System 9 provides users with a simple BI interface; the company's R&D on the new product and BI platform lasted three years.
Posted Oct 11, 2005
Hyperion today announced the immediate availability of Hyperion System 9, a BPM tool that integrates financial management applications with a BI platform, BI+. The new product introduces a unified workspace so end-users do not have to shuffle between multiple systems and technologies to get answers to their business questions. It provides them with one, simple interface for financial, interactive, and production reporting, as well as analytics, enterprise metrics, scorecards, dashboards, and master data management. System 9 is the result of a three-year initiative to transform and simplify the way users interact with BI and BPM software.
Analysts say the tool will be good for Hyperion, which is known for its strength in the BPM space, but lagged behind competitors like Business Objects and Cognos in the BI area. "Integration is clearly the theme with all the leading BI vendors at the moment. Customers can now get a business intelligence solution along with financial applications on an integrated platform, " says Cindi Howson, president of ASK LLC and author of the BIScorecard for independent BI research. "For customers, it brings the vision of one integrated suite closer to reality. For BI and BPM vendors, the competition is fierce and the differences among them is less apparent."
Nigel Pendse, an independent industry analyst and author of The OLAP surveys, agrees with the importance of integration for Hyperion's customers. Hyperion's products started life in a number of different companies and had many inconsistencies, which the company has been trying to iron out over the last few years. System 9 is another step along this path," Pendse says. "End-users get a more consistent user interface, regardless of what data source they are accessing. This makes the products in Hyperion's suite easier to use together."
Hyperion worked with industrial design firm Frog Design to analyze how users work with reports, dynamic forecasts, financial consolidation, and advanced analytical software. The study tracked 70 customers and their use of software to create the workspace. The key is to make BI easy to use, according to Srikant Gokulnatha, director of product strategy for Hyperion. "The goal was to understand how people actually use our products and rebuild the environment from scratch. We wanted to make sure they can do all the activities they needed to do," he says
Hyperion System 9 BI+ also provides the following customer-requested innovations:
Smart View for Office: Allows users to embed BI content into and interact with Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint, and Word.
Transparent user access for any source: Provides a common view into all data sources and across all management processes, allowing users to make decisions based on a single, reliable information source that spans all areas of operations. "Every business wants a single version of the truth and they don't have it. They have multiple analytic tools and therefore the cost of ownership is high," Gokulnatha says. "We encountered a sea of tools and spreadsheets with no consistency or alignment. Using one tool lowers the TCO and reduces risks associated with inconsistencies found in various metrics."
Data mining: Enables the exchange of data mining models between advanced analytics and external data mining engines. It supports new models, including those for credit scoring, enabling new applications including credit risk management.
Change management: Provides a way for companies to quickly identify what has changed and allows them to automatically update reports despite underlying data store changes.
Analysts say the changes put Hyperion in a better competitive position. Online analytical processing (OLAP) is a key BI component and is an area in which Pendse maintains Hyperion remains a strong player. "Hyperion has moved from the middle right to the top of the standardization league table in the new OLAP Survey 5, due to be published in November, and as a result has one of the most improved loyalty scores." Adds Howson: "In the past, Hyperion was the undisputed leader in BPM, yet weak in BI. System9 gives them a stronger solution overall."
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