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Colin White

I like the various blogs associated with my many hobbies and even those to do with work. I find them very useful and I was excited when the Business Intelligence Network invited me to write my very own blog. At last I now have somewhere to park all the various tidbits that I know are useful, but I am not sure what to do with. I am interested in a wide range of information technologies and so you might find my thoughts will bounce around a bit. I hope these thoughts will provoke some interesting discussions.

About the author >

Colin White is the founder of BI Research and president of DataBase Associates Inc. As an analyst, educator and writer, he is well known for his in-depth knowledge of data management, information integration, and business intelligence technologies and how they can be used for building the smart and agile business. With many years of IT experience, he has consulted for dozens of companies throughout the world and is a frequent speaker at leading IT events. Colin has written numerous articles and papers on deploying new and evolving information technologies for business benefit and is a regular contributor to several leading print- and web-based industry journals. For ten years he was the conference chair of the Shared Insights Portals, Content Management, and Collaboration conference. He was also the conference director of the DB/EXPO trade show and conference.

Editor's Note: More articles and resources are available in Colin's BeyeNETWORK Expert Channel. Be sure to visit today!

Microsoft's announcement that they have agreed to acquire ProClarity clearly demonstrates that Microsoft is getting very serious about Business Intelligence. ProClarity has been a Microsoft partner for many years and has a strong BI following on the Microsoft operating platform. The acquisition adds some powerful development and end-user capabilities to the Microsoft SQL Server 2005 and Office Business Scorecard Manager 2005 products announced last year. The Microsoft BI solution will get a further boost next January when Microsoft delivers additional BI capabilities with Office 2007. The drive by MIcrosoft into the BI market has significant implications for third-party vendors in this space, e.g., Business Objects and Cognos.

Posted April 3, 2006 10:53 AM
Permalink | 3 Comments |


Perhaps Microsoft has recognised that whilst it has provided a cost effective BI solution for quite some time, the majority of potential customers didn't expect to have to build quite so much of the infrastructure necessary to deliver it?

But at what cost? ProClarity is very good at delivery, but will Microsoft's current customer base be prepared to pay for the benefits that ProClarity brings?

In the UK, I frequently find that organisations have Microsoft SQL Server as their database platform, but they simply hadn't realised that it includes a compentent BI platform!

So are all those Microsoft partners now going to become experts in BI in addition to CRM? And will Microsoft's customers actually benefit?

Anyone hear a price for this acquisition? Were they dying or growing fast enough to matter?

The ProClarity acquisition is a savvy move by Microsoft to integrate BI functionality into its platform. This will surely apply increased pressure to the traditional BI players, who have been struggling to add more advanced capabilities to their reporting platforms. With Microsoft making BI more of a commodity, the traditional BI players will be forced to look elsewhere for differentiation. If marketing hype is any indication, BI players will try to pursue the analytics space for this -- although they’ll find that their platforms were architected for reporting optimization and dashboards, not analytics. Existing vendors in the analytics space, however, are well poised to take advantage of the solid BI foundation Microsoft is building.

Ultimately, I think customers will win as the industry now moves to create BI 2.0, which will not be just about pulling together and reporting data, but rather in delivering insights.

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