Microsoft Corp. today announced key milestones achieved within the business intelligence (BI) marketplace, including IDC’s recognizing Microsoft as one of the fastest-growing BI vendors in 2006. In IDC’s report, “Worldwide Business Intelligence Tools 2006 Vendor Shares,”* analysts found that Microsoft had a growth rate of 28 percent, the highest among the top 10 industry vendors. In addition, Microsoft® SQL Server™ 2005 was acknowledged by The OLAP Report as the No. 1 online analytical processing (OLAP) server on the market.
Microsoft’s continued investment in delivering high-performing, low-cost BI solutions for all business users via the Microsoft Office experience and SQL Server 2005 has customers taking notice.
“Like most companies, we experience a constant flow of change. Having the ability to monitor my business, analyze key business data, act on it and see real-time results gives me the competitive edge my business needs to survive,” said Michael Saunders, corporate vice president and chief information officer for Kellwood Co. “Microsoft has given us the ability and confidence to allow our employees at all levels to make informed decisions.”
SQL Server has established itself as an enterprise-class data platform. A recent BZ Research study found that 74.7 percent of enterprises use SQL Server, compared with 54.5 percent for the nearest competitor.
The Rise in Demand for Pervasive Business Intelligence
In its analysis, IDC states that the BI market grew by more than 11 percent in 2006. The BI tools market continues to be driven by the need for improved performance management and, to a lesser extent, compliance. “Performance management can take on the form of various decision-support and reporting functions to improve revenue, profit and operational efficiency; decrease costs; uncover new opportunities; or mitigate risk,” said Dan Vesset, an analyst with IDC. “Microsoft had another strong year in this market.”
To give businesses a step in the right direction, Microsoft will launch Microsoft Office PerformancePoint™ Server 2007 on Sept. 19, and SQL Server 2008 is scheduled to ship in the second quarter of 2008. Customers are invited to attend an event on Sept. 20 to learn more about Office PerformancePoint Server 2007. More information about the event is available at http://www.windowsitpro.com/roadshows/performancepoint.
“We are focused on helping our customers achieve higher levels of business performance by allowing them to take advantage of the rich BI capabilities offered through Microsoft business intelligence,” said Chris Caren, general manager of Office Business Applications at Microsoft. “We are excited to help companies integrate efficiently with one another to ensure all employees are held accountable for their actions across the entire business.”
In preparation for the upcoming releases, Microsoft issued its fourth and final community technology preview (CTP) for Microsoft Office PerformancePoint Server 2007 as well as the July CTP for SQL Server 2008.
The CTP program has over 10,000 active members. The latest preview of PerformancePoint Server 2007 is available to the public at https://connect.microsoft.com/site/sitehome.aspx?SiteID=181&wa=wsignin1.0, and enables customers and partners to preview and provide feedback on the latest pre-release versions of both products. The SQL Server 2008 July CTP can be downloaded at http://connect.microsoft.com/sqlserver. Feedback received from customers and partners during previous CTP programs has led to significant improvements in both products and closely aligned them with the needs of customers.
Bridging the BI Divide
Both releases promise significant enhancements to the BI landscape. PerformancePoint Server 2007 helps organizations align their processes by streamlining into a single application the monitoring, analysis and planning activities needed to improve business performance. By deploying PerformancePoint Server 2007, businesses can achieve better results by allowing individuals across the organization to improve performance. SQL Server 2008 will help organizations deliver a more secure, reliable data platform for storing business-critical information and delivering the right information to all users, while reducing the time and cost of managing data.
PerformancePoint Server is tightly integrated with the familiar and easy-to-use Microsoft Office system, allowing organizations to better align employees across divisions and make them accountable for their actions. In addition, PerformancePoint Server 2007 takes advantage of the enterprise-grade reliability, high performance, security technology and scalability of SQL Server 2005, enabling more people at all levels of the organization to transform disparate enterprise data into shared information they can use to make decisions and take actions that improve business outcomes.
“TCS and Microsoft are working together to invest in developing industry-leading, world-class BI solutions that enable our customers to experience certainty,” said Santosh Mohanty, global director and head of the Business Intelligence and Performance Management practice at Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. “We are seeing significant market momentum and double-digit growth for BI solutions built on the industry-leading Microsoft technology stack. This growth, being fueled by demand from some of the largest corporations in the world, has enabled us to aggressively push our strategic objective of building a $100 million BI practice on the Microsoft technology stack.”
* Source: IDC, Doc #207422, June 2007