Not wanting to waste anyone's time, I warned people upfront that if they were there to find out how to connect to BEx, BICS, BW, BWA or any other SAP-centric data source/connection they may want to move on. I lost quite a few people every time I mentioned this, which was OK, but I can't help think that a lot of SAP customers are missing out on some big opportunities to turn off some other BI solutions that they have in house.
In my first session, I asked how many folks were already running BOBJ. Almost all hands went up. I then asked how many also had, somewhere in their company, another BI solution to support another applications. About half of the hands went up (and I'd wager those that didn't just don't know about what shadow IT has put out there).
In case you haven't heard, the economy is pretty tight these days, so why are companies still paying maintenance on two BI tools when BusinessObjects can almost certainly handle all of their reporting needs? A few possibilities exist.
- Because they don't know they can. A lot of SAP customers probably just bought BOBJ because they were told to, and once in, the account rep had no incentive to encourage them off of their existing tools even though the BusinessObjects family can report off of practically anything.
- Because it would cost more. Obviously this will depend on what your licensing looks like, but it is probably worth a look. I haven't seen a formal study, but I'd wager that if you took into account the key cost drivers in a switch from BI tool X to BusinessObjects (retraining people, porting content in, eliminated maintenance and support) you'd come out at least even if not better off, with tons of future savings in only having one toolset to support.
- Because change isn't easy. Even if an organization knows what BOBJ can do, and that it will save them money, sometimes it really isn't organizationally worth the hassle. It's "because we've always done it that way" at it's worst.