2009 Readers' Choice Survey: Business Intelligence

By Alliston Ackerman, Kara Romanow and Alarice Padilla — 01/23/2009

Throughout 2007 and 2008, the Business Intelligence (BI) market was marked by change as SAP acquired Business Objects, IBM purchased Cognos and Oracle bought Hyperion. This year, the BI list includes eight solutions providers rather than ten, as determined by CGT's readers, perhaps signaling that these big name vendors are doing a good job at gaining customer confidence as the dust settles around the heavy merger and acquisition activity.

Top 8
 1.   SAP
 2.   IBM
 3.   Oracle
 4.   Microsoft Corporation
 5.   MicroStrategy
 6.   SAS
 7.   Teradata
 8.   PivotLink
"Following a round of mega-vendor BI acquisitions, M&A activity in this area will now revert to more typical levels," says Peter Bambridge, research director, Industry Advisory Services - Manufacturing, Gartner Inc.

In 2009 and beyond, Bambridge says that the majors will be challenged to quickly embed acquired BI capabilities as inherent parts of existing and new applications.

BI budgets in 2009 will be conservative, predicts John Hagerty, vice president and research fellow, AMR Research. "That said, we also see that many companies are specifically indicating BI and Performance Management (PM) as the No. 1 strategic investment priority in 2009 and 2010."

Hagerty expects to see more mature approaches to innovations that have been introduced over the past few years. For example, slicker, more useable mobility products should become available that reflect the rapidly changing mobile device options. He also expects software-as-a-service (SaaS) BI/PM offerings to become mainstream. Supporting this prediction is a partnership formed in July 2008 between Business Objects, an SAP company, and Oco Inc., a provider of SaaS BI and data integration solutions, which will  provide on-demand BI solutions for customers in industries such as  retail and manufacturing.

"Open source BI is also nudging its way into corporate IT, initially as embedded reporting in custom-built applications," predicts Hagerty. "But we see customer demand growing to evaluate open source products alongside traditionally licensed or leased products as this software category emerges."

Despite recent changes, one theme remains the same in this market year after year and is even more prevalent as economic pressures rise: "The need to quickly derive insights and understand implications will drive the use of BI to deliver pre-configured analysis cost-effectively," says Bambridge.


Customer Experience: Teradata
In 2008, Teradata announced the launch of an enterprise demand signal repository (DSR) solution available to consumer product companies and other manufacturing organizations that sell directly to retailers on a choice of three data warehouse platforms.

SMB Market: Microsoft
"Microsoft technologies work together to collect and deliver the sales information we need to take advantage of opportunities, perform sales analysis, increase customer insight and keep our sales team connected. Now that we have control over our information, we're using it to our advantage."
-- Joe Menetre, Sales Director, New Belgium Brewing


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