Saturday, April 12, 2008

How To Choose Among The Four Bright Lights Of BI -- Business Intelligence -- InformationWeek

InformationWeek has an interesting article about the BI market place. Some interesting excerpts:

Understanding their (the big four vendors) strategies will help you decide whether to listen or walk away. In one short year, Oracle (NSDQ: ORCL) acquired Hyperion, SAP (NYSE: SAP) bought Business Objects, and IBM (NYSE: IBM) grabbed Cognos. Including Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT), the big four BI vendors now account for about half of the $7 billion-a-year BI tools market, which is expected to grow 11% this year, according to IDC.

On pricing (and open source vendors):

Oracle, IBM, and SAP will need to lower their pricing if they want to compete with inexpensive open source providers like Pentaho and entry-level tools that are gaining more capabilities, such as the Google Docs spreadsheet. Tools from IBM-Cognos, Oracle-Hyperion and SAP-Business Objects typically cost well over $1,000 per user. Microsoft has adopted a pricing structure to make the cost per seat decrease as the number of users increases, charging $20,000 for PerformancePoint Server 2007 and $195 per user.

On IBM Cognos:

IBM is positioning itself as the go-to megavendor that can help customers create a company-wide information architecture, from the desktop down to the bowels of the data repositories. But BI tool-buying decisions are typically made based on application functionality and not how well they work with data management systems. IBM's approach forces IT departments to consider not just what users want from BI tools, but how they integrate with the search, content management, master data management, data cleansing, data warehousing, and data integration systems to form a cohesive whole

...since IBM has been a "neutral player," it isn't going to show favoritism toward any one enterprise app, Ashe (head of IBM's Cognos unit) says

In the coming year, Ashe says Cognos technologies will be tied more closely to a "treasure trove" of IBM capabilities and products. One plan is to tap into the company's extensive work in natural language processing to develop new products and capabilities for analyzing unstructured data, such as e-mails and customer service transcripts. IBM also is creating more collaborative BI capabilities by tying Cognos to Lotus Notes. "There's a lot of smart thinking and research going on in how this will all work together in a social environment," Ashe says.

On Oracle:

Since Oracle's acquisition of Hyperion a year ago, the company hasn't provided much explanation of which products it expects to be strategic and which will just be maintained and supported. In fact, Oracle said its BI executives were too busy to talk with InformationWeek for this article, despite several weeks' lead time, and could provide Kopcke (Oracle's senior VP of enterprise performance management) only via e-mail.

On Microsoft:

Microsoft, a BI leader. Who knew? Among the four megavendors, it's been the dark horse that may have a shot at winning...(PerformancePoint Server 2007) pulled together Microsoft's products, including business Scorecard Manager, Excel, and new apps for planning, budgeting, and forecasting, with advanced visualization and analysis technologies acquired from ProClarity.

How To Choose Among The Four Bright Lights Of BI -- Business Intelligence -- InformationWeek


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