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For the rest of the April 2006 issue of CRM magazine please click here
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  • Gartner Releases Its BI Magic Quadrant. Business Objects, Cognos, Information Builders, and SAS Institute are setting the standards in BI, according to Gartner's "Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence Platforms, 1Q06." The companies are listed as leaders, with all four offering a range of capabilities across reporting, analysis, performance management, and data integration, according to the report. Microsoft, Oracle, and SAP are listed as close challengers, while Hyperion, MicroStrategy, QlikTech, and Siebel Systems are listed as visionaries, or those companies with potential to become leaders. Overall, Gartner expects the BI market to grow at a solid pace during the next five years, with new license revenues experiencing a compound annual growth rate of 7.3 percent. In addition, larger organizations are increasing BI spending, especially as they work to comply with government regulations like Sarbanes-Oxley.
  • Oracle Cuts 2,000 Jobs. Oracle announced that it would lay off approximately 2,000 employees in an effort to realign resources after rival Siebel Systems accepted Oracle's $5.85 billion takeover bid on January 31. The job cuts, surprisingly, include original Oracle employees and Siebel newcomers. Oracle President Charles Phillips noted that the result of the combined entity's integration of product lines and business processes would be "immediate incremental value, delivering over the next four months," before mentioning the effect on jobs at the company. "There has been an over 90 percent acceptance rate of former Siebel employees," Phillips said. "U.S. training is complete as of today, and we are ready to go."
  • Salesforce.com Takes Another Power Nap. Salesforce.com users experienced another service outage in January, the latest in a series of minor and major service interruptions for the popular on-demand CRM application. The outage, described by both financial analysts and competitors as "severe," came at the crucial end-of-month period, when salespeople and other Salesforce.com users were scrambling to finalize their monthly and quarterly numbers. Published statements by Salesforce.com claim the outage was brief, lasting approximately 30 minutes, but customers have reported downtime of as much as four hours, with the servers down and the API nonresponsive. Salesforce.com executives call the incident minor. Despite the outage, the most recent in a string of interruptions for Salesforce.com this quarter, financial analysts do not appear worried about the company's financial future.
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