Software // Information Management
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3/1/2007
11:05 AM
Cindi Howson
Cindi Howson
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Oracle to Buy Hyperion: A Look Behind the Scenes

So much for rumors! This morning, Oracle announced its intent to acquire Hyperion Solutions … not Business Objects as the rumor mill previously suggested. With performance management and BI slowly converging and arch competitor Microsoft about to release a complete product set, it's a smart but aggressive move on Oracle's part. For Hyperion, I only hope that the best people and products don't get lost in the shuffle.

So much for rumors! This morning, Oracle announced its intent to acquire Hyperion Solutions … not Business Objects as the rumor mill previously suggested. With performance management and BI slowly converging and arch competitor Microsoft about to release a complete product set, it's a smart but aggressive move on Oracle's part. For Hyperion, I only hope that the best people and products don't get lost in the shuffle.Hyperion is a clear leader in the performance management space, but less so in the BI space. Its OLAP engine (Essbase) is best of breed yet one viewed with a degree of wariness by IT, given the number of financial users who went off and built stand-alone data marts with it. It took years for Oracle to leverage the acquisition of Express (the leading OLAP engine in the early 1990s), and I hate to think that Essbase may fall to the same fate.

However, Hyperion's business query (System 9 Interactive Reports) lags that of leading competitors, Business Objects and Cognos. Enter Oracle's other recent acquisition - Siebel Analytics (rebranded Oracle BI Enterprise Edition) - and Oracle will have a powerful portfolio of products. Of course, that's only on the front end, and rationalizing duplicate products, integrating disparate architectures, and integrating them into applications is something that will take years. In the interim, the Oracle/Hyperion sales team can make a daunting force, with Oracle having those tight IT relationships and Hyperion having strong relationships with finance departments.

A funny thing does happen every time I start to evaluate Oracle BI - they acquire another vendor and change their BI strategy. Yet it certainly leaves no doubt as to Oracle's commitment to pursuing the BI market.

Let me know what you think of the acquisition by responding to the reader poll or posting a comment.

Until next week, Cindi Howson, author of BIScorecard product reviews.So much for rumors! This morning, Oracle announced its intent to acquire Hyperion Solutions … not Business Objects as the rumor mill previously suggested. With performance management and BI slowly converging and arch competitor Microsoft about to release a complete product set, it's a smart but aggressive move on Oracle's part. For Hyperion, I only hope that the best people and products don't get lost in the shuffle.

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