By adding Ketera's operational data to Hyperion's financial BI, the latter company is offering another reason to expand the use of its software outside of the executive suites. "BI becomes much more valuable to customers if operational data can be shown in the context of financial data," Srikant Gokulnatha, senior director of product marketing, said.
The integration stems from an agreement reached several months ago to embed Hyperion analytics and reporting tools within Ketera software, which is delivered as a service over the Internet. In general, Ketera's software enables buyers to track the money spent on supplies, and to monitor suppliers' performance. Buyers pay a monthly fee, while suppliers can participate at no charge. The hosted system also allows buyers to place and track orders.
Hosted software like Ketera's is mostly used to buy items that are not critical to a company's operations, such as cleaning materials or office supplies.
To take advantage of the offering, a company would have to negotiate separate deals with both vendors. Hyperion's software, which is deployed behind the corporate firewall, would draw information from Ketera via standard technologies based on extensible markup language, or XML, Gokulnatha said.
Companies could choose to have raw data sent from Ketera and analyzed in-house by Hyperion, or have post-analyzed information sent directly to the dashboard, Gokunlnatha said. Either way, Hyperion's tools are providing the analytics.
The deal reflects two trends within the BI industry. First is the attempt by BI vendors to increase per-user charges by spreading the use of their software to more people within an organization. The second is the combining of BI with business process management software, which helps companies automate workflows within areas ranging from marketing to supply chains.
Last week, Hyperion announced an agreement to buy Decisioneering, a maker of desktop predictive analytics. The BI vendor plans to integrate the software with the Hyperion System 9 BI suite.