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Dashboard: Oracle Speaks -- But Can It Lead In Business Intelligence?

Is it realistic to think Oracle could sweep in and take over the market from Business Objects, Hyperion and other BI leaders? Many in the industry believe the answer is, "not yet."

Calling business intelligence "a new leg of our business," Oracle president Charles Phillips announced the Oracle BI Suite in March and claimed Oracle would be able to leapfrog other longtime players in the BI space.

So far, the Oracle BI offering is made up of about 55 percent Siebel Analytics (formerly nQuire) tools--including dashboard, alerting and mobile delivery software --and 45 percent Oracle tools, such as Discoverer, Enterprise Planning and Budgeting, and BI Publisher. Oracle says it plans to have all these pieces integrated by the end of the year.

With BI Suite Standard Edition One, which is priced at $25,000 and serves up to 50 users, Oracle says it is going after Microsoft. The Enterprise Edition, $1,500 per named user, is for large environments with various data sources, the territory of vendors including Business Objects, Hyperion and Cognos.

Is it realistic to think Oracle could sweep in and take over the market from these leaders? Many in the industry believe the answer is, "not yet."

"Oracle has been lacking in a single direction for business intelligence for several years," notes Keith Gile, principal analyst at Forrester Research. It has offered business intelligence through the database group, the app server group, the applications group and now Siebel Analytics--four separate approaches. Although this announcement shows a single direction, "making an announcement like this doesn't make it happen. Oracle has a few years to go before it will be able to completely integrate these analytic engines as well as the PeopleSoft software."

For Oracle shops, the BI Suite is good news--easily integrated dashboards and analytics.