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Colin White

I like the various blogs associated with my many hobbies and even those to do with work. I find them very useful and I was excited when the Business Intelligence Network invited me to write my very own blog. At last I now have somewhere to park all the various tidbits that I know are useful, but I am not sure what to do with. I am interested in a wide range of information technologies and so you might find my thoughts will bounce around a bit. I hope these thoughts will provoke some interesting discussions.

About the author >

Colin White is the founder of BI Research and president of DataBase Associates Inc. As an analyst, educator and writer, he is well known for his in-depth knowledge of data management, information integration, and business intelligence technologies and how they can be used for building the smart and agile business. With many years of IT experience, he has consulted for dozens of companies throughout the world and is a frequent speaker at leading IT events. Colin has written numerous articles and papers on deploying new and evolving information technologies for business benefit and is a regular contributor to several leading print- and web-based industry journals. For ten years he was the conference chair of the Shared Insights Portals, Content Management, and Collaboration conference. He was also the conference director of the DB/EXPO trade show and conference.

Editor's Note: More articles and resources are available in Colin's BeyeNETWORK Expert Channel. Be sure to visit today!

January 2009 Archives

Microsoft today announced major changes to its PerformancePoint BI product. The current version of the product, PerformancePoint 2007, provides three BI related capabilities: business performance management (BPM), BI analytics, and business planning.

The BPM component evolved from the Microsoft Business Scorecard Manager, whereas the analytics component is based on a subset of the functionality acquired from ProClarity. The planning component was a new component developed by the Microsoft BI group aimed specifically at financial planning and budgeting.

Today's announcement breaks out the BPM and analytics components from PerformancePoint and merges them into the Enterprise Edition of Microsoft SharePoint Server. Existing SharePoint Enterprise Edition users (with Software Assurance) will now get these components as a part of their licensing agreement. These customers will be able to download the PerformancePoint components starting April 1.

In the summer, Microsoft will release Service Pack 3 of PerformancePoint 2007. This will be the final release of the product, which will be supported for ten years.

Microsoft's strategy is to move the responsibility for financial planning and budgeting to the Microsoft Dynamics FRX and Forecaster products. However, horizontal planning capabilities will continue be added to Microsoft SQL Server, Excel, and SharePoint over future releases.

This new direction makes sense for Microsoft. Although Microsoft was emphasizing the BPM and planning capabilities of PerformancePoint, it was achieving limited success in these areas. Instead, the majority of customers were buying the product for its analytics capabilities. This was especially true for ProClarity users.

Another reason why this makes sense is that Microsoft SharePoint is a very successful product, and this is leading to companies purchasing related Microsoft solutions. Over 80 percent of PerformancePoint customers, for example, are also SharePoint Server users. The penetration of SharePoint in the market is also a key factor in the success of SQL Server and its BI components.

Given that Microsoft Office is also increasingly being integrated with Microsoft SharePoint, it means that customers will now be motivated to purchase Microsoft Office, SQL Server, and SharePoint Server as a product set in order to deploy business intelligence and related collaborative tools to a mass business user audience.

Posted January 23, 2009 9:00 AM
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I came across this article in the New York Times about the R programming language. It was interesting to note that it was the number 2 most read article in the technology section.

The article suggests R is a threat to SAS. Any perspectives on this or the use of R for data analysis?

Posted January 7, 2009 8:06 AM
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