SAP Unveils Business Intelligence Software for Small Businesses

Paul Ferrill

Updated · Jun 14, 2011

SAP (NYSE: SAP) today unveiled a pair of business intelligence (BI) offerings for small businesses, Crystal Server 2011 and the 4.0 release of BusinessObjects Edge Business Intelligence.

The renamed Crystal Reports Server is an entry-level BI solution for small businesses and departments. It offers self-serve data search and exploration in addition to the core functionality of report and dashboard viewing.

BusinessObjects Edge BI is a full business intelligence offering that lets small companies “address virtually any BI requirement — from reporting, visualization and ad-hoc analysis to data integration and data quality,” SAP said.

Both offerings now use the same authoring environment and offer “extremely good investment protection,” John Wilkinson, vice president of analytics for SAP's Global Ecosystem and Channels, told Enterprise Apps Today.

Wilkinson said the products offer “a leap forward in usability,” and are based on “a huge amount of pilot work and usability feedback.”

The products also offer mobile delivery to Apple's iPad, RIM's PlayBook and smartphones.

BusinessObjects Edge BI — which Wilkinson calls “one of the most successful analytics products SAP has had” — supports both structured data as well as unstructured information like data from social networks using new text analysis functionality.

Edge BI also offers new event insight capabilities and 64-bit architecture. SAP said companies “will be able to equip their customer-care call centers with text analysis to watch what is being said on blogs, Facebook and Twitter, and help mitigate potential brand damage by creating alerts for product defects and recalls.”

SAP said Crystal Server 2011 includes BusinessObjects Explorer software to give sales and marketing departments the ability to drill down and monitor how campaigns are affecting return on investment (ROI) in real time so they can change campaign strategy quickly.

Integration with SAP's enterprise information management (EIM) solutions will allow for embedded BI dashboards in other business applications.

SAP Crystal Server 2011 and the 4.0 release of SAP BusinessObjects Edge BI are planned for general availability in the third quarter. Pricing for BusinessObjects Edge starts at US$12,000 for 10 named users or $19,000 for five concurrent access licenses. Crystal Server 2011 pricing starts at US$2,495 for five named users or US$6,995 for five concurrent access licenses.

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  • Paul Ferrill
    Paul Ferrill

    Paul Ferrill has been writing for over 15 years about computers and network technology. He holds a BS in Electrical Engineering as well as a MS in Electrical Engineering. He is a regular contributor to the computer trade press. He has a specialization in complex data analysis and storage. He has written hundreds of articles and two books for various outlets over the years. His articles have appeared in Enterprise Apps Today and InfoWorld, Network World, PC Magazine, Forbes, and many other publications.

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