• March 24, 2006
  • By Colin Beasty, (former) Associate Editor, CRM Magazine

Oracle Looks to Get More Out of Data

Oracle pushed into the BI sector on Thursday by announcing three bundled products branded as the Oracle Business Intelligence Suite. The software suite integrates Oracle's database technology, Fusion middleware, and analytics software. The new product line also adds analytics software Oracle acquired by way of the Siebel Systems acquisition that closed earlier this year. No doubt, Oracle's move "poses a threat" to companies focused solely on BI applications, says John Hagerty, research vice president at AMR Research. It's understandable, as sales for BI software and services within the Enterprise Performance Management market is expected to rise 10 percent to $6 billion this year, according to AMR Research. "During the past five years companies have moved from wanting to collect the data, to gaining insight from the data," Hagerty says. "With that strategy, Oracle is aiming for the hearts and minds of the overall SAP business user." The Oracle Business Intelligence Suite features three editions: Enterprise, Standard, and Standard Edition One. The BI Suite Enterprise Edition integrates technology from Siebel Business Analytics with Oracle's existing BI and middleware technology in an effort to offer an enterprise-wide BI infrastructure and tools. The BI Suite Standard Edition offers pre-integrated BI infrastructure software and tools for the Oracle environment, without integrating Siebel Business Analytics. Finally, the BI Suite Standard Edition One is designed as a specialized offering for the SMB segment and is meant to compete with Microsoft's enterprise applications geared toward midmarket companies. Both the Enterprise Edition and the Standard Edition are available now. The Enterprise Edition license costs $1,500 per user, while the Standard Edition costs $400 per user. The Standard Edition One will roll out after June 1 of this year, according to the company. With more than 25 percent of Siebel's business coming from analytics, the use of Siebel analytics in Oracle's latest offering was a natural maturation, said Rick Schultz, vice president of Oracle's Fusion Middleware Product Marketing, in a written statement. "We're able to integrate the information generated by BI products into existing business applications and other Fusion middleware products, such as the Oracle Process Manager, a tool for orchestrating business processes, so users can see the information as they make decisions," he said. Naturally, the competition has mixed reviews. "Oracle has done a good job continuing the development of Siebel's analytic offerings," says Doug Adams, product marketing manager at Cognos, but he feels their overall BI suite offering is still lacking in certain areas. "This initial offering is just a repackaging of a lot of their traditional BI tools. They still need to continue the integration between Siebel's offerings and their own with Fusion." Related articles: Fusion Is Heating Up
BI Will Be Pervasive
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