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SAP, Microsoft Adding Pressure To BI Market

Developing products that deliver business intelligence to as many corporate workers as possible is the trend in the industry. The idea is to get valuable business metrics to the people who need them, while also upping the number of users, which means fatter licensing deals for vendors.
Developing products that deliver business intelligence to as many corporate workers as possible is the trend in the industry. The idea is to get valuable business metrics to the people who need them, while also upping the number of users, which means fatter licensing deals for vendors.Cognos, for example, recently announced that it plans to release in May technology that would integrate with enterprise search products from Google and IBM to deliver Cognos 8 Business Intelligence content to any corporate worker. The move is an important one, since only one in five corporate workers today in the software maker's customer base uses its business intelligence.

But Cognos's biggest challenge won't be technological. Instead, it will be battling software giants SAP and Microsoft, which have joined forces to deliver analytics from SAP business applications through Microsoft's Office productivity suite. With the vast majority of corporate workers using Office today, it makes a powerful delivery mechanism.

The two companies plan to start delivering technology making all this possible by the end of the year. Besides trying to steal customers from Cognos, the partnership also has its sights on an even bigger rival, Oracle, which is in the process of integrating the many business applications it acquired through the purchase of PeopleSoft and Siebel.

Anyway, with so many tech giants offering analytics and reporting within their business applications, it'll be interesting to see how Cognos and other smaller vendors maneuver within an overcrowded market.

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Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer