How Last Year's BI Buyout Affects Your Choices Now


Normally, this blog focuses on how you can integrate aspects of your infrastructure. But sometimes, I like to diverge a bit and share how vendors are integrating with other vendor offerings or integrating technology they've acquired.


My reasoning is simple: Vendor integration affects what you're trying to do. You've invested in these tools -- or, perhaps you're considering buying a new solution -- and what they're doing can either make your life easier or harder.


So that's why I wanted to point out this TDWI article, explaining how different vendors in the business intelligence space are approaching integration. Not so long ago, vendors such as SAP and Oracle went on a BI buying spree. When SAP bought out Business Objects, Forrester Principal Analyst Boris Evelson pondered what the acquisition would mean in terms of integration.


Now, nearly a year later, the dust has settled and Evelson decided to take a look at how these vendor acquisitions played out in the BI product offerings. The result is a new report from Forrester, and the focus of this TDWI article.


What Evelson found is that the vendors typically took two very different approaches to BI and, as a result, customers face a choice: Do you want the best-of-breed tools or do you want a well-integrated, unified platform?


The two biggest players in this space -- SAP and IBM -- are a perfect example of how the different strategies played out.


SAP opted to offer best-of-breed tools, which means you'll be buying mature products and a complete BI solution, including data integration, data quality, and text analytics products, according to Evelson.


By contrast, IBM focused on rebuilding to offer a solution Evelson describes as "falling a bit behind SAP Business Objects in functionality but leading in modern unified architecture." IBM also had the integration advantage by buying Cognos, which the article notes "tended to focus more heavily on platform integration."


The article also covers SAS and Oracle, as well as smaller BI players, such as Microsoft, MicroStrategy and TIBCO Spotfire.


It's interesting to note that despite the BI marketplace consolidation, Evelson found there's still a lot of diversity and variety in the offerings. If you're considering a BI investment, don't skip this great resource.