Business Objects and Microsoft To Make War in the Midmarket

Seeing a huge market opportunity to sell business intelligence software to companies with 100 to 1,000 employees and $100 million to $1 billion in revenue, Business Objects today announced a major new-product family and larger initiative aimed at catering to midsized companies. The midmarket now buys $2.1 billion worth of BI software each year, according to IDC, and Business Objects says that figure is growing 12.5 percent per year — 50 percent faster than BI sales growth among large enterprises.

To cater to the tighter budgets and leaner IT staffs of midsized companies, Business Objects is introducing Crystal Decisions, a “holistic” product that will be offered in Standard, Professional and Premium editions. The Standard edition, which includes reporting, query and analysis, is being released today starting at $20,000. The Pro and Premium editions, which will add data integration and performance management capabilities, will debut in the second and fourth quarter, respectively. All three editions will be able to deliver data, reports and analyses within Microsoft Office and SharePoint.

Read the full story (Intelligent Enterprise)

Dashboards Countrywide

Countrywide executives hope 2007 will be a smart year for its business intelligence rollout.

For the Calabasas, Ca.-based institution that specializes in real estate finance, correspondent lending and other financial services, “SMART” refers to “strategic mission achieved through re-design and transformation.” It’s a plan to create up to 200 different reports for centralized dissemination, including a strategic planning report targeted at C-Level executives.

Countrywide hopes that the rollout, which is underway and is scheduled to ramp up in 2007, will give executives across departments a quick view of strategic plans, projects and corporate performance while shedding reliance on spreadsheets.

Read the full story (Bank Technology News)

Political Skills Key to Business Intelligence

Your organization’s business intelligence project will fail if the relationship management team lacks political clout or is starved for resources, according to industry analyst firm Gartner Inc.

Speaking at Gartner’s BI and Information Management Summit in Sydney Tuesday, senior analyst Rolf Jester said the biggest reasons BI projects fail is the lack of balance between vendor-user trust and control, and loss of predefined goals.

Read the full story (PC World)

Business Intelligence top priority of CIOs

A survey of 1400 CIOs worldwide released last week revealed that BI was ranked the number one technology priority of CIOs. Gartner, which conducted the survey, says that while increasing investments in BI present good opportunities for software vendors, the market will get tougher in 2007 with increased competition from the major software vendors such as Oracle, SAP and Microsoft.

Gartner also predicts tough times for the pure play BI vendors such as Business Objects, Hyperion and SAS Institute. According to Gartner, the BI revenue from the major software vendors will grow three times faster than revenues from the BI pure-play vendors in 2007.

Read the full story (iTWire)

Business Intelligence Power Play

Come forward, seeker of knowledge. You stand before BI, the great mystic oracle of information. Ask your questions and gain enlightenment.

Wait! BI is much too complex and arcane for one such as yourself to interact with the great one directly. You must direct your questions through one of the priests of BI, also known as the business intelligence analysts. These priests will make your queries pleasing to BI and also will be able to interpret BI’s answers for you.

Read the full story (eWeek)

BI Making Headway in Banks’ Profitability Efforts

Imagine being able to look at all the data on your customers across your organization to determine the best ways to increase the profitability and loyalty of those clients. Nothing new there — banks have been doing this in some form for years. It’s called CRM, right?

Not quite. Although customer relationship management and the technologies that have grown around it provide banks with some value around data interpretation, the future of analytics lies in business intelligence (BI).

Read the full story (TechWeb)

BI & BPM: More Important than ERP ? (Podcast)

Business performance management (BPM) has gone, in just five short years, from a silo of data in the office of finance to an enterprise-wide application that has proven to have a fundamental impact on the overall performance of an organization. As we watch its widespread adoption and the importance it quickly takes on for end users, along with the strong return on investment (ROI), BPM combined with existing BI (business intelligence) initiatives can be every bit as critical as transactional enterprise resource planning (ERP).

Read the full story (B-Eye Network)