SAP To Offer On-Demand Business Intelligence Toolset To Japan
Only a week after it announced the general availability of its business collaboration application StreamWork, SAP (news, site) has said that it is taking its on-demand business intelligence application to Japan using Fujitsu’s cloud environment.

The SAP BusinessObjects BI On-Demand , which currently has 260,000 subscribers worldwide, was extended recently to include BusinessObjects Explorer and, amongst other things, gives users the ability to find and take data from any source to create business intelligence reports.

This new version, which will be in Japanese, is still under development and although SAP has not given an exact date as to when it will be released, the company has said it will be sometime in May.

Complete BI Tool Set

The SaaS BI application was first released in 2006 and currently has 260,000 subscribers globally. In February SAP pulled both BusinessObjects BI On-Demand and Explorer into a single toolset and it is this application that will be made available in Japan.

While BusinessObjects BI On-Demand gives users the ability to do ad-hoc and what-if analysis for forward planning, Explorer offers them easy search capabilities to find and explore data for instant insight into their business.

It enables users to create accurate and up-to-date dashboards using on-demand and on-premise data that can be shared and collaborated upon online. Features include:

  • Search functions: Search all enterprise data combined with the search of data from external sources.
  • Data compilation: Takes data from several spreadsheets and sources and combines it into a single report.
  • Customized templates: Creation of interactive visualizations of data using user-defined templates.
  • Secure data sharing: Data can be shared securely not just inside the enterprise but outside too if necessary.

The combined BusinessObjects and Explorer software targets what SAP describes as the “casual business intelligence user” who is currently under served by what is available on the market at the moment.

While it is hard to pin-point what SAP means by “casual” it is probably a given that they are users who don’t have much experience with this kind of software.

However, as BusinessObjects BI OnDemand is cloud-based, SAP says that users can be up and running in a matter of minutes and won't need the help of IT departments.

The English language edition comes as three editions that range from a comprehensive version with limited storage to one with more advanced capabilities and the ability to handle larger data volumes and it is likely that the Japanese will offer the same.

Pricing will obviously depend on what service and how many people will be using it, but as it comes with a complete set of front–end tools that can extend back end capabilities it can be scaled according to enterprise needs to include as many users or tools as necessary.

This pricing and packaging model allows even casual users to seamlessly move from individual use to departmental-wide deployments.