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Seagate Software Upgrades BI Suite

Seagate Software (www.seagatesoftware.com) today announced the availability of what the Scotts Valley, Calif., company calls the most significant release yet of its business intelligence suite.

Seagate Info 7 is an upgrade of the product formerly known as Seagate Crystal Info. New features of the product, which runs on Windows NT, include ad hoc querying, ability to handle additional OLAP sources, support for Unix on the back end, a client that works within Microsoft Outlook and functional equivalence between Windows and Web-based clients.

With its experience and market strength in enterprise reporting, Seagate is emphasizing the scalability of Info. The new product includes all but the application development features of its enterprise reporting product, Seagate Crystal Reports 7. Seagate Info 7 product director Andrew Handford says customers have deployed Seagate’s product in 10,000- to 20,000-user configurations and some organizations plan to scale to 100,000 users.

"It’s more than just numbers. It’s more than just lots of users or big data. There are a number of issues around manageability, total cost of ownership, what does it mean to deploy a system to thousands of users?" Handford says. "Info, being a fourth-generation product and being architected to scale, we can sort of lay claim to this scalability banner."

Similarly, Handford made a point of neglecting to go into technical detail on the features of the power-user tools such as ad hoc querying and OLAP slicing and dicing. While claiming the tools match up to competitors' offerings, Handford says such products are becoming "commodities." He says buyers need to focus on scalability across the enterprise. As an example, Handford pointed to Seagate’s Info Worksheet 7, an OLAP client the company offers as a free download over the Web that competes with OLAP clients other companies charge several hundred dollars for.

Analyst Howard Dresner with GartnerGroup (Stamford, Conn.) agrees that the Seagate offering fits squarely in the emerging category of enterprise business intelligence suites. "That’s the natural convergence of query, interactive ad hoc, reporting, report publishing and OLAP viewing with common infrastructure, shared user objects and enterprise scalability," Dresner says.

The Seagate announcement is important because of the market position of the company, Dresner says. He identifies Business Objects and Cognos Inc. (Ottawa, www.cognos.com) as the two leaders in the market segment, with Seagate third and Brio Technology Inc. (Palo Alto, Calif., www.brio.com) fourth.

Handford says Seagate Info 7 will ship by the end of the month. --Scott Bekker, Staff Reporter

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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