In what seems to be a speedy decision to clean up an overlapping product line, following its acquisition of Business Objects (BOBJ), SAP has decided to retire the Business Objects Performance Management product.
Taking its place would be SAP Strategy Management (a product biguru is SAP certified). SAP Strategy Management is the new name for what used to be Pilot Software’s flagship product PilotWorks product, which SAP acquired in February 2007. No doubt about the fact that PilotWorks Server which is based on a powerful OLAP engine, and has an extremely user-friendly GUI on top of it, is a few notches above the clunky Performance Manager of BOBJ.
Another interesting part of the announcement was that SAP would keep alive the Outlooksoft product (rebranded as SAP Business Planning & Consolidation) while planning to retire Business Objects’ SRC Software (which BOBJ acquired in 2005) . At the same time, it would like to find out the consumers’ preference by offering both Cartesis and the Outlooksoft financial consolidation softwares.
It is a matter of conjecture, how far SAP will go in its decision to retire overlapping BI products. The Business Objects offerings have grown unwieldy over time and with increasing overlap between Crystal Reports and Business Objects Web Intelligence – the main two product lines have become a confusing choice. Add to this the direction shown by XI 3.0 with its Web Intelligence rich client, and Xcelsius 2008 going the Adobe Flex/Flash way. Business Objects however maintains that Web Intelligence remains for ad-hoc casual reporting over the web while Crystal Reports is for highly formatted reporting required for printing etc.
The SAP BI roadmap is available here.
And here is the SAP BI head (former BOBJ CEO) John Schwarz talking about the challenges of integration and independence.