This morning, it was announced that SAP intends to buy Business Objects for the equivalent of $6.8 billion. While Business Objects will initially be run as a wholly-owned subsidiary, I can certainly see the value of Business Objects software being added to the SAP ERP - especially the portal, the OLAP tool and the data quality tool. SAP software eventually could be reshaped by this acquisition, not only the ERP, but also the Business Warehouse.
Furthermore thereâ€™s the competitive play into the Oracle/Business Objects accounts. As Ken Rudin, CEO of LucidEra, commented: â€śBusiness Objects is installed in a lot of Oracle accounts, and the implementations are being managed by the IT groups. These are the same people that SAP wants to talk to about putting in SAP's other applications, so it gives SAP an introduction into a large base of accounts currently controlled by Oracle.â€ť
The business intelligence market continues to be absorbed into enterprise software lines. Business Objects was one of the last large standalone business intelligence companies. Enterprise software players now seek an end-to-end story and eventually so will end clients. Iâ€™ve talked a lot about â€śBI Frameworksâ€ť â€“ those handful of companies that sell a complete BI story. Maybe we should be talking about enterprise frameworks like those from Oracle, SAP, Microsoft and IBM. If HP did not make moves here beyond NeoView, I would be surprised.
Informatica didnâ€™t need to rush into this, assuming they were even considered by SAP. They are still selling data integration as a standalone and doing it quite well, thank you very much. However, as potential suitors go away one-by-one, long-term, they may need a path into a framework.
Teradata, freshly minted as its own company last month, continues with a â€śdata warehousing is different and necessitates its own considerationâ€ť strategy. How long will this serve them? Also thereâ€™s Cognos, who, while having less depth than Business Objects, surely was considered in this. And, finally, they may be easy to forget on the financial stage since they are private (albeit one of the largest private companies in the world), but SAS could be a buyer or seller. And welcome to the big time Netezza. What will the eventual NeoView story and the black-box purchasing that will sweep the industry (i.e., Oracle now doing an appliance model) â€“ mean? Are appliances being bought for superior performance, or for the purchasing model? For Netezzaâ€™s sake, letâ€™s hope itâ€™s the performance.
So, Iâ€™m not rushing into calling this a BI purchase. Rather, theyâ€™re now enterprise purchases and further validate the transition of business intelligence from post-operational to operationally embedded in the enterprise.
Posted October 8, 2007 1:36 PM
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