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When Everything Isn't Enough

On paper, Oracle appears to have it all in business intelligence -- database, middleware, software tools, business applications and analytics. So what is the software giant missing? An enterprise-ready, integrated product, according to Ventana Research.
On paper, Oracle appears to have it all in business intelligence -- database, middleware, software tools, business applications and analytics. So what is the software giant missing? An enterprise-ready, integrated product, according to Ventana Research.Compare Oracle to Cognos, a much smaller company with more success in the BI market. While Oracle is trying to absorb two major acquisitions -- Siebel Systems and PeopleSoft -- Cognos is focusing its development and marketing efforts to gain a strong foothold in growing areas. Specifically, it's looking to performance management as a means for extending BI from the IT departments to the corporate offices.

Ventana analysts believe Cognos has the right strategy, and is smart in evolving its technology to work with other enterprise software. However, the Canadian company's success will depend on it differentiating itself in a crowded BI market that includes formidable opponents, such as Hyperion and potentially Microsoft.

Oracle, on the other hand, is trying to buy into the market through acquisition after 10 years of making little progress with its own technology. The database giant is banking on Siebel Business Analytics products to provide the platform for its other technologies, Ventana said.

The research firm is certainly not crossing off Oracle, but it's also not advising clients to open their wallets just yet. Rather, they should remain on the sidelines and wait until Oracle proves its products are ready.

Oracle and Cognos recently made major product and strategy announcements. Ventana's take is on Business Intelligence Pipeline. Checkout the separate reports and then drop me an email to let me know what you think.

Meanwhile, BI Pipeline's latest informal readers poll showed 60 percent ready to consider using open source business intelligence tools. Twenty-two percent said they had no interest in open source BI, while 17 percent said they preferred using a combination of open source and proprietary applications.