Business Objects: Objets D'Art
Customers, though, only care that the company continues to improve its reporting and analytic tools, especially the speed with which they operate.
At Thrifty Car Rental, where Sales and Marketing Business Analyst Kristi Benton says her company's BusinessObjects deployment is "the best reporting tool they've ever provided me with," the data warehouse is constantly updated. That makes Benton's job possible in the present tense. "Now I don't have a waiting period," she says. Before, "if processors were running in the data warehouse, and we tried to hit it, we were slowing down the data loads. Now most of the stuff I go for comes back in 30 seconds."
Immediacy always matters. At plastic-bottle-maker Consolidated Container, real-time reporting was more important than real-time analysis. "We had very basic questions," says Director of Information Technology Andrew Ziegele. "We wanted more live data and we didn't have the high-end analytics. The vast majority of all reports are liveas plants ship or receive or produce inventory, everyone can see that in real-time." Though much of the staff had been familiar with Cognos, Ziegele says, "between pricing and licensing, functions and features, we went with Business Objects." For facilities company W.W. Grainger, where Business Objects is integrated with SAP, customer service played a big role. "Business Objects really understood the mission that we had," says Vice President for Knowledge Management Services Sam Kim. "Not just from the software side."
Still, the software's simplicity and ease-of-use are key. Canadian Pacific Railroad only needed consultants for "a handful of days," says Michael Clarke, manager of corporate data management. "We didn't want to have a crew of consultants," Ziegele says. "We had other data conversion issuesBusiness Objects was the least of our concerns."& Company Info">
Executives listed here are all customers of Business Objects. Their willingness to talk has been confirmed by Baseline.
Project: Atlanta-based maker of plastic bottles is more than halfway through a planned rollout in its 70 plants of BusinessObjects, covering financials, logistics and inventory.
CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILROAD
Manager, Corporate Data Management
Project: A user for five years, the transportation company has deployed BusinessObjects in three main areas: marketing, operations and customer service.
OWENS & MINOR
Director, Information Management
Project: Medical-product supplier first chose Business Objects back in 1996, and now uses WebIntelligence for a revenue-generating extranet with customers.
Lead Business Financial Analyst
Project: N.C.-based utility chose Business Objects over Cognos and Brio to improve its cost-management process by getting report-creation ability in the hands of analysts instead of programmers.
THRIFTY CAR RENTAL
Business Analyst, Sales & Marketing
Project: Has been running BusinessObjects 5.0 for the last two years, but will be phasing to Cognos as part of its merger with Dollar.
VP, Knowledge Management Svcs.
Project: The $4.8-billion facilities provider uses BusinessObjects, integrated with SAP, to coordinate a centralized source of information about its more than 400 stocking locations.
3030 Orchard Parkway
San Jose, CA 95134
Chairman, CEO, Co-Founder
Before co-founding the company in 1990, had been the deputy scientific attaché for the French Embassy in Washington, D.C.
Runs global operations and, among other duties, is responsible for the e-store. Most recently, he was president and CEO of systems-management e-business software provider Marimba.
Group VP, Worldwide Channel Sales
Formerly general manager of data integration, he managed the integration of Acta Technology (July 2002). Also ran global strategic alliances, managing partnerships with system integrators, IBM, Microsoft, and ERP vendors.
BusinessObjects 5i and WebIntelligence 2.6 are the latest of the company's reporting tools, offered alongside BusinessObjects Application Foundation and a planned update intended to highlight collaboration features.