SAP is looking to help Windows shops running its ERP applications get business intelligence on the cheap.
This week, it announced plans to add technology acquired from BI vendor iLytix Systems to its Business One line of ERP applications, which is aimed at small to medium businesses.
With the rollout of a new XL Reporter tool for Business One, SAP wants to help smaller companies run reports and perform analysis without expert help. XL Reporter can interoperate with Microsoft Excel and Outlook to help users of the programs export SAP data directly to their desktops for slicing and dicing.
SAP is adding the features following the acquisition of Oslo-based iLytix.
XL Reporter should cut down on the time and errors associated with manually extracting and reformatting data for use in a report, says Gadi Shamia, vice president of solution management for SAP Business One.
XL Reporter could simplify the creation of multiple reports, says Joshua Goldman, co-chief executive of Laservall North America, which provides laser-marking equipment and runs Business One to support its CRM, financial and inventory processes. He hasn't used the tool yet but said he's looking forward to its availability.
Currently, Laservall must rely on the canned reports provided by SAP, which Goldman says are difficult to reformat. Customising different reports for various end users would require expensive training — something the company doesn't want to spend money on after its considerable investment in its initial ERP rollout, he says.
XL Reporter will ship by the end of this quarter and will be added as part of the standard Business One upgrade at no extra charge.