• April 4, 2003
  • By David Myron, Editorial Director, CRM and Speech Technology magazines and SmartCustomerService.com

MetaGroup Ranks Top BI Companies

MetaGroup highlights the 19 leading companies in business intelligence in a recent report called Metaspectrum Market Summary: Business Intelligence Tools and Platforms. The report, written by David Folger, vice president of enterprise analytics strategies, categorizes the firms as either leaders or challengers. The leaders were selected because of their robust product line and financial strength in the market. The four companies to make it into the leaders category are Cognos, Business Objects, SAS, and SAP AG. In addition, the leaders have broad product lines and are financially strong enough to keep R&D spending at a high level, the report states. The leaders are frequently first-choice BI suppliers, with other vendors used to fill gaps in their offerings. "It's always great to be recognized as a leader in the business intelligence market," says Eleanor Taylor, manager of business intelligence strategy at SAS. "This is further validation of where we are in the market and in terms of what we can bring -- our vision, strategic market presence, and being private and having strong finances." "Most vendors in the challengers segment have point products with important functionality, but lack the broad product lines of the leaders," Folger states in the report. The top three in this space are Oracle, PeopleSoft, and Hyperion. "End users should prepare for this market dynamic by centering their BI architecture on vendors likely to emerge as full-suite suppliers," Folger says. "For the present, however, there will be considerable need for other tools, and large organizations will continue to need four to five BI tools at minimum to meet requirements." The report ranks vendors in several key areas, such as vision/strategy, geographical coverage, industry focus, and technology, pricing, and financials (a key factor in today's tough economic climate the report states). The technology leaders were selected on the following criteria: OLAP functionality and scalability, ad hoc query, reporting functionality and scalability, deployment options, application strategy, wireless, support for APIs, data source connect, portal strategy, and platform strategy. Topping the list of technology leaders were Cognos, Microstrategy, Brio, Business Objects, and Oracle. Folger adds that end-user organizations should select vendors from four categories: enterprise reporting, ad hoc query and analysis suites, OLAP servers, and analytic dashboards. For a large company, three to five vendors are required for complete coverage. In four to five years it will be possible to reduce the number of vendors to one primary vendor, augmented by one or two niche players.
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