Face Off: Business Objects vs. Oracle (and Microsoft) - InformationWeek

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4/23/2007
11:41 AM
Cindi Howson
Cindi Howson
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Face Off: Business Objects vs. Oracle (and Microsoft)

When Business Objects first acquired SRC software in Q3 2005, some industry and financial experts wondered, "why SRC, a little-known budgeting, planning, and financial consolidation vendor… why not a stronger performance management player such as Cartesis or OutlookSoft?" Fast forward 18 months and Business Objects did exactly that, announcing late Sunday night its intent to acquire Cartesis.

When Business Objects first acquired SRC software in Q3 2005, some industry and financial experts wondered, "why SRC, a little known budgeting, planning, and financial consolidation vendor … why not a stronger performance management player such as Cartesis or OutlookSoft?"

Fast forward 18 months and Business Objects did exactly that, announcing late Sunday night its intent to acquire Cartesis.What changed in these last 18 months? Did Business Objects discover something lacking in its current performance management offerings? Or perhaps the move follows on the heels of Oracle, which completed the acquisition of leading performance management vendor Hyperion last week. And then there is Microsoft, which plans to release Performance Point in the near future.

In many respects, Business Objects appears to be buying market share in the performance management space, where Cartesis has a stronger position than Business Objects' current offering. There is definitely overlap in the two companies' product lines. While CEO John Schwarz said that the planning modules of both vendors serve distinct needs (SRC/Business Objects Planning for departments and Cartesis Planning for the enterprise), the company's official presentation doesn't even mention Business Objects current financial consolidation and reporting capabilities. One area where Cartesis brings a unique strength is in its compliance capabilities.

What Business Objects brings to Cartesis customers is best-of-breed BI capabilities, where Cartesis had no products and did not compete. As the BI and performance management markets converge (a strategy the industry is clearly pursuing but one that customers are slower to pursue), the acquisition makes strategic sense.

How much is Performance Management (PM) and Business Intelligence (BI) converging at your company? Take this quick poll and I'll share the results in a future blog.

Cindi Howson Founder, BIScorecard product evaluations, author of Business Objects XI R2: The Complete Reference, and TDWI instructorWhen Business Objects first acquired SRC software in Q3 2005, some industry and financial experts wondered, "why SRC, a little-known budgeting, planning, and financial consolidation vendor… why not a stronger performance management player such as Cartesis or OutlookSoft?" Fast forward 18 months and Business Objects did exactly that, announcing late Sunday night its intent to acquire Cartesis.

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