SAP Business Objects excels against similar competition, but against the likes of Spotfire, Tableau, Qlik, and Si Sense, it's just plain old "BO"
Updated March 04, 2015

SAP Business Objects excels against similar competition, but against the likes of Spotfire, Tableau, Qlik, and Si Sense, it's just plain old "BO"

Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 3 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Software Version

XI 4.0

Modules Used

  • Web Intelligence, Explorer, Crystal Reports, Lumira, Analysis for Office, Dashboards/Xcelsius

Overall Satisfaction with SAP Business Objects

We initially used Business Objects only in Finance, Procurement, and a couple of other departments. We were in the process of implementing it on a companywide basis. The major problems it addressed were: a view of the overall health of the business, a detailed look at metrics/KPI's, easier access to raw data, the ability to answer pre-defined business questions, reduced reliance on MS Access and Lotus Notes "personal data warehouses", and the ability to explore/discover/mine data when the business question isn't necessarily known.
  • Can handle large data sets with very good response time, especially when paired with SAP HANA.
  • Highly scalable.
  • Capable of producing strong data visualizations.
  • Due to the very large footprint/breadth of the solution, it can do lots of things.
  • Tight integration with SAP Data Services is a plus.
  • SAP's tools are traditionally strong with respect to supporting a global user base, rather than a tool that is tailored 100% to a U.S., English-speaking user base.
  • Backed by a cloud offering with a truly global reach.
  • Implementations are too time-consuming and costly.
  • The components in the Business Objects suite (Lumira, Explorer, WEBI, Analysis, Dashboards/Xcelsius, etc.) all serve different purposes. There is no common look and feel and they all require different skill sets. This leads to challenging training and user adoption and limited BI self-service.
  • The security model behind this and most SAP tools is very cumbersome and difficult to implement and manage.
  • Customization requires skill sets that are not readily available in most organizations. Other competing platforms leverage Java, C#, JavaScript, HTML-5, .NET, etc.
  • Tibco Spotfire,Tableau Server,Actuate,Logi Analytics,Birst,Microsoft BI,QlikView,GoodData,Domo,SiSense,Yellowfin,IBM Cognos
We selected SAP Business Objects in the previous instance because we were implementing SAP ERP and the choice of Business Objects was favorable from an integration and cost perspective. We did not choose SAP Business Objects most recently because of the predicted long implementation times, high cost (without SAP ERP), myriad of required tools, complex security model, difficulty in customizing, and lack of functionality for our specific industry. We felt that Business Objects would thrive more in a typical manufacturing company.

In my opinion, Business Objects stacks up very well against "like competitors". This would include IBM Cognos, Microsoft BI, Oracle (Hyperion and OBIEE), etc. I don't think it compares favorably to the more agile, cutting-edge, and economical leaders in the BI space. This would include TIBCO Spotfire, Tableau, QlikView, Si Sense, etc.
This is not really applicable, as I am no longer with the company that selected and implemented Business Objects. However, if I were still there, I think there would be a reasonably high chance of renewal. Once the initial investments have been made in procuring, implementing, training, etc., it would be somewhat prohibitive NOT to renew.
SAP Business Objects is definitely more appropriate for large organizations with big budgets and longer implementation times. It is more appropriate for organizations that wish to report on areas that mirror the SAP core modules. In other words, it is stronger for standard reporting in HR, Finance, Supply Chain, Sales, Procurement, etc.