Intelligence Enterprise Editor-in-Chief Doug Henschen gave his analysis of Oracle's new offering, the Oracle Hyperion Enterprise Performance Management. He seems impressed with the EPM, which brings to a close the saga of Oracle's integration of Hyperion after last year's buy-out.
For those of you who don't play Fantasy Tech Vendor Buyout, Oracle bought Hyperion -- a performance management and business intelligence vendor - in March, 2007. This new product integrates Hyperion's capabilities with Oracle's Fusion Middleware and Oracle Applications, according to the press release.
Henschen calls the new offering "an extensively integrated suite" and says Oracle's making two smart moves here, and both relate to integration.
First, Oracle is integrating its acquired technologies with its native solutions faster than SAP, which only acquired a BI/performance manager vendor this year (as did IBM, he notes). Second, Oracle is focusing on integration with business applications, which is a key difference between Oracle's EPM and the tools offered by IBM-Cognos and other independents.
IT Week's coverage included a good example of how Oracle's EPM integrates with business applications. Oracle EPM includes a a new Common Web workspace with a Microsoft Office interface. This will allow a user to to use Excel -- the business BI tool of choice -- for analysis, but apparently -- and this is me reading between the lines, here -- without creating those infamous spreadsheet silos so detrimental to obtaining a 360-degree view of business costs and profit.
While Henschen was all positive in his blog post about the announcement, the news piece he wrote today was a bit more critical:
"In several respects Oracle is catching up with its competitors. New read-write integrations with Microsoft Office and support for Word and PowerPoint have already been done by Business Objects and Cognos. What's more, these rivals already offer strategy management and profitability/cost management applications. SAP contends its Governance Risk and Compliance (GRC) application suite is more mature and better integrated with BI and Performance Management than is Oracle's GRC suite, but the differences aren't significant, according to one analyst."
The news article is also worth a read because it reveals that the EPM includes something called Desktop Gadgets, which sounds a bit like a mashup without a browser. The Desktop Gadget receives gauges and alerts from the EPM system and BI tools, and changes colors to notify you of changing business conditions. It even integrates with non-Oracle applications. Desktop Gadget sounds pretty cool to me, but I've always been partial to color coding.