Feeds

On Business Objects' Cartesis acquisition

Performance management consolidation

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Business Objects last week announced that it is to acquire Cartesis, arguably the most important pure play vendor in the corporate performance management market (CPM - Business Objects refers to enterprise performance management - EPM) that was (hitherto) left standing. There are two interesting aspects to this: first, the impact on Business Objects and, second, the impact on the market.

The first thing to note is that Business Objects has declared a short-term objective to become a $2bn company. While some of that can be achieved through organic growth not all of it can, and that is why the company has been on something of a spending spree over the last couple of years. Cartesis, with some 1,300 existing customers, will help significantly on that path. Furthermore, Cartesis, like Business Objects, has its roots in France and, while that is by no means a compelling reason for acquisition it certainly can't hurt.

Actually, Business Objects seems to have a decided preference for buying French companies: there are certainly CPM vendors other than Cartesis that it might have bought; and, as another example, take its acquisition of Medience (an EII - enterprise information integration - vendor), which it bought in preference to its existing partner Ipedo. Of course, Medience was French and Ipedo isn't.

On the technology side, it will be useful to examine how Business Objects reached this point. The company was relatively late (at least compared to Cognos) to enter the CPM market though the rumours at the time were that this was not for want of trying: the story was that Business Objects had wanted to buy Adaytum but that Cognos pinched it out from under their noses. Whatever the truth of the matter, Cognos certainly got a head start on its long-time rival.

Business Objects, however, has been more acquisitive in this area (and in general) than Cognos, first buying SRC, then ALG (previously Armstrong-Laing) and now Cartesis. Now, while the purchase of ALG provided activity-based management, which was and is distinct from, and complementary to, the capabilities of SRC and Cartesis, these last two have a definite overlap though the former has been more focused on vertical industry sectors (retail, hospitality and so on) whereas Cartesis's speciality has been on the financial side of performance management, notably in budgeting and planning, financial consolidation and so forth.

So there is a synergy in the sense that the SRC-based software has largely been marketed to line-of-business people whereas Cartesis has typically been targeted at the CFO. Nevertheless, there will be a downside in that this is yet another product suite that Business Objects' needs to integrate (via adapters and so on, which is easy) and then unify (via a common metadata layer, which is hard) with its other products. Cognos, which tends to rely less heavily on acquisition and more on in-house development is therefore probably better placed in this regard. However, there is no question that this will significantly enhance Business Object's product offering.

Finally there is a further dynamic here: what we are seeing is the start of the consolidation of the CPM market. Why do I say the start? Because when Cognos acquired Adaytum this was more-or-less a one-off; because SRC was a minor player and because Oracle's acquisition of Hyperion was really more of a transfer of power than an indication of consolidation. So, what's driving consolidation now? The advent of Microsoft into the market.

However, how much more consolidation is likely? On the buy side SAP might be a potential purchaser (it has already bought Pilot Software - yes, that Pilot - which was specialising in the dashboard/collaborative side of performance management), as is HP, though SAS probably isn't, while other BI vendors are possibilities. On the sell side OutlookSoft is available but Comshare is probably safe in the hands of Infor and there are some minor players. Microsoft probably isn't interested in OutlookSoft as it could have bought it already if it wanted to. So, who's for SAP to buy OutlookSoft? Or will it be HP.

Copyright © 2007, IT-Analysis.com

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
Redmond top man Satya Nadella: 'Microsoft LOVES Linux'
Open-source 'love' fairly runneth over at cloud event
Google+ goes TITSUP. But WHO knew? How long? Anyone ... Hello ...
Wobbly Gmail, Contacts, Calendar on the other hand ...
Chrome 38's new HTML tag support makes fatties FIT and SKINNIER
First browser to protect networks' bandwith using official spec
Admins! Never mind POODLE, there're NEW OpenSSL bugs to splat
Four new patches for open-source crypto libraries
Torvalds CONFESSES: 'I'm pretty good at alienating devs'
Admits to 'a metric ****load' of mistakes during work with Linux collaborators
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.