SAP broadens its analytics portfolio


SAP is drilling deeper into the business analytics market with the release of a suite of real-time products for vertical markets.

"People on the frontlines in various industries and business disciplines need timely, trusted business insight now more than ever," said Bill McDermott, SAP's co-chief executive.

"It takes a specially developed solution to provide employees with intuitive access to information so they can make impactful decisions fast and gain the competitive edge."

SAP has consulted its customers in the development of the applications to ensure that they address real-world business problems. McDermott gave the example of sales analysis within retail which requires dynamic access to multiple data sources and systems across a

retailer's supply chain.

"In an industry that often functions on single-digit margins, clear and accurate insight into sales and operational figures is critical to survival and can mean the difference between an outstanding quarter and a missed quarter," he said.

As reflected in the name, the new tools stem from the company's acquisition of Business Objects. In all there are ten products in the SAP BusinessObjects portfolio which the company claims can be deployed by customers within eight weeks. They tackle a diverse set of issues in finance, sales, marketing, risk assessment, patient care management, customer satisfaction and retention, and military planning.

The applications are standalone products designed to work with SAP or third-party data. The verticals covered comprise the public sector, financial services, healthcare, consumer products, retail, and telecommunications.

Keen competition from the likes of IBM and HP in the analytics field has forced SAP to move away from its old, strongly-proprietary stance.

The heterogeneous nature of the new products not only increases their suitability to sites with mixed data sources but also opens out the market for new customers.