At Sapphire last week the bloggers had a great session with Timo Elliot, one of the influx of Business Objects talent at SAP. I was pleased that the green shoots of enterprise unstructured/social tooling progress I identified in depth last year had not been stamped out during the long night of the short knives that marks any software M&A.
No siree BOBJ. Timo pointed to the Business Objects Relationship Analysis Server (still a prototype not a product) – which takes information from LDAP directory, applications, databases, etc… and visualises it. Quite nice actually.
Certainly the Adobe Flex front ends the Business Objects people are using are lovely enough to annoy some of the SAP not invented here old guard. As I said on twitter during the demo
SAP is going to get fresh. expect the old farts to fight back http://www.sapweb20.com/blog/
I thought it was kind of funny, though obviously not surprising, that one of the reasons SAP has been slow to turn the prototype into product is European data protection law. While American firms would consider metadata about employee interactions to be company property, under German law that is certainly not the case – no, in Germany it would be called spying.
But what entertaining spying it might be. Can you imagine the insights generated watching employee interactions during a major acquisition? How does someone come out on top in a scenario like that?
Don’t worry: there will be more analysis to come from Sapphire. This is just a warm up.
disclosure: SAP is not currently a subscription client although we are doing some project work with the firm.