One of Oracle’s
biggest challenges these days is integrating the new products from its numerous acquisitions with its existing software.
Oracle (Quote) just finished one such undertaking,
incorporating the analytics software it acquired in the Siebel Systems
purchase as the base for its business intelligence software.
Oracle Business Intelligence Suite Enterprise Edition 10g Release 3 features
significant new integration with Oracle’s broad swath of applications,
database software and other components of Oracle Fusion Middleware.
Like similar suites from rivals Business Objects (Quote), Cognos
(Quote) and Hyperion
(Quote), Oracle Business Intelligence Suite EE is designed to
provide business users information so they can make better business
Oracle Business Intelligence Suite EE, available in Linux and Windows
flavors for $1,500 per user or $225,000 per CPU, includes Siebel’s live
dashboards, ad hoc analysis, alerts, reports, and even disconnected
analytics on mobile laptops.
Such tools fuel a multi-billion-dollar industry that has seen just about
every facet of its existence commoditized, excluding predictive analytics.
This area is expected to be red hot in 2007; Oracle’s August purchase of
Sigma Dynamics and Hyperion’s recent bid for
Decisioneering bear this out.
Compared to pure-play powers Business Objects and Cognos, Oracle is a
relative newcomer to the BI space. But the company has built an estimable
reputation for managing corporate information in databases for more than 20
years, and customers could find it convenient to buy BI from Oracle.
Most BI providers don’t have to contend with is integrating their products into several different product lines, whether it be their own software or another vendor’s. Oracle wasn’t one of those vendors, according to Rick
Schultz, vice president of Oracle Fusion Middleware.
Oracle Business Intelligence Suite EE boasts more Web services
(define) support and integration with Oracle BPEL Process
Manager, the company’s business process execution engine. For example,
Schultz said users can get automated BI alerts that invoke processes.
“Business intelligence fits in tightly with business processes,” Schultz
said. “Customers want their end users to access the intelligence information
in the context of a business process. This integration allows that to
Schultz said the ability to integrate BI with Oracle’s fluency in business
process management (BPM) (define) separates the company from the
other BI vendors.
In another case, Oracle Business Intelligence Suite EE’s integration with
the OLAP (define) option of Oracle Database 10g Enterprise Edition
consolidates server engines to store, view and analyze data in OLAP cubes.
The product is also more secure, thanks to integration with Oracle Virtual
Directory, the Oracle E-Business Suite security model, Oracle Enterprise
Single Sign-On Suite, and Oracle Internet Directory.
Like all new infrastructure software coming out of Oracle these days, the BI
software has been designed to be “hot-pluggable,” Oracle’s catch-phrase for
software that will run on any existing IT infrastructure.
Businesses find value in this, Oracle argues, because they needn’t rip and
replace the software they already use to accommodate new Oracle software.
To wit, Oracle Business Intelligence Suite EE will work with the latest
releases of IBM DB2, Microsoft SQL Server, and NCR Teradata. Moreover, the
product now features multi-dimensional support and new native access to SAP
Business Information Warehouse.