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New Products and Strategy for Business Objects as Migrations Lag (continued)

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At the May 2006 Business Objects user conference, CEO John Schwartz estimated less than 10% of the company's 37,000 customers had migrated to BusinessObjects XI. About 15% of those who'd migrated were Crystal customers.

SaaS, Integration Strategy, New Reporting Software

Not content to rely on BusinessObjects XI migrations to feed growth, Business Objects opted to pursue new markets, release new products and introduce a new strategy for enterprise information integration (EII).
 

In April 2006, Business Objects made another foray into the software as a service business. It launched Crystalreports.com, which charges a report-sharing fee for more than 10 users or 60 reports. The company had earlier announced a CRM reporting application for the SalesForce.com AppExchange.

Business Objects used the occasion of its 2006 user conference to unveil the new integration strategy and new reporting tools. The company identifies a combination of strategy and products as its complete Enterprise Information Management (EIM) solution. The EIM solution provides data integration, data quality, metadata and lifecycle management. It supports information integration from multiple data sources across an organization.

To integrate information for BI and other enterprise applications, Business Objects unveiled Data Federator XI. The new EII tool can provide a real-time view of disparate data sources and cleanse data for queries. The company also introduced MetaData Manager XI for collecting and analyzing data from multiple sources across an organization. The new tools are fully integrated with Business Objects XI.

Business Objects have given Crystal users more reasons to migrate by introducing business reporting products called Crystal Vision and Crystal Vision Server. The new products enable users to create custom reports and dashboards and to acquire live data from Microsoft Office applications. Crystal Vision is a desktop-based product that includes Crystal Reports XI, Crystal Live Office and Crystal Xcelsius 4.5 for data visualization. Crystal Vision Server includes those three programs, and it also enables organizations to share reports and dashboards over the Internet.

Feeding Growth

Business Objects is looking to several sources to feed future revenues, including entre into the SaaS and EII markets, new products and growth in BI consulting and education. An Increase in customers migrating to BusinessObjects XI would shore up the company's profits as it moves into new markets.

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About the Author

Ken North is an author and consultant who teaches Expert Series seminars. He wrote Database Magic with Ken North (Prentice Hall), Windows Multi-DBMS Programming (Wiley) and the Database Developer columns for Dr. Dobb's and Web Techniques.

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2006, North Summit Media. All rights reserved.