Merged BI vendors face performance challenges

The rash of recent consolidation among enterprise business intelligence suite vendors has occurred at the temporary expense of their ability to perform, according to analyst firm Gartner’s assessment of the BI landscape.

Singling out Hyperion (which acquired Brio) and Business Objects (which acquired Crystal Decisions) for attention, Gartner’s China-based research analyst Louisa Liu said that prospective purchasers of BI solutions should, at least for the next six months, consider the individual pre-merger capabilities of enterprise business intelligence suite (EBIS) vendors rather than relying on newly integrated promises.

“The purchase of Crystal by Business Objects will reduce its ability to execute because it will introduce distractions. [Similarly] the uncertainty about Hyperion’s long-term commitment to the market will affect Brio’s ability to execute,” Liu told delegates at the Gartner Syposium in Sydney last week.

With traditional players such as Business Objects now temporarily distracted, Liu said that the BI industry is currently without a clear leader, with Microsoft well placed to cash in on recent forays into the space – albeit by default.

“Microsoft is not yet well organised to and has no compelling vision…but is the closest thing [to a leader] in the market with Yukon,” Liu said.

Despite the honeymoon jitters of newlyweds like Crystal and Brio, Liu said such vendors will ultimately poised to reap the rewards, but cautioned that it would “be a mistake” to discount the possibility of further consolidation in the EBIS sector as other vendors tried to add BI-type functionality to their wares.

“There is a convergence going on in the marketplace which is not that obvious. The market is very dynamic and customers are more focused on costs and whether a vendor will survive” Liu said.

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