SMEs looking long and hard at business intelligence

SMEs are looking closely at business intelligence (BI) to enable real-time information to be shared among all their decision makers, according to an SAP director.

Stephen Read, director of SME for SAP in the UK, said BI technology - like its own BusinessObjects software - was becoming easier for users to adopt, and allowed them to make better decisions.

Read said that if businesses needed to make changes, such as improving operational efficiency and reducing costs, they needed to know where they were losing money, which BI enabled them to do.

He said: "Do you know which plant, which product, which customer, which salesperson, is losing money? And equally, do you know where to invest? If you can't answer those simple questions you rely on hunches."

"So there is a market reality that's driving the adoption of business intelligence, and the technology is making it much more adoptable across an organisation."

Read said that he was seeing huge demand for business intelligence solutions in the SME segment, which previously was mainly targeted at the enterprise.