A key element of Microsoft's approach to business intelligence is the inclusion of support for PowerPivot technology not only in Excel 2010 spreadsheets, but also SQL Server and Microsoft SharePoint server as well.
PowerPivot software makes it easier for spreadsheet users to share any analysis they create using Excel 2010 with any number of users. Of course, one of the knocks against spreadsheets has been that they are difficult the share.
Many IT organizations rely on business intelligence applications to share similar types of information. But it's been hard to get end users to give up their spreadsheets in favor of BI applications.
Panorama Software straddles both sides of this debate. It just launched NovaView for PowerPivot, a business intelligence application that will take advantage of the expected wide distribution of PowerPivot data across the enterprise.
According to Panorama Software CEO Eynav Azarya, the goal should be to integrate spreadsheets and business intelligence applications as tightly as possible rather than requiring users to choose between them. Instead of cajoling users to give up their spreadsheets, Azarya recommends making BI applications available to them in the way they know how to analyze data best.
How BI vendors overall will react to PowerPivots remains to be seen. But as more end users gain mastery over this new spreadsheet functionality, chances are good we're will see more PowerPivot integration from BI vendors whether they really like it or not.