David Menninger's Analyst Perspectives

Oracle Unveils the BI Appliance Called Exalytics

Posted by David Menninger on Oct 3, 2011 11:14:12 AM

Oracle kicked off its Open World 2011 conference with the announcement ofExalytics, a new data warehouse appliance specifically for business intelligence (BI). Three years ago when Oracle introduced the Exadata product line it was based on hardware from Hewlett-Packard. Since then it has acquired Sun Microsystems and replaced the HP components in Exadata, assuming complete control over the hardware and software included in the appliance. Oracle also introduced two other appliance products: Exalogic, which is focused on Oracle Applications, and more recently the Oracle Database Machine. Oracle’s new tag line, “Hardware and software, engineered to work together,” indicates its emphasis on these appliances and the potential for more, perhaps even some to be announced at Open World.

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Topics: Sales Performance, Supply Chain Performance, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Exalytics, Financial Performance, Oracle, Visualization, Workforce Performance, Digital Technology

MicroStrategy Takes Cloud Computing Personally

Posted by David Menninger on Sep 29, 2011 12:13:42 PM

This has been the year of the cloud for MicroStrategy. After ignoring early competition from cloud-based business intelligence (BI) providers, the company has jumped on the cloud BI bandwagon. At MicroStrategy Worldearly this year it announced a program called Cloud Intelligence and this summer introduced MicroStrategy Cloud, a complete BI platform with the option of using either IBM Netezza or ParAccel as the database and Informatica as the data integration environment. Now the company has expanded its cloud offerings to include MicroStrategy Cloud Personal, which enables individuals to easily upload spreadsheet data, analyze it and share it with others. (A free version is currently in beta testing.)

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Topics: MicroStrategy, SaaS, Sales Performance, Software as a Service, Supply Chain Performance, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Visualization, Workforce Performance

PivotLink Advances Business Analytics in the Cloud

Posted by David Menninger on Sep 26, 2011 6:26:57 AM

PivotLink introduced version 5 of its Business Intelligence (BI) product, which it delivers in the cloud computing environment and available through software as a service (SaaS) at its user conference. Demonstrating one of the unique benefits of providing it a SaaS approach, PivotLink did not require any of the attendees to request a download, get a new license file or do any type of software upgrade to receive the new version. It had already been done for them. One purpose of the conference was to inform customers of the new features they now had at their disposal. Any enterprise that has had to coordinate a major software upgrade should appreciate the time savings SaaS can provide on normal software maintenance activities. Our recent benchmark research on business data in the cloud indicates that companies are adopting SaaS-based products to varying degrees across all the lines of business.

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Topics: Retail Analytics, SaaS, Sales Performance, Supply Chain Performance, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Workforce Performance

Karmasphere Makes Sense of Big Data

Posted by David Menninger on Sep 23, 2011 11:03:05 AM

Recently Karmasphere introduced version 1.5 of its Analyst product which helps organizations analyze “big data” stored in Hadoop, the open source large-scale data processing technology. An independent software vendor focused exclusively on the Hadoop market, Karmasphere made available a community edition of its developer product in September 2009 and launched the company in March 2010. Since then it has been active and visible in Hadoop-related events including Hadoop World, the IBM Big Data Symposium and others.

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Topics: Big Data, Data Warehousing, Predictive Analytics, Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Karmasphere, Workforce Performance, Strata+Hadoop

Splunk Makes Machine-Generated Big Data Serve Analytics

Posted by David Menninger on Sep 9, 2011 9:35:04 AM

Splunk may be one of the biggest software companies you’ve never heard of. I’ve been following the seven-year-old company for over six months now and recently attended its second annual user conference. Splunk focuses on analyzing large volumes of machine-generated data in underlying applications and systems, which includes application and system logs, network traffic, sensor data, click streams and other loosely structured information sources. Many of these “big data” sources are the same sources analyzed with Hadoop, according to our recently published benchmark research. However, Splunk takes a different approach that focuses on performing simple analyses on this data in real time rather than the batch-based advanced analytics we see as the most common use for Hadoop.

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Topics: Big Data, Predictive Analytics, Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Customer & Contact Center, Machine data, Operational Intelligence, IT Performance Management (ITPM)

The Consumerization of Collaborative BI Has Arrived

Posted by David Menninger on Aug 24, 2011 9:45:16 AM

We cite collaboration as one of five key technology influences on the business intelligence (BI) market, and I get many questions about collaboration and BI from end users and vendors alike. The rise of social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter has raised awareness of collaborative platforms and created a critical mass of participants, which is a necessary ingredient for successful collaboration. However, I have to point out that consumer-oriented social media tools do not provide all the necessary components for collaborative BI. 

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Topics: Predictive Analytics, Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, Business Performance, Collaboration, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Workforce Performance

Opera Solutions Adds Science to Predictive Analytics

Posted by David Menninger on Aug 23, 2011 9:35:41 AM

In preparation for conducting a benchmark research study on predictive analytics, I’ve been speaking with vendors in this market segment to gather background. One of them is Opera Solutions, which I was not familiar with despite having worked in predictive analytics for more than 10 years. I was surprised to learn the company claims to be generating $100 million in revenue annually. Founded in 2004, Opera provides predictive analytics as a service, employing a staff of approximately 150 data scientists along with hundreds of other employees. It claims this is the largest private group of scientists outside IBM. (I’ve written previously about IBM’s significant efforts in the predictive analytics market.) 

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Topics: Predictive Analytics, Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Workforce Performance

Teradata Previews Version 14 to Expand Analytics and Appliances

Posted by David Menninger on Aug 19, 2011 10:27:08 AM

I recently attended Teradata’s Third-Party Influencers Meeting (Twitter Hashtag #TD3PI) in Las Vegas where the company updated industry analysts and consultants on upcoming product plans and the status of two product lines it added via acquisition in the past year. Randy Lea, Teradata’s VP of product management and marketing, provided a company overview recapping highlights and defining the corporate strategy building on its work in 2010 that my colleague assessed. Teradata focuses on three markets: its core business of data warehousing, which it identified as a $27 billion market, the $15 billion business applications market represented by its Aprimo acquisition, and the big-data analytics market, a $2 billion market addressed in part by its Aster Data acquisition. I mention Teradata’s estimates of market size as they may indicate the emphasis and investment the company will make in each segment. Lea referred to Teradata’s independence from NCR, for almost four years, as a good thing. Independence, he said, has allowed Teradata to focus, to release products more frequently and to acquire companies that enhance their market position. Judging by the performance of its stock (NYSE: TDC), the financial markets seem to agree independence has been good – even with the recent market downturn its stock is up 75% in the last year.  

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Topics: Predictive Analytics, Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Workforce Performance

SnapLogic Makes Data Quality in the Cloud a Snap

Posted by David Menninger on Jul 7, 2011 1:32:12 PM

SnapLogic, a cloud-based data integration vendor, has extended its product linewith new data quality capabilities. This is worth comment because SnapLogic sits at the intersection of two recent trends in information management.

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Topics: Predictive Analytics, Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Information Management, Workforce Performance

Yahoo Spins Out Hadoop to Create Hortonworks

Posted by Ventana Research on Jun 28, 2011 11:48:16 PM

For months the speculation was rampant, and now the rumors have proven to be true. Yahoo has officially announced that it will become a player in the emerging Hadoop market. Hadoop provides distributed computing capabilities that enable organizations to process very large amounts of data quickly. Backed by Yahoo and Benchmark Capital, a new entity called Hortonworks has formed around a team from Yahoo that consists of more than 20 key architects of and contributors to the Apache Hadoop project. The company will start with some 25 employees and “will be hiring aggressively from our collective networks,” according to Rob Bearden, Hortonworks president and COO.

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Topics: Big Data, Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Operational Intelligence, Workforce Performance, Strata+Hadoop