RealTime IT News

Business Objects: 'Let There Be Light'

"Let there be light," may not be the freshest phrase around to instill a sense of awe and majesty into a product, but it's the marketing mantra Business Objects  is using to compete in the business intelligence market going forward.

The BI market leader announced the slogan along with new software and upgrades today in an effort to help customers access BI "any time, anywhere, and from any device on the fly."

BI software, a multi-billion-dollar market where Business Objects competes with Oracle , Cognos  and several other players, strives to let managers gain greater insight into the performance of their business processes or staff. Managers can use this knowledge to make smarter decisions in the future.

Chief among the new products is Business Objects' first move to address the BI needs of works using mobile devices, such as Blackberry or Treo smartphones.

BusinessObjects Mobile allows users to access the same reports and metrics they get piped to their desktops or laptops PCs from Blackberry, Windows Mobile, and other popular mobile devices, said Juliette Sultan, vice president of information discovery and delivery. Moreover, the application does not require additional gear to work.

Sultan also said the company is launching the BusinessObjects XI Release 2 Productivity Pack, which boasts new connectivity through Web services  and service-oriented architecture (SOA) . Users can enjoy a new wizard-driven interface to design queries and publish them as Web services without writing code.

For example, the new Query as a Web Service perk in the pack allows users to create a personalized dashboard in any Microsoft Office application, including PowerPoint, Excel, and Word. Other improvements include better BI search, and the ability to gather and access OLAP  data from multiple sources.

Business Objects also launched BusinessObjects Xcelsius Enterprise, which employs information from the core BusinessObjects XI Release 2 platform with visualizations and reports from Crystal Xcelsius, the company BI purchased in 2003.

And if that's not enough, BI added to its on-demand tools with Open Data Connector, which juices up reports hosted on the company's crystalreports.com on-demand application. It does this by securely connecting to any local data source. The company also unveiled Universal Web Services Connector, which connects Crystal Reports and crystalreports.com to any Web services.

Steven Lucas, vice president of on-demand software and services for Business Objects, said the company's software-as-as-service (SaaS) offerings, including the NSite assets and the organic crystalreports.com enjoy 40,000 subscribers to date.

Business Objects' rebranding comes a week after the company bid to buy financial planning software maker Cartesis got $300 million to counter Oracle's $3.3 billion purchase of Hyperion.