Microsoft Taps ProClarity for BI Capabilities

ProClarity, a business intelligence software developer, has been a Microsoft Gold Partner since 1999.

Microsoft has again tapped the nether regions of the western half of the United States for software innovation. The company announced April 3 the acquisition of ProClarity of Boise, Idaho, a company that develops business intelligence software.

More specifically, ProClarity develops analysis and visualization software that already works with the Microsoft technology that gathers and portrays intelligence data and comprises Microsofts BI platform: SQL Server 2005, Office Business Scorecard Manager 2005, Office Excel and Office SharePoint Portal Server.

The two companies are well acquainted already. ProClarity has been a Microsoft Gold Partner since 1999 with a fairly deep footprint in the company.

ProClarity develops third-party BI tools based on Microsofts BI platform. The two companies have about 1,200 joint customers, and their sales teams already work closely together, according to Jeff Raikes, president of the Business Division at Microsoft.

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"This acquisition advances our BI strategy and our ability to deliver performance management applications to our customers," said Raikes from Redmond, Wash., in a statement.

ProClaritys software includes its namesake Analytics Server, an add-on to SQL Server Analysis Services, which works in conjunction with Office Business Scorecard Manager and SharePoint Portal Server.

Particularly with the next release of its Office system—Microsoft Office 2007—Microsoft is increasing its investment in BI capabilities.

The ProClarity acquisition is part of that investment, and brings to the table a technology approach that adheres to Microsofts current development philosophy: build software the way people work.

In this respect, ProClarity has a business logic-driven "guided" analysis functionality that Microsoft will utilize to upgrade its BI functionality, officials said.

The company will also tap BI capabilities for its Dynamics suite of ERP [enterprise resources planning] applications, which consist at the moment of four separate suites: GP (Great Plains), NAV (Navision), SL (Solomon) and AX (Axapta).

GP, the first ERP suite Microsoft acquired, is also a company based in the west, with its roots firmly ensconced in Fargo, N.D.

Over the next several years, the four ERP suites will be brought together under a single code base and at the same time the suites will be further integrated with Office, Windows, SQL Server and SharePoint Server.

Microsoft expects the ProClarity deal, pending standard regulatory approval, to close in early May. The terms of the acquisition were undisclosed.

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