Business Objects, a leading provider of business intelligence (BI) solutions, announced the availability of its road map for integrating Business Objects and Crystal Decisions products. A product integration road map white paper, available now at www.businessobjects.com, details the process used to develop the road map and outlines the strategies and plans for integrating the company's products.

Customer input forms the foundation of the product road map. Over the past six months, a team of experts from the combined company met with customers from every major geography and industry to obtain guidance and feedback in the development of future product plans. Business Objects also met with leading industry analysts to leverage their insights and gather feedback from a balanced, vendor-neutral source. Finally, a joint task force of Business Objects and Crystal Decisions employees worked together to synthesize this feedback and create the final product road map. The task force, which consisted of executives, engineers, product managers, marketing managers and other contributors, spent over 20 person-years refining and validating the road map.

Based on input from customers, analysts and the combined company task force, the product road map is built on four key principles:

  • Minimize the total cost of ownership (TCO). TCO is a critical metric for the long-term success of any IT investment. Business Objects customers saw a clear opportunity to lower their TCO, especially by integrating the infrastructure of the product line. This will provide one place in which to manage all users, metadata, integration points to other systems, customizations, security and more. In addition, customers can dramatically lower their TCO by reducing the need for redundant skill sets, administration, hardware and end-user training.
  • Provide a clear upgrade path. Customers stressed the importance of smooth upgrades and migration as Business Objects enhances and integrates the products.
  • Build on existing strengths. Customers want to build on the success they already have achieved with their respective products, and for Business Objects to continue to improve and enhance current product functionality.
  • Balance integration with innovation. Customers want to see continued innovation as Business Objects moves forward with integration.

The product road map will bring together the company's two product lines in three phases:

  • Phase one: product integration pack. Will provide portal integration, common web service API's, and enable Business Objects metadata, or "universes" as an optional data source for Crystal Reports. The company expects to deliver this integration pack in the second quarter of this year.
  • Phase two: platform-level integration. Phase two will provide significant platform-level integration, supporting core products from both product lines running on a common infrastructure with common administration. The company expects to deliver platform-level integration by the end of 2004.
  • Phase three: complete integration. Phase three will provide the final phase of integration, delivering a superset of all current product functionality on an enhanced, integrated platform. The company expects to deliver complete integration in 2005.

The product integration road map plan is the current plan for integrating the company's product lines. However, these plans may be refined, updated, or revised from time to time, based on customer input and market conditions. All product roadmap and product integration plans are subject to change without notice.

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