SAP HQ lead1

Analysts say that SAP would have to address overlaps between the two vendors' product lines as soon as the merger with Business Objects is complete.

Jonathan Rothman, director of data management at Emergency Medical Associates in New Jersey, and a user of various Business Objects business intelligence tools, said he hoped that the deal would not t force the supplier to change its development plans.

"My hope is Business Objects will not spend years and years only trying to better integrate its product suite with SAP's, but will use this acquisition to gain access to more capital to enhance what it already has," he said. He also called on SAP not to "add layers and layers of corporate decision-makers and make Business Objects slower to adapt to user needs.

"Otherwise, as a core Business Objects user, I would see no advantage to this acquisition," he said.

Erik Brokaw, enterprise architect at US health provider Blue Cross and Blue Shield, said he was more optimistic about the combination but still called on SAP "to provide the same level of support for the business intelligence solutions as Business Objects does today."

Blue Cross uses multiple BI tools from Business Objects, he said.

Bernard Liautaud, chairman and founder of Paris-based Business Objects, said the company will remain an "independent business" after the deal closes. He noted that while the BI vendor wasn't looking to be acquired when it was approached by SAP in July, "we were, of course, willing to listen".

John Hagerty, an analyst at AMR Research, said the acquisition comes in the midst of efforts by both companies to extend performance management product lines.

"It's going to require some backtracking on both fronts to make it look more complementary," he said.