Microsofts BI Crusade Draws

By Lisa Vaas  |  Posted 2005-10-26 Print this article Print

BI Vendors Ire"> Vesset pointed to Integration Services, an integration tool Microsoft has had for several years, as being quite capable in taking care of that issue. For her part, Gibbons said she has "absolute trust" in Microsofts ability to handle data flowing from heterogeneous databases. "Weve used them so long now, regardless of issues, we know we can use them," she said. For example, data stored in Expedias Hyperion BI application easily interacts with Excel, thanks to Hyperions facility in moving data in and out of spreadsheets, she said.
Will Microsofts BI push manage to shove Hyperion et al. off the playing field? Howard Dresner, Hyperions chief strategy officer, thinks not. "Microsoft has been in the BI market for a dozen years," he said. "And were still standing. I wonder why? Its a bit of Chicken Little: The sky is falling. Its a growing market with lots of opportunities for everyone."
Vesset said IDC estimates 10 percent compound annual growth rate in the BI market for the foreseeable future. Out of that, players like Hyperion have a big part to play, for the foreseeable future, he said. "Hyperion, Cognos, they have two product lines: One is BI tools and one is packaged analytic applications," Vesset said. "Theyre primarily for financial functions: consolidation, budgeting, planning, allocation processes, etc. That is not what Microsoft is releasing, thats true. Theyre not releasing any packaged analytic applications, other than the score-carding product, which is more of a generic process for business process management." Hyperion has a better packaging of that process, Vesset said. What Microsoft will do to fill in that gap will be to partner. But the way things stand, Microsoft still has a ways to go before Cognos et al. will have cause to lose sleep at night. "I just think, as always, nothing happens overnight," Vesset said. "Microsoft released their first OLAP product in 1998. It took them probably five years to become one of the leading vendors. Special vendors certainly arent going anywhere. Nevertheless, there will be a fairly significant impact on the market with Microsoft putting more focus on BI."

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Lisa Vaas is News Editor/Operations for and also serves as editor of the Database topic center. Since 1995, she has also been a Webcast news show anchorperson and a reporter covering the IT industry. She has focused on customer relationship management technology, IT salaries and careers, effects of the H1-B visa on the technology workforce, wireless technology, security, and, most recently, databases and the technologies that touch upon them. Her articles have appeared in eWEEK's print edition, on, and in the startup IT magazine PC Connection. Prior to becoming a journalist, Vaas experienced an array of eye-opening careers, including driving a cab in Boston, photographing cranky babies in shopping malls, selling cameras, typography and computer training. She stopped a hair short of finishing an M.A. in English at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. She earned a B.S. in Communications from Emerson College. She runs two open-mic reading series in Boston and currently keeps bees in her home in Mashpee, Mass.

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