Microsoft Plans to Close Business Intelligence Product Gap and Shift Competitive Position With ProClarity – Gartner Group, Bill Hostmann  



artner makes the following observations regarding Microsoft’s acquisition of Proclarity: 

Questions remain regarding product integration and “fit” into Microsoft’s overall BI and business performance management product road map. 


Proclarity has been a departmental solution, there are significant questions regarding the products ability to support enterprise implementations. “..the average deployment size for ProClarity tends to be departmental, smaller and less expensive compared with companies such as Business Objects, Cognos, or Information Builders and Panorama.â€� 


ProClarity, Microsoft will have the potential to improve the development tools for Reporting Services. “(Several developers using Microsoft Reporting Services said that it was difficult to get multidimensional results sets into the form they wanted for their reports, and were struggling with the current Reporting Services development tools.)â€� 


Reporting and Analysis in SQL Server 2005 are not yet fully integrated, “The ProClarity platform also will enable Microsoft to link (drill down) reporting and analysis, as well as scorecards (its own and the new Microsoft Business Scorecard Manager) and analysis — a hole in the Microsoft BI portfolio, which probably was not going to be closed until late 2007, with the release of Excel 12 server-based edition.â€� 

“Some Microsoft and ProClarity products overlap in key areas, such as development and administration tools and dashboards. These offerings and overlaps will need to be explained in a product road map after the acquisition closes.â€� 


Pricing and packaging will need to be mapped out for customers. “Proclarity has more typical, although less expensive than best of breed vendors Cognos and Business Objects.â€� 


“It is also unclear what strategy changes, if any, Microsoft’s BI partners — such as Cognos, Business Objects and Panorama — will take in response to this proposed acquisition. We expect that these partners will feel increased pressure from Microsoft as a competitor and will pursue new opportunities and strategies, such as packaged analytical applications and process embedded capabilities/applications, to rise above the emerging BI battlefield being shaped by increasing investments in BI from Oracle, SAP and now Microsoft.â€Â?