insight into the trends and sentiments expressed in unstructured content of blogs, email and social media streams," an SAP statement said.

The company is not done with announcements.

"Integrated with our SAP BusinessObjects analytic applications and our soon-to-be-announced 10.0 releases of GRC (governance, risk and compliance) and EPM (enterprise performance management) solutions, the 4.0 releases deliver on the SAP analytics roadmap and vision," Lucas said in his blog post.

"In March we plan to roll out our next-generation governance, risk and compliance solutions, and in April we plan to roll out the new release of enterprise performance management solutions, along with ongoing releases of industry and line-of-business analytic applications throughout the year," he added.

SAP vaulted into the BI space in 2007 when it bought out BusinessObjects for $6.7 billion.

Stuart J. Johnston is a contributing writer at, the news service of, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @stuartj1000.

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