Microsoft Corp. partners that are integrating into their products the companys newly released business-intelligence tool, Reporting Services, say the software will save end users money theyve long had to invest in third-party reporting tools or handwritten code.
Caron Mooney, director of IS Partners—a Microsoft Solutions implementation company in Johannesburg, South Africa, as well as a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner for Business Intelligence—said that Reporting Services fills a longstanding gap in Microsofts product line. "Ive been in the Microsoft World since Visual Basic 1.0," she said. "One problem I always had is reports and distribution of reports. In the past, other people were filling that gap [in the Microsoft environment]."
Companies that filled that gap have included, for example, Crystal Reports Inc. Crystal was recently acquired by Business Objects SA—a move that may well have been motivated by Microsofts debut in the BI space, Mooney said. "I think one reason [Crystal sold itself] was they knew Microsoft was bringing out Reporting Services," she said. "The market was going to consolidate anyway."
If consolidation means that database vendors are now taking business intelligence to heart, all the better, according to Anthony Peccerillo, vice president of software development for MaxQ Technologies Inc., a middle-market business solutions provider and Microsoft Gold partner in Norwalk, Conn. "The authoring and the storage of business intelligence should be a part of any database solution," he said. "To date theyve been broken out, so you have people like Crystal Reports and other reporting tools filling the gap. With Reporting Services, its part of the database. … [That means] we can devote our resources to providing a better solution to a market rather than building tools."