It was announced yesterday that SAP is acquiring Business Objects for $6.8billion in what is described as a friendly take-over (and leaked out a couple of weeks back as reported here ).
On the product side, the benefits are obvious from SAP perspective – although there will certainly be some integration and overlap issues for SAP to deal with (covered well by Forrester here). Clearly, it also brings a large number of new customers to SAP – although it will be a long term project to bring them over to other SAP products.
From the vendor perspective, it reduces the choice for ISVs wanting to partner with a Business Intelligence vendor. This should make Cognos (now the only significant independent BI vendor) in particular happy. However, the big question is will IBM grab Cognos now to fill its own BI gap before Oracle gets there first. Of course nothing may happen – Remember the speculation around Informatica and Oracle after Ascential was bought by IBM a couple of years back?
And finally… For the customers of BO, it will take a while for the smoke to clear. However, SAP paying that amount of money should make BO customers very confident that their software has a strong future. What it means to users of SAP’s existing BI product is equally obvious: While it is very likely the products will be supported for a long time, it is equally very likely that they will not be the basis of SAP’s BI strategy going forward.