Henri Theuwissen has written Convincing Reasons to Move to Web Intelligence, a thoughtful and detailed review of how organizations can move from Desktop Intelligence to Web Intelligence. Henri makes the case that
The conversion from Desktop Intelligence to Web Intelligence:
– Reduces the total cost of ownership (TCO).
– Increases the ease of deployment and upgrade.
– Offers better web-based performance and higher interactivity over the web.
– Is more closely coupled with other capabilities offered by SAP products such as Xcelsius, Explorer, Live Office, Mobile or BI widgets
Although I teach the official SAP Web Intelligence course, the course doesn’t draw parallels to Desktop Intelligence. So I’m very thankful to Henri for putting together a comprehensive resource. My first exposure to BusinessObjects was in 2003 with version 5.1. I remember my mentor Jeff Bartel, now an SAP Sales Consulting Manager, telling me to “not worry about Web Intelligence”, as it really wasn’t useful. Web Intelligence became a much more viable tool beginning with Web Intellgence 6.5, took some additional steps with XI Release 1, and came into its own with XI Release 2. Web Intelligence XI 3.0 added the Rich Client and Web Intelligence XI 3.1 SP2 continues the trend of adding functionality currently present in Desktop Intelligence along with never before seen features like input controls, which have no Desktop Intelligence equivalent. Henri indicates that the maturity of Web Intelligence will continue later this year with the next major release, code named Aurora. Aurora will be the first major BusinessObjects release under SAP’s leadership, so it will be interesting to see what happens with product names (Interactive Analysis?), version numbers (XI 4.0, or something else?), and new features.
In any case, the days of Desktop Intelligence are numbered and customers should embrace Web Intelligence as much as possible. Any advanced requirement that cannot be handled by Web Intelligence should be implemented using Crystal Reports, not Desktop Intelligence. But there really are many convincing reasons to move to Web Intelligence and Henri Theuwissen points the way.