The recently released 2008 Gartner BI Magic Quadrant analysis focuses on the consolidation that is underway in the BI reporting and dashboarding space. The diagram below seems straight-forward, but you must realize that with the speed of acquisitions in our space, it was already obsolete when released. The Gartner analysis missed the late breaking news of the SAP/Business Objects acquisition.
Dashboards By Example Update: Readers are advised to visit the Gartner link posted above as they have updated their report. As they mention regarding the changing vendor landscape:
“This document is an updated version of the document published on 1 February 2008.”
Market Overview – One “macro trend” defined the BI platforms arena in 2007 — market consolidation — making it the most turbulent year, so far, in business intelligence.
As anticipated in last year’s Magic Quadrant and other Gartner research (see, for example, “Market for Business Intelligence Platforms: Round Two of Consolidation Begins”), large application and software infrastructure vendors completed or initiated significant strategic acquisitions in the BI platform market in 2007:
In July, Oracle completed its purchase of Hyperion. An example of straight market consolidation, this move brought two competing BI platforms, Hyperion System 9 and Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition, both Leaders on the 2007 Magic Quadrant, under Oracle ownership and expanded Oracle’s BI resources and staffing. (See “Hyperion Purchase Will Strengthen Oracle in BI Platform and CPM Suites Markets.”)
In October, SAP announced its acquisition of Business Objects, which will expand its presence into the “business user” market, which SAP defines as being made up of business roles involved in analytical and information-intensive activities. This acquisition, which was completed in January 2008, fills a significant gap in SAP’s query and reporting tools portfolio, but represents a major strategic shift away from “slot-in” technology buys and organic software development. (See “SAP’s Planned Business Objects Buy Signals Strategic Shift.”)
As the year closed, Cognos completed its acquisition of Applix, and its in-memory online analytical processing (OLAP) engine. It also agreed to be bought by IBM. Though not strictly a consolidating move, this acquisition is significant, as it will end IBM’s abstinence from the BI platform and applications market. IBM has repeatedly stated that it will focus on the infrastructure and the middleware layer, and that it will only “enable” applications. While a BI platform includes many infrastructure components, the Cognos BI and performance management applications will fill a big void in IBM’s stack. (See “IBM Aims for the Business Intelligence Endgame With Cognos.”)
Megavendors are beginning to dominate the BI market — in less than one year, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP and IBM will have gone from accounting for a quarter of the market to owning over two-thirds of it. As such, the “Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence Platforms, 2008″ reflects the tipping point at which the market moves away from being led by independent BI vendors like Business Objects and Cognos, to one where the megavendors rule. Future BI investment decisions will be tethered much more closely to strategic sourcing and stack-led factors, and will be more influenced by organizational relationships with application and infrastructure vendors.
During the same period, “flattening” factors — including the maturing of Microsoft’s BI portfolio, the adoption of Web 2.0 techniques, the growth of open-source BI and the continued emergence of software as a service (SaaS) offerings — have made BI capabilities more accessible and affordable than they have ever been. As a result, this Magic Quadrant includes commentary on some emerging vendors which, while not yet meeting the inclusion criteria for the Magic Quadrant itself, offer a viable alternative for some BI use-cases.
Here is the Magic Quadrant Diagram:
Here are some snippets from the report itself. You can read more by using the link at the top of this post: