The company's new Fusion Middleware suite will offer greater business intelligence and enterprise performance management features.
San FranciscoOracle paid particular attention to building out
business intelligence and enterprise performance monitoring capabilities
when upgrading its Fusion Middleware offering, according to Thomas Kurian,
senior vice president of server development technologies at the company.
Fusion Middleware 11g, the next iteration of Oracles integration
platform, is currently in its fourth beta cycle.
BI and EPM are two closely linked categories. BI is a broad set of
applications and technologies that let companies store and analyze data in
an effort to make better business decisions. EPM, once geared toward
financial divisions, is branching out to include monitoring of overall
corporate performance through forecasting, budgeting and planning
applications. Both categories are also areas in which Oracle finds itself
increasingly pitted against rivals SAP and IBM.
On Nov. 12, IBM announced it will acquire BI provider Cognos
$5 billiona move that seems, if nothing else, aimed at keeping up with
competitors. SAP said in October it will buy Business Objects for $6.8
billion, and in February, Oracle acquired Hyperion for $3.3 billion. The
last remaining independent player in the BI space is SAS.
Each company¹s goal is to provide straightforward capabilities that let
business users assess their organizations without having to constantly turn
to IT. It turns out doing that is harder than it sounds.
"Oracles EPM strategy is a single integrated system that provides
simple, accurate information from CRM [customer relationship management]
data warehouses, data marts, reporting, and financial and management systems
for organizations to get the ability to go from strategy and plans to
operations decisions, to insight, to action," Kurian said during a keynote
address at Oracle¹s OpenWorld conference here Nov. 13. "Then [the next
step is the ability] to take action to improve how business functions.
New capabilities were introducing in EPM and BI start with the
infrastructure to get data out of transaction systems and into the data
Those capabilities in Fusion Middlewares EPM suite include a Data
Integrator that has a fast ETL [extraction, transformation and
loading] capability. Transformations that occur in the data warehouse do
not require a separate ETL server and provide some data cleansing
capabilities, Kurian said.
On the BI front, Oracle has upgraded BI Server to include new data
visualization capabilities in dashboards, such as mapping and dynamic data
functions. Users also can model information they would like to calculate in
BI Server. At the same time, the server is more tightly integrated with
Microsoft¹s Office and Excel, with the most compelling outcome the fact that
BI Server will automatically update users charts from Microsoft documents,
BI Publisherreally the reporting engine in Oracles BI
suitehas three new features: a report environment built in AJAX
ability to integrate with BI dashboards.
As for Oracles acquisition of Hyperion, the company has added three new
features, including support for XBRL (Extensible Business Reporting
Language), a mandated Securities and Exchange Commission standard for
reporting financial information; advanced features for tax adjustment and
provisioning, and the ability to drill from a consolidation system back into
the source general ledger system to identify problems within a user¹s
financial management environment, Kurian said.
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