SAP tying analytics to Google Maps, Earth

A new deal with Google could give SAP users an alternative to traditional GIS systems

SAP is planning to connect its analytics software with Google's Maps and Earth software, allowing users to mine insights from plotting business data against locations around the world, the companies announced Wednesday.

For example, a bank could figure out which regions have the most troubled housing markets by layering foreclosure data and the location of loan-holders on a map, SAP said.

SAP partners such as Centigon Solutions had already offered an integration with Google Maps, and Google has been offering a commercial version of its Maps APIs (application programming interfaces) for some time.

The advantage of the new tie-in is that SAP has inked a pact with Google for the use of 12 new APIs that give customers deep access to the mapping functions, including Street View, and allow them to build out customizations, said Jason Rose, senior director, business intelligence solution marketing. SAP's deal is good for three-and-a-half years, according to Rose.

Customers can expect the APIs to first surface with the "ramp-up" release of Business Objects 4.1, which is slated for late this year, Rose said. Ramp-up is SAP's term for the period when products are in controlled availability with a group of early adopters.

While Wednesday's announcement focused on analytics, customers can expect other SAP's products, such as its CRM (customer relationship management) software, to also tap the Google Maps APIs over time, according to Rose.

It's not clear whether the Google APIs will be made available to existing customers as part of their regular SAP maintenance payments, or sold separately. "Right now we're looking at the overall monetization strategy. We're still dotting the Is and crossing the Ts on that," Rose said.

Older versions of SAP's software, such as Business Objects XI 3.1, will be compatible with the APIs.

There's an obvious advantage to SAP customers going with SAP for Google Maps integration, versus a third party, said Forrester Research analyst Boris Evelson: "One versus two products to buy, install and maintain, plus one versus two vendors to blame when something doesn't work."

The Earth Builder APIs will also give SAP customers a potential alternative to traditional GIS (geographic information systems) from the likes of Pitney Bowes and ESRI, both of which already partner with SAP.

GIS platforms go beyond marking points on a map, adding concepts such as polygons, which denote a fixed geographic area, possibly with highly irregular boundaries. Therefore, a tour bus company could figure out how many diesel fueling stations are within 50 miles of a state park, for example. "[This] is what you really need for sophisticated logistics analysis," Evelson said.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris's e-mail address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

Tags Internet-based applications and servicesGoogleapplicationsPitney BowesSAPESRIsoftwareinternetbusiness intelligence

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Chris Kanaracus

IDG News Service

Comments

Comments are now closed.

Latest News Articles

Most Popular Articles

Follow Us

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Resources

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?