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5/10/2005
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arcplan: Bolstering BI Application Development

New release streamlines application development for BI and performance management.

VentanaView™

Companies have never been so eager to adopt business intelligence (BI) technology, but unfortunately in many cases they’ve lost sight of the specific business applications and requirements. To gain alignment of people and processes to improve performance will require specific applications that can be rapidly built and customized. arcplan, a BI software supplier, specializes in providing a platform that can easily and cost effectively build these applications, which can then be used for basic BI requirements or to enable more robust performance management applications. Ventana Research recommends that organizations looking to leverage their investments into analytic databases, like Applix, Hyperion, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle and others, evaluate how arcplan can assist their needs for BI and performance management.

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Meeting the business requirements for leveraging BI and performance management in your organization requires tight alignment of people and processes for specific business objectives. In many cases, these business situations require specific applications or systems that are not found "off the shelf" or not easily customized from your traditional BI technology providers. This gap requires the rapid prototyping and development of applications that can quickly and cost-effectively be deployed. Ventana Research is rapidly seeing that this type of approach is needed to meet the short turnaround requirements of business.

arcplan is a specialized provider of BI software that can be used to develop these customized applications for BI objectives and to build even more specific applications for enabling performance management. arcplan has a history of providing the flexibility to perform these tasks while connecting to the more specialized analytic data stores like SAP BW, Hyperion Essbase, Oracle OLAP, Microsoft Analysis Services, Applix TM1, IBM DB2 OLAP, and even XML. By providing a very simple approach, but one not found in most BI environments (WYSIWYG approach), arcplan enables easy development that can build robust applications, integrating analytics from one or any of the data sources they support.

To continue to meet the cost and efficiency requirements of IT organizations, arcplan recently announced the availability of arcplan DynaSight 4.1, which provides open computing support of Linux, which in turn supports Novel and Red Hat, along with support for 64-bit computing on AMD- and Intel-based platforms. These two key areas are also enhanced by supporting integration with Microsoft .NET, which provides a richer browser experience for end users and tighter integration with Microsoft Excel. Ventana Research believes organizations that want to leverage their investments in analytics data stores and provide customized and specific applications should examine how arcplan simplifies the application development process without significant IT cycles.

Market Impact
The development of BI applications to meet performance management requirements is rapidly becoming a larger issue for organizations. Our research has shown that many of the larger BI software providers (i.e. BusinessObjects, Cognos, MicroStrategy) have not addressed the requirements or simplified the process for rapid development of applications that support specific analytic data stores from Applix, Hyperion, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, and others. Ventana Research believes that, as a result, arcplan has a competitive advantage. Their platform can be the versatile platform for adapting a wide array of analytic stores while providing a common look and feel of the applications to the business.

Recommendation
Challenges commonly facing organizations today include the debate on vendors, products, technology, and standards that prohibit rapid turnaround time for meeting their business requirements. Business and IT groups looking to quickly adopt BI for enabling performance management with specific application requirements should consider how arcplan can meet their needs. Ventana Research believes that arcplan’s continued focus on reducing the cost of adoption and deployment, while enhancing the resulting experience with the application, will give them an advantage.

Mark Smith is CEO and Senior Vice President of Research at Ventana Research.

Ventana Research is the preeminent research and advisory services firm helping our clients maximize stakeholder value with Performance Management throughout their organizations. Putting research in a business and IT context we provide insight and education on the best practices, methodologies and technologies that enable our clients to leverage assets to understand, optimize, and align strategies and processes to meet their goals and objectives.

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