Software // Information Management
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8/9/2007
09:50 AM
Mark Smith
Mark Smith
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Oracle Touts Leadership: Should We Believe Them?

Oracle has gained a lot of weight in the BI market with their recent acquisition of Hyperion... The company is aggressively pushing its new agenda and is stating its differentiation as having the first complete, integrated, end-to-end enterprise performance management system. I am not sure what Oracle's definition of "complete and integrated" is, but at best it is loosely coupled, with different generations of BI technologies and performance management applications yet to be fully integrated...

Oracle has gained a lot of weight in the BI market with its recent acquisition of Hyperion, gaining many new customers, and large number of experienced employees. Since its acquisition of Siebel, which was the source of their current Oracle BI Enterprise Extended Edition (EE) technology, Oracle had achieved critical milestones on their product roadmap. With the completion of the acquisition of Hyperion, Oracle now has a new challenge of integrating another large collection of BI technologies and financial management applications. The company is aggressively pushing its new agenda and is stating its differentiation as having the first and complete integrated, end-to-end enterprise performance management system.I am not sure what Oracle's definition of "complete and integrated" is, but at best it is loosely coupled, with different generations of BI technologies and performance management applications yet to be fully integrated with the Oracle BI EE technologies and portfolio of Oracle's applications. Oracle has committed to technology integration, but we should understand that as in any acquisition, integrating technologies takes many years and releases. It's important to also realize that Hyperion was on a multi-year integration roadmap with its BI and performance management products. For customers or potential buyers of Oracle and Hyperion BI or performance management applications, this means an investment of your time and money will be required until the products are integrated.

The combination of Oracle BI with Performance Management applications and newly acquired technology is a work in progress, so proceed cautiously until we see more product releases that demonstrate the integration of technologies. If you look under the covers of Oracle's products today, you will see that it is not so easy to navigate across the different applications and tools. There is a significant difference in the look and feel of products, and this will need to be rationalized further to make things easier to use. For now, and over the next couple of years, it will require consultants and infrastructure updates to make the Oracle BI and Performance Management portfolio work as an integrated, end-to-end system.

Oracle is focused on making BI a more integrated component of the IT infrastructure, as they have demonstrated with Oracle BI EE. Now with the challenge of integrating Hyperion BI technologies including Hyperion Essbase and financial applications like Hyperion Planning and Hyperion Financial Management, Oracle will have to demonstrate progress over time. This will have an impact on the company's ability to innovate, but they have told us they are committed to continued innovation. Oracle has made a large commitment to BI and Performance Management with a dedicated sales, services, product and marketing organizations -- a new move for the large acquirer of technologies. The commitment appears to be larger than that of peers/rivals Microsoft and SAP while on par with dedicated providers, Business Objects and Cognos.

Oracle will not get a free ride and market leadership takes time, especially since the old Oracle BI and performance management (over the last decade) did not deliver the most robust technology or applications. Building new trust is happening and Oracle will have to earn their way. The company appears to be on a solid course with the acquired employees and products from Siebel and now Hyperion. While it will need to navigate over the product roadmap bumps, Oracle potentially could be a significant factor in the market.

Let me know your thoughts.Oracle has gained a lot of weight in the BI market with their recent acquisition of Hyperion... The company is aggressively pushing its new agenda and is stating its differentiation as having the first complete, integrated, end-to-end enterprise performance management system. I am not sure what Oracle's definition of "complete and integrated" is, but at best it is loosely coupled, with different generations of BI technologies and performance management applications yet to be fully integrated...

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