Newsbyte: Sap Business One Application Reaches 40,000 Customers With 4g Identity Solutions Pvt Ltd.

SAP’s Business Objects

"SAP Business One enables small and emerging companies like 4G Identity Solutions Pvt Ltd. to remain nimble while competing with larger, global players," said Dr. Sreeni Tripuraneni, chairman and CEO, 4G Identity Solutions Pvt Ltd. "By delivering an easy-to-use and intuitive user experience, the application helps us manage back-office operations in limited time and in a manner that is most efficient to us. As the 40,000th customer, we are a testament to SAP's clear commitment to providing integrated solutions that help today's SMEs do business on a global scale." Working with 635 partners globally, SAP Business One has achieved steady growth to become the company's best-selling ERP application (as measured in number of customers) since its introduction in March 2002. Used in more than 150 countries and available in 41 country localizations and 27 languages, SAP Business One is an easy-to-use, affordable and fast-to-implement solution with low total cost of ownership for SMEs as well as affiliates and subsidiaries of larger companies. The application covers key processes needed to run an end-to-end business, including accounting and financials; sales, service and customer relationships; warehousing, inventory and distribution; purchasing and operations; human resources; and reporting. For more information, visit the SAP Newsroom. Follow SAP on Twitter at @sapnews and @SAP_B1.
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By Chris Kanaracus 2010 Revenue: $17.25 billion Co-CEOs: Jim Hagemann Snabe and Bill McDermott What They Do: SAP acquired Business Objects in 2007 to establish itself in the hot market for business intelligence software. Business Objects has a robust suite of BI software (now up to version 4.0) and a new BI app for the iPad. The Pitch SAP got into business intelligence in a big way with the 2007 acquisition of Business Objects. For every use case in BI, theyve got a good tool, says Forrester Research analyst Boris Evelson. Moreover, Business Objects products arent dependent on the broader SAP product stack, according to Steve Lucas, general manager of business analytics and technology at SAP. Half of our [Business Objects] development resources are focused on non-SAP use cases, he says. Over half of our customers have nothing from SAP except analytics. SAP is also positioning its new Hana in-memory database engine as a foundation for the core Business Objects suite and a new series of specialized analytics applications. Many Business Objects customers are large enterprises, but SAP also sells subsets of the full suite to small and midsize companies. The Catch Despite all the strengths of Business Objects products, they have lacked a unified feel, giving the user a Asomewhat disjointed experience, Evelson says. However, the recent release of Business Objects 4.0 solves that problem, with a unified interface, a common data-access layer and other improvements, Lucas says. While acknowledging that 4.0 is a step in the right direction, Evelson maintains that SAP has more integration work to do under the covers. The other problem with 4.0 is its late arrival. Originally, SAP talked about a general availability date in 2010. Then it held a launch event in February of this year, where it said the release would be in May.
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SAP Business One Gets New Hosted, Subscription Model

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Partners will also be able to offer more attractive subscription pricing to customers under the new system, she said. SAP's backing may also help get the word out to customers about the subscription option more effectively than an individual partner working on its own, she said. The new hosting option will be rolled out in phases this year. It is available now in China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Southeast Asia, Spain and the U.K., with other countries, including the U.S., coming later. SAP is making the right move, according to analyst Ray Wang, CEO of Constellation Research. "Subscription pricing is what [the small-business] market is looking for, and what the general market is looking for," Wang said. In a related announcement Tuesday, SAP announced that a number of "starter packages" for Business One are now available. The packages are fixed-price offerings that "comprise the basic finance, sales, purchasing, customer relationship management and inventory functionality databases that small companies need to run their businesses," SAP said. They are available in implementations involving up to five users. Customers can be up and running in as little as three days, depending on the complexity of the job, SAP said. Starter package customers can upgrade to Business One's standard edition when they like, with no need to reconfigure the application, according to SAP. With the starter packages, SAP is looking to snare customers who have used Quickbooks or other accounting software, but then find they need broader functionality due to growth.
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Why Did SAP buy Business Objects?

Where were the BI tools vendors like Business Objects while this problem was playing out in the ERP market? Still stuck in the restrictiveness of their own business models a variation on the notion that enough monkeys sitting at a enough typewriters could crank out a Shakespeare-worthy play -- which said that all you need to reach analytical nirvana is enough tools. So build tools they did, along with data warehouses, and reports, and dashboards that added much to the flow of data around the enterprise but little to raise overall business IQ and competitiveness. What SAP is saying to the market with this acquisition is that top notch business transaction knowledge, married to top notch business analytics tools, should yield the elusive analytical enterprise that works faster, smarter, and more profitably than its competitors. Its a grandiose vision, in that SAP has jettisoned its organic growth model in favor of stealing a page from Oracles big acquisition playbook. And taken some heat in the markets as a result. The marriage of BI tools and vertical industry knowledge is a vision I think is long overdue for the industry, and one that could prove very valuable to SAP as well as cause trouble in a number of places. Redmond is clearly one place where the heat just got turned up a notch or two: Microsoft definitely gets the tools side of BI in spades, but has no clue how to put to work the domain knowledge needed to get things moving for its line of business customers. IBM is another place where trouble is now brewing: having eschewed direct participation in the applications business, it is stuck putting the considerable domain knowledge of its consulting group into expensive, one-off custom projects that have a significantly larger total cost of ownership than the packaged solutions SAP can now try to bring to market with Business Objects.
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SAP-Business Objects combo ready to roll


The middle layer consists of the SAP's enterprise Business Warehouse and Business Objects departmental RapidMarts, and technologies such as in-memory database management. The top layer is query interfaces, reporting, analysis and visual representations. Sikka said the BI platform would expand to include more collaboration capabilities, such as joint decison making, annotation, tags and ranking. Given the current economy, SAP might have some uphill climbing to do to get off the ground quickly with Business Objects. "The finance sector has had a difficult second half of the year," Schwarz said. "It's difficult to predict how long it will persist. Solutions help people improve performance, especially in tough times. We won't see a dramatic impact in selling our solutions." Kagermann added that business intelligence provides a way to increase productivity or get better information to outsmart competitors. "Therefore even in downturn we have a chance with these kinds of applications to have a good business." Apotheker said the fourth quarter results show healthy demand for SAP offerings. We are extremely well balanced regionally and by size of company. A global cataclysm to have slowdown everywhere...I'm not Alan Greenspan so I can't predict, but the dynamics are there.
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