Business Objects, an SAP division, has announced a major upgrade to its flagship business intelligence (BI) platform that moves BI from the purview of a select group of managers to a global audience of employees, suppliers and customers. XI 3.0 focuses on improved search and query capabilities, enhanced visual tools through shareable dashboards and immediate access across an organization and to business partners, according to Business Objects. Consultants have long viewed this communal intelligence, single intelligence platform as the next generation of BI technology.

What makes XI 3.0 unique, according to Business Objects, is the integration of text mining and information management capabilities, the addition of Web-based data sources and linkage of structured and non-structured data. One customer, Unisys, has high expectations for XI 3.0. "I expect that XI 3.0 will bring new insights and improved decision-making to our organization," says Yvonne Jones, Unisys manager of data management. "Our employees should now always be connected to powerful BI capabilities wherever and whenever they need them."

Business Objects, which was acquired by SAP in October in the ongoing business software consolidation, says the product will be available for installation next month. An on-demand version will follow.

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