Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Forrester Wave Q4 2010 for Enterprise BI Platforms

Looking at my blog statistics, I see people searching the web for a list of hot BI companies and products. Many want a comparison of the different technologies available so that they can make a better purchasing decision.

One of the best ways to understand the BI software market is to pay for some research from the industry analysts, such as Gartner, Forrester Research, and Yankee Group. Their reports may cost you from a few hundred to several thousand dollars.

If you can't afford the details, you can often find high-level summaries that give away the highlights for free.

For example, Boris Evelson at Forrester Group recently released his latest research on Enterprise BI Platforms. You can find out more about the Q4 2010 Forrester Wave on Boris' Information Management blog.

As expected, Boris points out that the mega-vendors continue to be the clear Business Intelligence leaders. However, it is not just about their software products; they are able to provide customers with "overall information management functionality."
  • IBM Cognos
  • SAP BusinessObjects
  • Oracle
  • SAS

In this release, Boris has upgraded some other familiar vendor names into the Leaders category: 
  • Information Builders
  • Microsoft
  • MicroStrategy

Outside of these premier Leaders, Boris has categories for a runner-up "Strong Performer" and a lurking bunch of "Contenders." Already in the Strong Performer group were: 
  • TIBCO Spotfire
  • Actuate

Boris moved two BI players out of their Contender role and into the Strong Performer group: 
  • QlikTech
  • Panarama Software

The mega-vendors clearly provide an entire "stack of technologies" that includes hardware, software, and complementary products and services. They want you to buy everything from them as the sole preferred vendor.

While that might be a safe enterprise decision, Boris recommends considering privately-held Information Builders as a serious alternative to the very large vendors. IBI has its own integrated stack of BI products:
  • Universal Metadata and Data Access Layer
  • WebFOCUS Reporting Server for web-based on-demand access
  • User interfaces for the entire enterprise of varying needs
  • WebFOCUS Distribution Server/ReportCaster for automated information delivery
  • iWay Software ETL for batch data movements
  • iWay Software Service Manager for real-time data movements
  • Database update capabilities
  • Custom database
  • Broad support for multiple platforms, databases, and web technologies

Boris also points out that SAS "continues to amaze the market with uninterrupted 32-year growth."  It is truly awe-inspiring that Jim Goodnight took a college project for analyzing agriculture and turned it into a multi-billion dollar product.  SAS is truly the stuff software legends are made of.  

Keep an eye on QlikTech which has been a darling in Europe and is starting to be hot here in the United States. Boris acknowledges QlikTech as a real BI vendor following its successful IPO.

Be sure to see Boris' complete research, including the detail 147 evaluation criteria and vendor specifics.

1 comment:

jake george said...

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About Me

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I am a project-based software consultant, specializing in automating transitions from legacy reporting applications into modern BI/Analytics to leverage Social, Cloud, Mobile, Big Data, Visualizations, and Predictive Analytics using Information Builders' WebFOCUS. Based on scores of successful engagements, I have assembled proven Best Practice methodologies, software tools, and templates.

I have been blessed to work with innovators from firms such as: Ford, FedEx, Procter & Gamble, Nationwide, The Wendy's Company, The Kroger Co., JPMorgan Chase, MasterCard, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Siemens, American Express, and others.

I was educated at Valparaiso University and the University of Cincinnati, where I graduated summa cum laude. In 1990, I joined Information Builders and for over a dozen years served in regional pre- and post-sales technical leadership roles. Also, for several years I led the US technical services teams within Cincom Systems' ERP software product group and the Midwest custom software services arm of Xerox.

Since 2007, I have provided enterprise BI services such as: strategic advice; architecture, design, and software application development of intelligence systems (interactive dashboards and mobile); data warehousing; and automated modernization of legacy reporting. My experience with BI products include WebFOCUS (vendor certified expert), R, SAP Business Objects (WebI, Crystal Reports), Tableau, and others.