Oracle and SAP
take different approaches"> In acquiring Hyperion, with its expertise in analytics and financial planning and budgeting, Oracle, of Redwood Shores, Calif., is bringing together two distinct areasBI and corporate performance management. The result is users will be able to manage their planning life-cycles more efficiently, said Rick Schultz, vice president of Oracle Fusion Middleware. "What customers desire to do is infuse BI into the business processes they use to run their business, and also their financial business processesplanning, budgeting, financial consolidation," he said. "Thats what drove the acquisition of Hyperion. Customers are looking to enable the entire cycle of performance managementplanning, goal setting, modeling, monitoring and reporting back."SAP is taking a different approach. While its working to infuse BI capabilities at the application level, the company has also developed a BI accelerator that marries the appliance concept with analytics, using in-memory technology for much faster query capabilities. Building on its Knightsbridge acquisition, HP is releasing a new product, Neoview, a preconfigured bundle of hardware and software from HP and its BI partners, said Ben Barnes, vice president and general manager of BI at HP. The company will preview Neoview this spring."Whats going on out there is equipment that does [BI] is too expensive [and] too hard to upgrade, and maintenance is too expensive," said Barnes, in Palo Alto, Calif. "Another thing weve found is weve made this too complex. [Neoview] will be preconfigured to an industry or workload and application. We will size the customers applicationshow much data they have to analyze, how many users are accessing [the applications], what type of queryingthen preconfigure [an appliance], integrate it, test it and ship it to the customer." Neoview will have capabilities from HP and its ETL (extract, transform and load) partners Informatica, IBM and others. IBM also is working on its own BI initiatives, designed to move the company and its customers into the next wave of BI, beyond analysis and reporting, said Karen Parrish, vice president of Business Intelligence Solutions for IBM, in Armonk, N.Y. Called the dynamics warehousing strategy, IBM is working to enable users to analyze informationincluding unstructured dataas part of a business process. "What sits in a repository is relational in nature; youre not able to analyze e-mail, voice and all the other data thats really relevant," said Parrish. Microsoft has been making a BI market push for several years. The next phase, said AMRs Hagerty, is PerformancePoint Server, an analytic application environment expected to be available midyear that will bring "a whole layer of analytics" that will enable users to build their own BI-based applications through Microsoft technology. The concept of a bunch of converging factors is bringing about what IBMs Parrish refers to as the cusp of the third generation of BI. "Were clearly in the second generation nowits all about query and reporting. Its where weve been for a long time," she said. "We really believe the third generation is upon us. Compliance is one of the reasons its upon us. Banks, they dont say [compliance] is only relevant for information that sits in a relational database. Its all about data, like e-mail, thats in many forms and we have to look at all the data." Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis about productivity and business solutions.