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Business intelligence software provider Business Objects took the unusual step of issuing an apology to customers for issues related to poor service including delayed deliveries of the company’s technology. The announcement arrived via email last Friday after the close of U.S. business hours and was not posted at the Business Objects or SAP Web sites. A statement received from Business Objects this week said the email and related problems were limited to a subset of Business Objects data quality customers.


The email originally sent to customers and forwarded to DM Review was signed by Pascal Clement, VP of Enterprise Information Management at SAP/Business Objects. It stated in part, “As we look back at the past several weeks, it is painfully obvious that our internal system issues have brought challenges and unwanted distractions to your ongoing operation of Business Objects software solutions. To be specific, many customers have not been able to receive our technologies in a timely manner. You have our most sincere apology for these issues and also our total dedication toward immediate resolution.”


The note continued, “These recent missteps have caused concern for our entire organization,” and that resolving these issues are the company’s “highest priority.” The email included telephone numbers and Internet links for customer care, electronic software delivery, documentation and product alerts.


On Tuesday, Business Objects provided a statement to DM Review, attributed to Franz Aman, VP of Business Intelligence Platform Marketing at SAP/Business Objects. The statement read: “Recently a small number of SAP/Business Objects data quality customers have had difficulty receiving technology support in a timely manner. We acknowledge the situation and sincerely apologize for this temporary inconvenience. Issues with migration are currently being resolved and we have put additional resources and staff to address the issues immediately. Customer support managers have all been apprised of these measures and we did not hesitate to contact our customers directly as well.”


A spokesperson for Business Objects declined to say how many customers had received the apology but, despite the email’s broad tone, said it was directed to a “small subset of legacy data quality customers.”


Enterprise technology vendor SAP acquired Business Objects late last year in a deal valued at nearly $6.8 billion. The spokesperson said the problems are not related to the acquisition or new joint software releases announced earlier this year.


In January, SAP and Business Objects released nine enterprise packages of existing bundled software addressing areas of financial performance management; governance, risk and compliance (GRC); visualization and reporting; enterprise query, reporting and analysis; master data services; and data integration and data quality management. Other releases were targeted at mid-sized businesses through Business Objects Edge, SAP All-in-One and Crystal Reports Server and included an on-demand delivery model called SAP Business ByDesign.

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