Yes, SAP Business Objects (BO) will address your BI needs – no doubt about it. But so will many other products – MicroStrategy, Oracle, IBM Cognos and so on come to mind. Now BO is big. It is big on capability, big on footprint, big on required skill-sets and tends to be big on cost (consultants love it). SAP groupies will undoubtedly want to use BO, others might want to reflect more carefully.
SAP BO comprises over twenty products that address everything from Microsoft Office integration through to data integration. It would be truly futile to provide details on these components, although it is worth pointing out that SAP Predictive Analysis uses the same visual front-end as the rest of the products – and this is a particularly useful feature as the boundaries between BI and data mining start to blur – as they inevitably will.
Criticism of BO usually revolves around complexity and cost. Some of the newer BI entrants (specifically QlikView and Spotfire) provide much more manageable BI environments at a fraction of the cost. But then again they are not quite so all-embracing. As always it’s a trade-off. If you really want a huge monolithic BI environment then be prepared to pay for it. If you don’t, then accept that some of the bells and whistles might be absent – although an extensible BI environment (again QlikView and Spotfire) should make up for this. The choice is yours.