Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Big "O"

News of Oracle Corp's share drop echoed around the software market today as Oracle shares fell 7 percent Thursday March 27. Questions again arise around whether or not the shopping spree the company has been on in the past few years is paying off, Oracle has spent over $35 billion over the past three years on acquisitions. It’s been unique to watch Oracle’s aggressive moves particularly in the BI space with the acquisition of Hyperion, there have always been rumors around whether they will actually be able to successfully pull off their acquisition strategy. Oracle points to some of this downturn to be reflected by the US economic situation and overall market dynamics as many companies are being forced to pull back on their IT spend and investment in new technologies. It will be interesting to monitor this term as Oracle fourth quarter guidance for the is being set cautiously. The macro economic environment will hurt companies like Oracle more than smaller software vendors, giving a fighting chance to smaller players to come up with that next big thing and does open up the door for rival ERP software vendor SAP to gain some momentum particularly in the BI space.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Panorama and Google Apps--The End of Software as we Know it?

The blogosphere has exploded today with the announcement of the tie-in between Panomama and Google apps. An interesting BI angle here, although adoption of Google apps is fairly non-existant--that doesn't mean it will stay that way.

Something to stay tuned on as the market dynamics around delivering BI and performance management continue to sway between the desktop and the clouds...
Panorama has been a relatively smaller BI player in the past, but this marks a great opportunity for them not only to raise their visibility, but also to get a seat on the Google bus early on. Additionally, it provides them some much needed counter-positioning muscle vs. the other BI heavyweights like IBM and Microsoft, which have their own issues with Google...
As they say on the Drudge Report, "...Developing..."

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Is Your Team #1?

Walking through San Francisco International and I happened to glance up and see the newest (at least to me) "We're #1" pronouncement from Oracle. They claim to be #1 in Enterprise Performance Management, which the sub-head in the ad defines as Business Intelligence, Financial Applications and analytics.

While Oracle gets full credit for leadership as of the latest Gartner MQ, it is not immediately clear that Oracle is #1. This may be a function of overall market share, or it just might be more chest pounding from Oracle. Of interest is the fact that Gartner calls out that Oracle's BI offer needs work and the fact that current customers, especially the Hyperion customers, are taking a wait and see approach to Oracle offerings.

Oracle has a strong global market share in financial analytics, but it is by no means clear that Oracle is #1 in EPM. Especially if SAP has anything to say about it. And they do, based on a recent announcement of Oracle replacements based on their offering not inclusive of Business Objects.

Let the games begin.

Is Your Team #1?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Corporate Help for Planet Earth

Watch the following video to get a glimpse at what large corporations can do to help with environmental concerns. Watch video

The video speaks to how environmental efficiences not only save the companies bottom line but are doing something good for the environment. The Green question of the day is how can Business Intelligence help organizations get better insight that will enable these environmental best practices... Watch for more on this topic and the relevant customer case studies that tell the tale.

Check out the green section of the Cognos newsletter to learn more about their Green BI.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Press Release Performance Management - Can We Get a Little Clarity

Ok, so I am overdue to get my blog on after a recent long vacation. Thinking that I needed to get up to date with everything in BI and performance management I did a quick surf of a number of websites to get up to speed with recent events - and found a couple of press releases that could use a strong dose of improved performance. So about Clarity Systems.

On March 5, Clarity Systems announced that they had an airline vertical market and that it is taking off. They went on to announce that JetBlue, Eos, British Airways, and "other" regional and international airlines have selected Clarity 6. This is great news for Clarity, except on the messaging and press release front.

It is great to know the vertical is taking off. Might be good to tell the other internal folks at Clarity, as the press release appears to be the only mention of the new vertical on the whole website. Airline does not even get a call out under "other industries" in the web navigation either under solutions or partners. Note to Clarity for sake of clarity, it is a vertical or not?

In the same manner, are you a leader or not? Clarity indicates they are a leader in performance management - the press releases all say so. This includes the press release where they announce they are visionary, not a leader in the most recent Gartner Magic Quadrant for CPM. As if this is not bad enough, take a look at the quote from Clarity's president Mark Nashman:
“We believe Gartner's report acknowledges our software for its openness, flexibility and depth of functionality in all areas of CPM,” says Mark Nashman, President, Clarity Systems. “In my opinion, it distinguishes Clarity Systems as a thought leader and innovator in the CPM market.”
Ok, I got it. And it other news, Mark's mom thinks he is a wonderful son and could not have committed the crime. Seriously. Seriously? While we all know it can be painful to run the Gartner gauntlet to get a release approved when mentioned in a report, at least they are clear about the rules of engagement. (In contrast to Forrester, which is a whole other post). I guess it never occurred to me that I could have just inserted the words "In my opinion" somewhere in the quote section to indicate this was the actual opinion of the person who is being quoted.

So actually, when Clarity says leader, they mean thought leader. I got it. Ooops, I read the rest of the release. It goes on to quote Nashman at the end of the release:
"We believe Gartner's Magic Quadrant for CPM Suites recognizes what our customers already understand: Clarity delivers visionary CPM solutions to the market.”
So the Gartner quad actually represents what their customers think, that they are a visionary, not a leader. This is helpful and actually explains that their vision is to have an airline vertical, but it is not actually generally available today. We think we are leaders, but our customers don't think so.

This would help explain where the other airline customers might have gone. In the release on their visionary airline vertical, the other airlines are never actually mentioned. Jetblue, Eos, and British Airlines have cleared customs and boarded the release, but the other airlines apparently got caught in a security screening. They did not board. Not in the headline, not in the body of the release. So what is there to prove they actually exist? Who writes this stuff? Who approves this stuff? Seriously. The visionary leader release has Dilbert written all over it. The airline one is a thing unto itself.

Color me dazed and confused. And I am sure it is not only me.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

SQL 2008 Launches in LA - Ballmer Talks

The next wave of Microsoft BI launched last week with the launch of SQL Server 2008. The event in Los Angeles reached 4,000 attendee and is the first city of an epic tour that spans across the globe as the Windows Server 2008, Visual Studio 2008, and SQL Server 2008 are let loose on the market.

Get more details on this event and other upcoming events and watch Steve Ballmer’s keynote here.