Business Objects to Buy Firstlogic for Data Quality

The business intelligence giant plans to buy Firstlogic for $69 million in cash, and is extending an OEM relationship with Sage Software.

Business Intelligence giant Business Objects is plunking down $69 million in cash for data-quality player Firstlogic, it announced on Feb. 8.

This is the fourth—and, the company claims, final—buy for Business Objects in its quest to build what it calls a complete EIM (enterprise information management) offering.

To wit: It bought Acta Technology for its data warehousing technology in 2002, rival BI and reporting developer Crystal Reports in 2003, and it went after planning and forecasting software developer SRC Software in July.

Rene Bonvanie, chief marketing officer for Business Objects, said that with Firstlogic, the company now has a "complete set of offerings and solutions in this space."

"Think of data profiling, think of data cleansing—both for data that sits in databases and application systems but also real-time data that comes off the wire, so to speak," he said. "We have made acquisitions to get to all that information, and weve developed a lot of software ourselves to manage the overall data quality and metadata management."

Firstlogic provides a crucial piece of the puzzle, according to Bonvanie. "Firstlogic is a very well-known company in the space of data quality," he said. "Data quality is all to do with a very important part of our strategy, which is to offer our customers very trustworthy and very high-quality information."

When customers look at their environments, theyre seeing a lot of different information coming from a lot of different systems, Bonvanie said. When companies try to make sense of all that information, to understand or to predict business, the quality of that data becomes critical.

/zimages/1/28571.gifClick here to read about how Business Objects analytics help demystify promotions for packaged-goods vendors.

The EIM strategy is about getting every kind of information companies have and making sense of it, standardizing it, cleansing it and profiling it, so that whatever its source and with whatever frequency that data changes, its always consistent and always of high quality, Bonvanie said.

Firstlogic is a 20-year-old, privately held company that had 2005 revenues of over $50 million. The acquisition will close in the second quarter of the fiscal year, subject to regulatory approvals.

In other news, Business Objects joined with Sage Software on a new OEM agreement. Under the agreement, Sage will be able to embed and resell Crystal Reports as part of its business management solutions.

Sage also has the option to resell Crystal Reports Server XI as an add-on. Crystal Reports Server XI is a packaged reporting solution that includes tools for small and midsized organizations to create, deliver and manage reports online.

The new multiyear agreement covers the latest Crystal Reports software and Sage Software brands, including Sage MAS 90 ERP, Sage MAS 200 ERP, Sage MAS 500 ERP, Sage Accpac ERP, Sage PFW ERP, Sage CRM SalesLogix, Sage Timberline Office, Sage Abra HRMS, Sage FAS Fixed Assets, Peachtree by Sage and Simply Accounting by Sage.

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