Business Objects Making Marks with 2000

In an attempt gain increased visibility in the business intelligence (BI) space and show off the results of its recent acquisitions, Business Objects SA ( recently released its BusinessObjects 2000 product suite.

BusinessObjects 2000 emerges with new releases of most of its key components: InfoView portal, Business Objects, and MDX Connect were in beta until the suite became available.

After acquiring Next Action Technology in October 1999 and OLAP@Work in April 2000, Business Objects gained new technologies it hoped to incorporate into its product lines. With Next Action, Business Objects acquired set-based analysis technology that has been worked into its Business Objects Set Analyzer product. OLAP@Work contributed to the BusinessObjects MDX Connect option the ability to connect to Microsoft OLAP Services and other OLE DB for OLAP compliant sources.

With its new capabilities and products, Business Objects used the suite announcement as an opportunity to reintroduce itself to the BI market and position itself against its competition, said Mike Schiff, director of data warehousing strategies at Current Analysis Inc. ( in a report titled, "Business Objects: A Suite for the New Millennium."

"Business Objects' traditional competitors -- including Brio, Cognos, and Seagate -- should be preparing their sales force for increased competition," Schiff stated.

Despite Schiff's promising analysis of Business Objects' suite, he warns the company should be wary of the way it is marketing its new offering because competitors will use this to their advantage. "The branding is inconsistent, circular, and confusing," Schiff said. "For example, the key products in BusinessObjects 2000 include BusinessObjects. In the external press release, the product names are completely capitalized, while the press release on the company's Web site uses both upper and lower case."

With the new suite addressing prior problem issues, such as difficulties with deployments in large enterprises and a lack of unstructured data in reports, Schiff says the company is making another mark on the BI market: "We believe that Business Objects has demonstrated that it is off to a positive start in the new millennium."

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