Business Objects offers BI software on-demand

Business Objects SA has started to roll out a full suite of business intelligence (BI) software in the form of an online service, initially for customers using Inc. applications.

The service allows customers to use Business Objects’ BI tools without having to maintain the software themselves or buy extra servers on which to run it. Business Objects maintains a copy of each customer’s data in its own data centers, and employees access the data and BI applications through a Web browser.

Business Objects took its first steps in on-demand software last April with the release of, for sharing reports online. That service has attracted about 50,000 customers, the company said. The new service announced Monday, called Intelligence OnDemand, includes a broader set of applications for formatted reporting, running ad hoc queries and analysis, and displaying BI “dashboards” on a user’s desktop.

The first version of the service, available now, is for customers who have data stored in’s online CRM applications. Business Objects will load a copy of the customer’s Salesforce data to its own data centers and build a data warehouse that customers can use to run their BI queries.

The service is aimed at sales and marketing staff and business analysts at companies with a high volume of Salesforce data, and is the first in suite of similar services that Business Objects plans to roll out, the company said. It includes on-demand versions of its Crystal Reports, Crystal Xcelsius and Web Intelligence products.

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