At the same time, SAP is emphasizing the suite's ability to work with other systems. A customer quoted in a press release issued Wednesday noted her company is "a big Oracle shop on the back end" and also uses Salesforce.com.
But the burning issue around SaaS BI has more to do with its intended audience, rather than those bread-and-butter IT issues.
Business users, versus specialized data analysts working in small teams, are the primary target of SaaS BI offerings today, according to Forrester Research analyst Boris Evelson.
At the same time, "IT is concerned about this since it may jeopardize standards, controls, create risk, etc.," Evelson said via e-mail. "It's an interesting dynamic. IT's been asking for end-user self-service BI tools for decades, and now that we got it (as in BI SaaS), they are very much concerned."
SAP is no doubt aware of this. During a conference call Wednesday, executives emphasized the security features SAP has built into the suite.
At the same time, SAP hopes that one day some 70 percent to 80 percent of users within a company have access to BI tools, according to Breya.
"Very few people believe they have the right information at the right time to make the right decisions in their workspace," she said.
This story was updated on February 24, 2010.