SAP INFO: Mr. Schwarz, where do you see the greatest benefits in the merger with SAP?
John Schwarz: I believe that SAP and Business Objects will be a force to be reckoned with in the market. Together, we offer the strongest product portfolio available today and the clearest vision to transform the way the world works by connecting people, information, and businesses.
Business Objects, an SAP company, offers market-leading solutions to unlock information, enable insight, manage performance, and govern compliance, regardless of the underlying business applications and data stores. This combination will benefit our current and future customers, our combined partner ecosystem, and our employees.
SAP INFO: What makes you so sure that the companies fit together?
Schwarz: This acquisition brings together two companies with similar corporate cultures, complementary offerings, and similar views on the changing market – we are already seeing strong signs of the success of this union.
To give an example of how quickly these two companies have come together – about three months ago, we brought together teams from SAP and Business Objects to begin integrating the two companies. From the start, these teams worked together seamlessly, and I am very proud to say that, thanks to this close collaboration, we already have the basis of a solid go-to-market strategy and product roadmap.
SAP INFO: What are you telling those Business Objects customers who are not using SAP software?
Schwarz: We are not going to pressure them to become SAP customers. We will continue the Business Objects portfolio as it exists today being the best solution for both SAP and non-SAP environments. Openness and product heterogeneity is a key competitive differentiator, and we will continue to ensure that customers of all types can benefit from our solutions. While we will have sales incentives for our reps to refer SAP into accounts where it is deemed appropriate, we will also aggressively pursue Oracle and all other application customers as well.
SAP INFO: The business intelligence market has seen its share of consolidation recently. How is SAP’s acquisition of Business Objects different from Oracle’s takeover of Hyperion or the Cognos/IBM deal?
Schwarz: In the past 12 months, the market has changed dramatically – both SAP and Business Objects recognized the changing dynamic and acted accordingly to ensure our continued leadership. I believe there are two fundamental differences that set this union apart from our competitors:
1. Business Objects will remain a stand-alone entity within SAP – this will allow us to maintain the high level of platform independence necessary to serve our existing customers and grow the business, and 2. our product portfolios are highly complementary and recognized as category leaders in their own right – this makes for a winning combination.
John Schwarz, Business Objects CEO, was named officially as the seventh member of the SAP Executive Board, effective March 1, 2008. As a member of the SAP Executive Board, reporting to SAP CEO Henning Kagermann, Schwarz is responsible for all aspects of Business Objects operations, including go-to-market activities and development, as well as the integration of the SAP Business Objects unit into SAP.
Schwarz joined Business Objects in September 2005 as its CEO, and during his tenure oversaw seven strategic acquisitions, including Cartesis and Firstlogic. He drove revenue growth to more than U.S. $1.5 billion. Prior to Business Objects, Schwarz was president and chief operating officer of Symantec Corporation. Before joining Symantec, Schwarz spent 25 years at IBM Corporation.
Schwarz holds a diploma in business administration from the University of Toronto and a degree in computer science from the University of Manitoba. In 2004, he received an honorary PhD from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.