Business intelligence fuels growth for small and midsize customers
WALLDORF, Germany, Aug. 17, 2010 -- To keep growth on track in a challenging economic climate, small and midsize companies need immediate, holistic insight across their organizations. As they grow successfully, these companies also need solutions that can easily scale to keep pace. In order to address these requirements, SAP AG (NYSE: SAP) delivers market-leading business intelligence (BI) solutions that empower employees with intuitive access to information, giving them the visibility necessary to make smarter decisions. Recognizing that small and midsize customers often have limited IT budgets, these BI solutions can be simply deployed and administered with minimal resources. Customers such as Anna's Linens, Central Indiana Community Foundation, Genband, OraSure Technologies and NC4 currently rely on BI solutions from the SAP® BusinessObjects™ portfolio to keep business strategy aligned with execution.
"SAP provides a broad set of BI solutions that help small and midsize companies tackle information overload while offering pricing and packaging that addresses the particular needs of this market," said Wayne Eckerson, director of TDWI research at The Data Warehousing Institute. "These customers need a solution they can easily customize, implement and manage, while providing immediate value to business users."
SAP provides a range of on-premise and on-demand BI solutions for data access, retrieval, exploration, management and visualization. All of these products are specifically designed for small and midsize organizations, and are also adopted increasingly by departments and individuals within larger companies.
Gaining an Edge with BI
For home fashion and furnishing retailer Anna's Linens, BI solutions from SAP have helped in the company's transition from a regional to a national company. The company is using SAP® BusinessObjects™ Edge BI software, which provides a full suite of exploration, dashboarding, reporting and analysis tools, as well as information management solutions that unify data from multiple sources and help ensure that data is reliable and accurate. It is also using SAP® Crystal solutions, which empower business people to view, create and share interactive dashboards and reports.
"Our management team realized our success depended on visibility into our business to make sure we were on track with our strategic plan," said Scott Gladstone, chief operating officer, Anna's Linens. "SAP BusinessObjects Edge BI and SAP Crystal solutions have enabled us to benchmark and measure performance so that the company can see how well we perform against our goals and key initiatives. Now we've been able to combine data so managers can better understand KPIs like inventory productivity and gross margin return on investment. Company executives receive the same information in a dashboard format, so they can quickly and easily see a snapshot of the status of the business. With BI solutions from SAP, our management can drill down to see where opportunities exist and analyze what is happening at 260 locations quickly. All of this helps us make better decisions to drive our continued growth."
For OraSure Technologies, accurate insight and reporting is critical. The public company produces medical devices and diagnostic tests and needed to gain more streamlined access to business intelligence to help drive business decisions.
"As a small but growing company, our main objective was to get data into the hands of users in departments like sales, finance and budgeting, and give them tools so they could analyze data themselves," said Scott Baker, manager of SAP systems, OraSure Technologies. "SAP provides us with reports, dashboards and the ability to explore data – all of these capabilities are intuitive and easy to use. With SAP BusinessObjects Edge BI, version with data integration, we can unify data from across the company and give people reports and dashboards that reflect one trusted version of the truth. We also love the SAP BusinessObjects Explorer software because it's so easy to use that people can focus more time on what the data is showing them than how to get the information out of the system. The tool was user-ready essentially out of the box."
Crystal Clear Reporting
Another organization gaining business value with BI solutions from SAP is the Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF), a $550 million public foundation that offers consultation on charitable giving, awards grants to effective not-for-profit organizations, and provides community leadership. For CICF, SAP Crystal solutions are instrumental in successfully matching donors with the right non-profits.
"SAP Crystal solutions bring us immediate access to the information we need to best manage charitable donations for central Indiana," said Julie Cole Mecum, business intelligence specialist, CICF. "SAP BusinessObjects solutions and data marts allow us to drill down on data spread over different databases for granular views, create executive dashboards for more informed decision-making and run reports for approximately 800 charitable funds. With batch reporting, reports that once took us a week to produce are now available in less than one day – and we can make them accessible online in user-friendly formats. All of this has translated into operational savings for CICF which results in more resources for our community."
SAP recently incorporated the former Crystal Reports® offerings and Xcelsius® software under the SAP brand, underlining the company's continued investment in both the product line and channels through which these solutions are distributed.
Meeting the Demand for On-Demand BI
Customers such as GENBAND and NC4 are turning to SAP for on-demand add-ons to their existing IT landscapes. The SAP® BusinessObjects™ BI OnDemand solution allows customers to leverage the benefits of software-as-a-service; they can upload spreadsheets or bring together on-premise and on-demand data in the cloud and then explore, report and share that data securely within minutes and without training. Through a connected user-licensing model, SAP is the leading vendor offering the combination of BI on premise and on demand, providing customers with ultimate flexibility in deployment options for end users.
"SAP BusinessObjects BI OnDemand integrates with our existing Salesforce application, allowing us to provide reports based on our CRM data," said Angie Reese, CRM business analyst, GENBAND. "This integration saves time by automating reporting. Since acquiring Nortel Carrier Voice Over IP business, we have scaled our organization by approximately four times and SAP BusinessObjects BI OnDemand has been a helpful tool for managing a much larger organization."
"NC4 has been a long-time business partner with SAP, using SAP BusinessObjects BI OnDemand to provide key performance indicators for enhancing situational awareness in conjunction with our E Team incident management solution," said Eric Kant, E Team product manager, NC4. "From the hurricane recovery command centers to the Vancouver Olympics operations, SAP BusinessObjects BI OnDemand has provided our customers with reports that contain critical information, such as tracking shelter capacities, identifying increases in particular types of resource requests or demonstrating timeliness of incident response. The people using this information are typically government employees, health officials, city police or firefighters whose mission is to ensure public safety and provide support for potential life-saving projects. SAP's BI solutions make on-demand reports easily accessible without the need for additional IT support, empowering public servants with data they didn't have access to previously."
SAP is the world's leading provider of business software(*), offering applications and services that enable companies of all sizes and in more than 25 industries to become best-run businesses. With more than 102,500 customers in over 120 countries, the company is listed on several exchanges, including the Frankfurt stock exchange and NYSE, under the symbol "SAP." For more information, visit www.sap.com.
(*) SAP defines business software as comprising enterprise resource planning, business intelligence, and related applications. Any statements contained in this document that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements as defined in the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as "anticipate," "believe," "estimate," "expect," "forecast," "intend," "may," "plan," "project," "predict," "should" and "will" and similar expressions as they relate to SAP are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. SAP undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations. The factors that could affect SAP's future financial results are discussed more fully in SAP's filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"), including SAP's most recent Annual Report on Form 20-F filed with the SEC. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of their dates.
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