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Lyndsay Wise

Hi and welcome to my blog! I look forward to bringing you weekly posts about what is happening in the world of BI, CDI and marketing performance management.

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Lyndsay is the President and Founder of WiseAnalytics, an independent analyst firm specializing in business intelligence, master data management and unstructured data. For†more than†seven years, she has assisted clients in business systems analysis, software selection and implementation of enterprise applications. Lyndsay conducts regular research studies, consults, writes articles and speaks about improving the value of business intelligence within organizations. She can be reached at lwise@wiseanalytics.com.

Editor's Note: More articles and resources†are available in Lyndsay's BeyeNETWORK†Expert†Channel. Be sure to visit today!

May 2011 Archives

Last week I attended Sybase‘s annual analyst summit. ¬†The first since the formal SAP acquisition was jam packed with customer case studies and company high points. One of the key points Sybase aimed at conveying was its continued independence and focus on development as well as its complementary nature to SAP. With the following being the main focus of messaging surrounding the acquisition, it becomes possible to surmise long-term focus of the venture:

  1. Database  and analytical database capabilities that now give SAP the ability to provide customers with a full BI platform outside the scope of SAP and SAPBW users.
  2. Mobile technologies and the ability to SAP to leverage that market and integrate its applications within a mobile infrastructure.

Both of these areas highlight the benefits of the Sybase acquisition to SAP and showcases where they will continue their focus in relation to development efforts and providing products and services to their current and future customer base. General messaging centered around the complementary nature of both companies and their ability to build out cohesive offerings due to their previous collaboration (integration capabilities), and lack of overlap in regards to general product offerings.

When looking at BI specifically, as mentioned above, SAP can now provide an overall BI solution that can be deployed independently of SAP only data. ¬†With 20% of cross over customers and Business Objects being Sybase’s largest front-end partner in terms of adoption, it remains to be seen how other partnerships will continue or maintain their presence over time. ¬†What can be said is that for Business Objects companies looking for stronger analytics and the integration of a columnar data warehouse, the acquisition may be of benefit.

Overall, due to the previous integration capabilities between BI solutions, integration efforts needed are far from robust. The benefits of this include the ability to take advantage of a full BI offering without having to wait years for proper integration to exist.


Posted May 23, 2011 1:55 PM
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Last week I attended the Sybase Analyst Summit and gained general insight into their product roadmap, general offerings, customer applications, and SAP acquisition goals. Aside from focusing on their CEP solutions enabling rapid application design and their database analytics offerings, a main portion of Sybase customer base and revenue are generated through their mobile applications. One of the first messages delivered at the summit was the continued focus on innovation and development with 13 new mobile patents in the past year.  

The availability of a full-scale BI offering combining the advanced analytics back-end of Sybase with a Business Objects front-end is appealing as Business Objects' focus after the SAP acquisition shifted towards SAP integration and increasing its adoption within SAP's customer base. And although complementary technologies, Sybase does not necessarily provide increased level of competitive advantage within the market place outside of organizations wanting to develop a full spectrum BI solution from a single vendor. Yes, SAP can now take advantage of back-end BI technology that is not dependent on SAP application use. In the long-term it remains to be seen how much this acquisition affects the BI side in terms of BI adoption and expansion beyond the creation of a stronger EIM platform and back-end offering for Business Objects customers. 

For SAP, the key benefit of the Sybase acquisition remains mobility. Sybase's key value outside of analytical databases reamins its ability to provide robust mobile infrastructures and applications that extend business and consumer applications to mobile devices.  As more businesses and consumers look at mobile as their Internet and application access point, more opportunity will exist to integrate SAP applications with Sybase mobile technology. And beyond this is the ability for SAP to increase BI and application market share and penetrate a new market while taking advantage of the expertise of its acquired company. 

Mobile access includes more than the availability of applications on mobile devices and access to information.  Now mobile is providing high levels of interactivity and mobile customers are starting to use their mobile devices as a main way to keep in touch, do their banking, and interact with their business applications. Sybase provided many examples of customers providing mobile applications to customers such as with ClickSoftware, and Harris Interactive. The next phase, however, will be the integration of BI with mobile technology.

Although currently at the beginning phases with mobile BI availability and adoption, Sybase shows the potential for organizations to take this one step further. Instead of having access to a specific level of BI or dashboard deployed on a mobile device, organizations need the ability to move from operations to insight without any roadblocks.  As mobility and the concepts surrounding the unwired enterprise expand towards adoption, mobile applications and analytics will converge to provide BI functionality and insights based on operational data. Although available in the realm of traditional BI (based on a subset of advanced operational BI applications), the benefits of mobility in relation to BI application will continue to broaden within the BI market at large.

Posted May 23, 2011 5:19 AM
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With all the hype and increasing popularity of SaaS BI, organizations are used to hearing the positive aspects of using a SaaS BI solution. Some of these include:

  1. BI as a service vs. the effort required to develop and deploy an in-house solution
  2. No additional hardware required
  3. Lower initial implementation costs
  4. Subscription licensing models
  5. Professional services expertise

These areas represent common benefits for companies interested in SaaS offerings.  For smaller businesses and targeted applications, the use of SaaS may be the most practical way of integrating new BI applications within the organization due to quicker implementation times and lack of dependence on IT for long-term maintenance.

On the other hand are considerations that organizations should look at to identify whether SaaS BI represents the right choice for them:

  1. Growth over time Рmany SaaS providers charge based on users and data storage.  Initial implementations take into account current requirements but may not consider future growth, additional historical data captured, or end user expansion.  All of these areas can increase the yearly subscription fees astronomically.
  2. Full BI suites Рalthough some exist, the reality is that most SaaS BI offerings are limited in overall scope of offering.  With Salesforce plug-ins being the most common application within the realm of analytics, organizations may have limited expansion options when trying to expand their BI use over time.
  3. Integration РIntegration considerations remain a challenge for any organization.  Depending on the type of data sources required, limitations might exist.

Although an attractive choice for many, the value of SaaS doesn’t exist for every organization in the same way. ¬†Businesses should use the above areas as a guide to determine and weigh the benefits and costs of SaaS versus traditional BI offerings.


Posted May 1, 2011 2:32 AM
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