How Smart Is Business Intelligence?
As we do sometimes here at RCPU, we're going to throw a topic completely open
to you, the faithful reader. In other words, we'll give you a bit of news and
just let you run with it in e-mail form or as commentary on the blog. (Yes,
this means that we're going to mainly keep our mouths shut on this issue --
We did this last summer with Windows
Genuine Advantage and got tremendous
feedback. So here we go again. This week, it's time to Get
Smart, as the topic is business intelligence (clever, huh?).
Here are your bits of news: Microsoft and SAP both made small BI acquisitions
this week, with Redmond buying
a Java reporting tool called OfficeWriter and SAP snapping
up OutlookSoft, which makes applications for budgeting and financial forecasts.
Incidentally, we're pleased to see that both giants bought companies that use
SmashedTogether words with a capital letter in the middle as their names. We
ReallyLike CompanyNames like that. WellDone, Microsoft and SAP.
And lest we forget, last month, BI player Business Objects (two separate words)
announced that it would buy OutlookSoft competitor Cartesis (and its somewhat
disappointing one-word name).
These smaller acquisitions come in the wake of a really big one, Oracle's
multibillion buyout of Hyperion. Obviously the big guys in BI -- Cognos
also comes to mind in that category along with the aforementioned players --
are snapping up smaller vendors in a pretty textbook case of market consolidation.
And, obviously, somebody thinks that there's money and opportunity in bringing
corporate information to the desktops of nontechnical people, especially executives,
in a clean and simple way -- which is what BI is supposed to do.
Microsoft is, not surprisingly, becoming a very
serious BI player, although reviews of Redmond's effort in the area are
a bit mixed thus far. Check out RCP magazine columnist Joshua
Greenbaum's comprehensive take here.
What I want to know, though, is what BI is doing for you. If you're selling
it (especially from Microsoft), how's it going? How's demand? Do customers understand
the benefits of BI, and are you profiting from selling and deploying it? If
you're using it (as we have a lot of nonpartner IT folks who read the newsletter),
is it delivering everything you expected? Do you consider it a critical part
of your enterprise technology strategy?
Send me your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We'll take the best of your e-mails this week and the next and run them a week
from Friday (on May 18). And thanks in advance for your thoughts.
Posted by Lee Pender on 05/10/2007 at 1:20 PM