BI vendors find positives in SAP-Business Objects deal

BI vendors find positives in SAP-Business Objects deal

Information Builders, Cognos and Microsoft attempt to refocus attention on own platforms

After days dominated by news of SAP’s bid to buy Business Objects, business intelligence (BI) vendors were out in force last week to try to boost interest in their own platforms.

Microsoft announced that its new Office PerformancePoint Server BI solution is available in the UK following beta testing. Microsoft’s Chris Caren said the product’s key selling points include its familiar Excel interface and the ease with which it can be integrated with other Microsoft products.

Alex Payne, Microsoft’s SQL Server senior product manager, said, “We are not delivering a new tool; we are just making Excel do BI.”

Reacting to the SAP/Business Objects deal, a number of BI vendors spoke about the benefits of using vendor-agnostic solutions. Michael Corcoran, vice president at Information Builders, said that there is a “dramatic need” for pure-play BI tools because the majority of businesses have multiple applications from a variety of vendors.

“Although SAP has stated its intention to keep Business Objects’ solutions independent, it will obviously favour selling its own product,” Corcoran added.

Mychelle Mollot, Cognos’ vice president of market strategy, said the deal may cause confusion among SAP customers. She pointed out that they now have six overlapping planning applications that they can choose from.