Business Objects Acquires ALG

for $56MM On the Heels of Announcement of Integration with SRC

Armstrong, better known as ALG Software, has about 400 customers including American Express, British Airways, and Heineken, and had total revenue last year of about $19 million. Its customers use its software for profitability management, activity-based costing and planning, budgeting and consolidation.

Prior to this announcement, BOBJ claimed to have completed a 2 year integration project to bring its SRC, Planning and Budgeting and Consolidation products onto the XI platform. The applications are aimed mostly at financial companies and finance managers at big businesses.  According to Current Analysis, “the new Business Objects CPM products allow users to combine data from plans, budgets, and forecasts compiled using SRC’s tools with the reporting, dashboards, scorecards, and data visualization features of the BusinessObjects XI platform.

BOBJ also announced new analytic capabilities in Business Objects Dashboard Manager (including new data exploration analytics for trend and plotting analysis, and distribution analytics for deeper statistical analysis); new reports and dashboards for Business Objects Supply Chain Intelligence, as well as new modules for vendor sourcing and product delivery processes; and an integrated version of Crystal Xcelsius Viewer for its planning, budgeting, and forecasting applications.


* It is unclear exactly what “SRC integration with BOBJ’s platformâ€� means. According to BOBJ, the integration means customers can take data from the planning, budgeting and other performance management applications and combine it more easily with the reporting and analysis tools in BusinessObjects XI. Do these products leverage the same metadata, administration and security model of the XI2 platform? This is an open question.  Stay tuned as we learn more.
* Each one of the enhancements to BOBJ’s analytic capabilities represents an item on the price list and are therefore options to Business Objects Enterprise platform.
* ALG’s maintains two separate product suites, Metify and EPO. EPO is the core product suite and includes an integrated Predictive Planning component (not a standalone product) and facilitates consolidation today, which is duplicative with SRC functionality. It’s upcoming version 3.0 product, under development was to also include scorecarding and more robust consolidation.
* ALG also has its own separate proprietary OLAP engine and database for modeling and reporting, but can communicate with other OLAP engines via OLEDB.
* According to TDWI, while SRC helped jumpstart Business Object’s BPM push, ALG, probably won’t have quite so dramatic an effect.
* According to James Kobielus of Current Analysis, “Business Objects must also surmount several obstacles on its way to BPM dominance. Business Objects’ CPM product family still addresses a narrower range of horizontal and vertical requirements than such direct rivals as Cognos, SAS, Hyperion, SAP, and Oracle,� he points out. “Also, it has not discussed any plans to integrate ALG’s products with the XI platform, or how ALG’s activity-based costing features will coexist with those in the new SRC-based Business Objects CPM applications.�
* Oracle already has its own product for ABM, Oracle Profitability Analyzer; Cognos for its part has a loose partnership with Acorn Systems.

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