Let's play a little game of word association. Microsoft Vista. Quick, what are you thinking?
Chances are you aren't thinking about how Vista can advance your business intelligence efforts. That's OK. Several software vendors, including SAP and Hyperion, are thinking about BI and Vista for you. They are both introducing new features that are designed to take advantage of Vista's advanced functionality.
In Hyperion's case, it's an application called System 9 Smart Space (also a good name for a science fiction movie) that will make it simpler to access BI apps directly from Windows desktops, especially Vista. It also allows users to create gadgets for specific functions. The example cited in a recent CRN article is a "briefing book" to store the latest versions of frequently accessed reports.
This environment will make it easier to "democratize" BI apps by making them less mysterious and extending them to more folks throughout an organization, one of the major BI trends of the last 18 months or so.
Using Vista's new Windows Presentation Foundation, SAP is rolling out a zone-optimization service that will likely be welcomed by retailers. It will deliver data designed to help them make better decisions about promoting and pricing items at various stores, based on demographics, locations and other factors.