Business Objects today announced the general availability of BusinessObjects™ XI. Offering the most advanced and complete platform in BI, BusinessObjects XI marks a revolutionary step forward for BI technology.
BusinessObjects XI is the first and only BI platform that delivers a complete set of market leading BI capabilities: best in class reporting, query and analysis, performance management, and data integration. BusinessObjects XI completes the integration of the Crystal and Business Objects product lines, and introduces significant innovations that will deliver BI in new ways to a much broader set of users. This groundbreaking platform will drive much wider adoption of BI in organizations, and will allow them to standardize on a single advanced platform for all of their BI needs.
“The launch of BusinessObjects XI is a game-changing event in the business intelligence industry,” said Bernard Liautaud, chairman and CEO of Business Objects. “The innovations in BusinessObjects XI will liberate BI to the masses – giving everyone extreme insight. This product will make business intelligence a mainstream technology in organizations, and an indispensable asset for improving enterprise performance.”
“In 2005, the vision of “information democracy” (information available broadly to employees, consultants, customers, suppliers, and the public) will re-emerge as a driving force for BI,” said Howard Dresner, et al. at Gartner, Inc. “Today, the technology is more mature and scalable to realize this vision.” Gartner: Management Update: Predicts 2005: BI and Data Warehousing Face Business Pressures,” by Howard Dresner et al., November 17, 2004.
Extreme Insight: Delivering BI to a Broader Set of Users
BI Directly Within Microsoft Office
Most employees today, from financial analysts to business managers, work in Microsoft Office every day and store critical business data in Office applications. BusinessObjects XI brings BI directly to these users by embedding business intelligence directly in the Office applications, and it allows Office documents to be secured and managed in the BI platform. With BusinessObjects XI, Microsoft Office is transformed into a secure, trusted, and live source of business intelligence.
For example, a business user can read a BusinessObjects XI report directly within a PowerPoint document. If they want to drill down into the data, or refresh the report, they can perform this analysis directly within PowerPoint. With most point products from other BI vendors, the user must export the report back into the BI environment, perform their analysis, and then import it back into the PowerPoint.
BI Encyclopedia Puts Information in Context
For widespread adoption of BI to be truly effective, BI must provide both technical and business users with more than just raw data: it needs to provide context around where the information came from, how it was calculated, what it means, and guidelines for how to use it most effectively.
BusinessObjects XI includes an important innovation called the BI Encyclopedia. Embedded directly in BusinessObjects XI reports, the BI Encyclopedia tells users the definition of business terms and the questions the report answers, as well as how to find other reports with related information.
Collaborative Discussions in Reports Facilitates Problem Solving
BusinessObjects XI uniquely allows users to engage in collaborative analysis and decision making directly within dashboards, scorecards, and reports. For example, if a sales manager looks at a dashboard and notices that sales in a particular region have decreased, he can initiate a secure discussion within the BI environment and work with other sales managers to understand the business problem more fully.
“New features in BusinessObjects XI will help break down the barriers to BI adoption,” said Wayne Eckerson, director of research, The Data Warehousing Institute.
“For example, the product will enable users, particular those new to BI, to discuss each report and recommend next steps. Also, the new BI Encyclopedia provides information about reports that help users learn more about their business.”
Trusted Platform for Unprecedented Reliability and Performance
BusinessObjects XI delivers a trusted platform that guarantees BI deployments can keep pace as organizations grow – without compromising stability or data credibility.
Modern Service Oriented Architecture Makes BI More Adaptable
The BusinessObjects XI platform is built on a modern, Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), and builds on the only BI platform that is Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Datacenter certified for reliability. Because the platform is based on SOA standards, organizations can adapt their BI deployments as business strategy and heterogeneous computing environments evolve. Traditionally, applications have hardwired interconnectivity to perform specific business tasks. But with SOA, Business Objects XI allows applications to communicate openly and without limits on what business functions they can handle.
Automatic Failover and No Single Point of Failure Deliver Unprecedented Reliability
The BusinessObjects XI platform is unmatched in its ability to intelligently distribute processing among servers based on server performance and availability. This ensures that server errors or system failures remain invisible to end users, and content is preserved. This also means that a critical BI application is not dependent on a single server in the system. In case any server fails, BusinessObjects XI automatically and intelligently re-directs processing to another server that can handle the load. With point products from other BI vendors, if a server fails, users must log-out, re-boot, and begin their session again.
High Performance from Intelligent Server Provisioning
BusinessObjects XI includes an innovative capability that allows the system to automatically turn on and turn off server resources based on user demand. For example, a large company that uses Business Objects XI to distribute human resources reports to thousands of employees one day a month would automatically turn on more server resources during that peak period, but for the rest of the month, BusinessObjects XI would automatically revert back to using fewer server resources. With point products from other BI vendors, a customer would be required to assign the maximum amount of server resources at all times, or risk poor performance during peak usage periods.
World-Class Beta Program Produces Rave Reviews for BusinessObjects XI
Business Objects conducted a comprehensive beta program for BusinessObjects XI. More than 100 customers and partners from around the world participated in the program, and feedback from customers was extremely positive. BusinessObjects XI beta customers include Aetna, AG Edwards, Apple Computer, Astra Zeneca, Bank of America, Charles Schwab, DaimlerChrysler, Discover Financial, Enterprise Rent-a-Car, General Electric, Nortel, Toronto Police Service, and the U.S. Air Force.
BusinessObjects XI began shipping in December 2004 and is currently available on Windows. BusinessObjects XI is expected to be available on all major platforms and languages progressively throughout the first half of 2005.