Thursday, 5 February 2009

Gartner ranks IBM, Microsoft and Oracle on top in business intelligence platforms

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The economy may be in recession, but, according to Gartner Inc., the business intelligence (BI) platform market is still on pace for growth over the next three years. In its recent BI Magic Quadrant report, Gartner predicted that the BI platform market will grow by 7.9% through 2012, buoyed by companies looking to weather the economic downturn via improving efficiencies and reducing waste through BI and data analytics.

According to the report, "2009 is likely to be a critical year in which the total cost of ownership of BI comes under increased scrutiny, and its value as a decision-making tool in the toughest economic conditions is put to the test." Gartner seemed less certain in its predictions for customer buying patterns, however. On the one hand, Gartner said 2008's market consolidation "seemingly marked the end of BI platforms as a predominantly standalone, best-of-breed buying decision." The interest in independent BI platforms will also remain high, the report said, because of their emphasis on innovation and new features, and a growing interest in "workgroup" and departmental BI deployments.

Whether it is IBM, Oracle, SAP or Microsoft, they trust their chosen mega-vendor to integrate it all for them. However, there is still a significant percentage that is heterogeneous in their buying preferences. The reality is right now the mega-vendors are integrating a bunch of disparate code bases [from acquired BI vendors] across their stack, so there is no tighter integration with their stack than buying an independent. However, that could change. Interoperability and portability won't go away, but the vendors will build more out-of-the-box solutions with their own BI platform running against their own software stack.

Highlights of the Magic Quadrant report:
  1. IBM undoubtedly tops a crowded leaders' quadrant. Gartner said that the Cognos BI platform's (which were recently acquired by IBM) "Web services-based SOA" tops in the market, with shared metadata across the platform enabling ease of transfer from report to query to analysis. Cognos' Microsoft Office integration and advanced visualization capabilities also helped its cause.
  2. Microsoft maintains its position in the leaders' quadrant for second consecutive year, largely on the strength of its "broadly capable product set at a low price point," according to Gartner. Its BI pricing and packaging options make it particularly attractive to first-time BI customers and companies looking to reduce the number and complexity of BI tools, the report said.
  3. Oracle also remained in the leaders' quadrant this year. Gartner cited as Oracle's strengths its 70+ industry-specific BI applications, its improved security and administration capabilities, and its ability to federate data from multiple sources into its BI applications.

To buy the complete report, visit Gartner Inc. website. Alternatively, you can buy the complete report (PDF version) for just $50 (remember, original report costs more than $250) and I will email you the PDF that I have bought from Gartner (mail me for payment details).

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