Hyperion Looks to Streamline BI Apps

The company adds modules to its Essbase line that target operational business intelligence.

Enterprises looking for a compelling reason to consolidate their business intelligence applications will have several new offerings to consider from Hyperion Solutions Corp.

Hyperion, which in recent years has focused its development efforts largely on BPM (business performance management) applications for companies financial operations, this week will unveil new offerings for operational business intelligence, such as supply chain and customer profitability analysis.

At the core of the offerings is Essbase 7X, a new version of Hyperions flagship OLAP (online analytical processing) server. The Sunnyvale, Calif., company has added a new storage model that supports sparse data sets as well as the densely filled data sets typical of financial applications that Essbase has traditionally supported. This type of storage model is more suited to data that is generated by operational business applications, such as customers buying behavior over time. With this release of Essbase, Hyperion plans to take on vendors that have long dominated in this type of analysis, such as Business Objects S.A., Cognos Inc. and MicroStrategy Inc., officials said.

In addition, Hyperion will announce this week an add-on to Essbase called Visual Explorer. The product is designed to provide the more visual interface required for operational analytic applications—as opposed to the spreadsheet interface used by most financial analytic applications. In this way, it provides a new front end to the Essbase server. Users will be able to set visual attributes and have access to visual representations of trends, exceptions, and data relationships and interdependencies.

Another new Essbase module is Enterprise Analytics for SAP Business Warehouse, which Hyperion officials said will make it easier for Essbase users to source data from SAP AGs BW software. Users will be able to build Essbase cubes from BW data using a drag-and-drop interface.

While Hyperion has separate Essbase modules for PeopleSoft Inc. and Oracle Corp. business applications, neither matches the ease of use and query performance of the new SAP module, officials said.


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