Two of the biggest growth opportunities for business intelligence are expanding the use of business intelligence to reach more people within all organisations, and the growing opportunities within small and medium-sized businesses. With todays launch of BusinessObjects XI Release 2, Business Objects is providing its partners with a BI platform that delivers new innovations to help take advantage of these two growth drivers.

Traditional BI tools have focused on reaching the small percentage of BI power users in an organisation who build the reports or conduct ad hoc query and analysis. BusinessObjects XI Release 2 offers partners innovative new capabilities to help their customers expand the use of BI to casual users. These innovations include BusinessObjects Intelligent Question, which allows anyone to intuitively ask business questions and receive correct answers, without the need to build a query or know the underlying systems or data. Intelligent Question is the industrys first structured questioning environment and is designed to work they way people think.

Additionally, small and medium-sized businesses represent one of the fastest-growing segments of business intelligence. Small and medium-sized companies have BI needs that are very similar to enterprise companies, but often with added constraints on their budget and IT staff. BusinessObjects XI Release 2 provides maximum end-user flexibility for these growing organisations, while maintaining IT control over system security and delivering streamlined administration. In addition, the platform delivers the ability to work with information from a variety of sources - from home-grown applications and spreadsheets to operational systems and databases. The solution is designed to be flexible enough to meet the needs of the small and medium sized businesses, while scaling to meet the needs of the worlds largest and most successful global enterprises.

Business Objects has built the industrys strongest and most diverse partner ecosystem, and these partners will play a critical role in delivering the new version of our BI platform to the market, said Janet Wood, group vice president of global alliances and OEM at Business Objects. We have worked closely with our partners to understand their needs and the needs of their customers, to deliver a solution that will expand their business and help their clients to become high-performance organisations. BusinessObjects XI Release 2 provides our partners with innovations that are not available from any other BI vendor, giving them a leg up in the competitive BI marketplace.

BusinessObjects XI Release 2 has garnered key endorsements from Business Objects partners around the world, including:

APOS Systems
After beta testing BusinessObjects XI Release 2, we are very excited about the enhancements to Desktop Intelligence and innovations across the platform that we feel will add value to the existing Business Objects deployments of our customers, said Dan Clements, president and CEO of APOS Systems. The enhancements in this release will provide a powerful draw for the long-time Business Objects customer to migrate to the new version of the Business Objects BI platform. BusinessObjects XI Release 2 is significant because it lets both traditional customers and new Business Objects customers take advantage of the BusinessObjects XI platform, which opens up new opportunities for our business.

BusinessObjects XI Release 2 is in perfect alignment with our strategy to transform our clients businesses, through a collaborative approach of delivering the right information to the right people at the right time, said Eddie Short, vice president of business information management at Capgemini. We are particularly impressed with Intelligent Question. The interface is so intuitive that any user can now get answers quickly and easily to their most relevant business questions. It will be keenly received by our many clients looking to extend BI to a broader range of employees, for faster, more effective decisions. In addition, the latest version of BusinessObjects Web Intelligence provides powerful data synchronisation. A great example of how this new functionality can add value is in our implementation of customer-centric enterprises, an increasing area of demand. It will allow us to easily provide CRM information from any data source for one view of the customer, via a single web interface, for query and analysis. BusinessObjects XI Release 2 is a significant development, delivered on a flexible BI platform that continues to meet our clients changing needs.

BusinessObjects XI Release 2 is a quantum leap forward for business intelligence. It provides one integrated BI platform which is flexible enough for deployments of all sizes from mid-market organisations through to large corporations, said Colin Terry, Business Objects practice manager at Comset. We are very impressed with the new version of Web Intelligence which provides seamless query and analysis of multiple data sources. This will greatly enhance our delivery of high-performance web applications, one of our core areas of expertise. In addition, Intelligent Question will enable our customers to open up the benefits of BI to more employees, making it easy for even the least technical of users to get fast, accurate answers to business questions.

Conversion Services International
BusinessObjects XI Release 2 demonstrates that Business Objects understands the needs of its channel partners, said Troy Clemente, vice president of professional services for Conversion Services International. The initial launch of BusinessObjects XI has been well received by our customers, and the added functionality in BusinessObjects XI Release 2 should enable us to continue this strong momentum. With BusinessObjects XI we can help our customers standardise on a single BI platform to reach all the users in their organisation. The new features in BusinessObjects Web Intelligence will help power users in an organisation with additional query functionality, while the launch of Intelligent Question provides a new tool to introduce BI to the non-technical users in an organisation.

DataSense Solutions
We expect that BusinessObjects XI Release 2 will make an enormous impact in the business intelligence industry, said Gary Bernstein, vice president of BI Solutions at DataSense Solutions. As a Business Objects Gold VAR Partner, DataSense Solutions has already helped many new customers get started on the BusinessObjects XI platform and we have helped many existing Crystal clients migrate to the new platform, as well. In the meantime, anticipation has been building among our traditional Business Objects clients. Now, with the launch of BusinessObjects XI Release 2 and its added support for traditional Business Objects migrations, we expect our experienced BusinessObjects XI migration and consulting services to be in heavy demand.

Decision First Technologies
While other BI vendors are still working to finish integrating their BI solutions, Business Objects is clearly working on new innovations that will help us sell their platform, said Taylor Courtnay, president and CEO of Decision First Technologies. BusinessObjects XI Release 2 delivers a BI platform that provides the breadth of functionality required by our enterprise customers, while providing the flexibility to meet the constraints of our mid-market customers. The solution is designed to grow with a mid-market organisation as they optimise business performance and increase the scale of their BI needs.

Dunn Solutions Group
With the launch of BusinessObjects XI Release 2, Business Objects has delivered on all the promises to its loyal customer base, said William Dunn, president of Dunn Solutions Group. We asked for a robust web based BI tool which meets, and in some cases exceeds, the capabilities of a traditional thick client product, and Business Objects delivered. We will be recommending BusinessObjects XI Release 2 as our first choice to deploy at our existing customers -- and our new ones.

WCI Consulting
BusinessObjects XI allows WCI Consulting to offer our clients the best solution for their business intelligence initiatives, said Marty Carney, CEO of WCI Consulting. The Business Objects platform provides a solution that accommodates all the BI needs of our clients and helps them to achieve improved business performance. WCI is excited to be working with BusinessObjects XI Release 2, as we feel this new version will further enhance an already best-of-breed solution and enable us to continue to exceed the high expectations of our clients.

Woodburn Group
BusinessObjects XI Release 2 provides an end-to-end business intelligence solution which includes technology for performance management dashboards and scorecards, as well as tools to extract data, create reports, and securely publish information, said John Woodburn, president of Woodburn Group, a Business Objects VAR and Authorised Education Partner based in Minnesota. BusinessObjects XI Release 2 solidifies our clients ability to efficiently and securely manage and distribute information from a single, unified platform. Clients upgrading to the new release of the Business Objects platform will benefit from significant enhancements and can leverage our extensive experience with Business Objects solutions, including Crystal Reports, to ensure their transition is successful.

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