Hyperion: A Company in Transition

By Kim S. Nash  |  Posted 2002-04-15 Print this article Print

Dossier: The company is restructuring after hitting the skids in 2001, but customers said they can still depend on Hyperion's wares.

Eleven-year-old Hyperion is in flux.

The company is restructuring after losing $31 million last year and laying off about 400 employees. It has installed new management and is again turning a profit.

PDF Download But customers don't seem rattled. They say Hyperion dependably enhances its products and has outlined a sound plan for the future.

Hyperion is going at the market in two ways. It offers tools to manipulate and analyze data, such as its popular Essbase online analytical processing software (a product it inherited through its 1998 acquisition of Arbor Software). There are also applications aimed at vertical industries, such as Hyperion Financial Management.

By 2004, Hyperion plans to offer a bundled suite of integrated analytics tools that customers can deploy companywide. That is different from today, when most customers license discrete tools for individual users.

Doug Burke, senior manager of financial analytics at International Rectifier, likes the direction Hyperion has taken. "They're very responsive and continually improve their products," Burke says.

Every day at International Rectifier about 2,000 employees access data that has passed through Hyperion, Burke says. "We tried putting ROI numbers to it, but it's tough," Burke adds. "It's like e-mail. People just depend on it after a while."

The auto industry is certainly interested. Nissan, DaimlerChrysler, and Mitsubishi have all signed major deals in the past four months.

Hyperion, like Cognos, is being pressured by applications vendors that are offering their own analysis tools or partnering with tools vendors.

One example: Longs Drug Stores may ditch Hyperion for MicroStrategy—a rival one-third Hyperion's size —because Longs' new supply chain management applications came bundled with MicroStrategy software.

"We're looking at Essbase and MicroStrategy 7," says Brian Kilcourse, CIO at Longs Drug Store in Walnut Creek, Calif. "If I were a betting guy, I'd say MicroStrategy will be it."

Executives listed here are all users of Hyperion's business intelligence software. Their willingness to talk has been confirmed by Baseline.

Hyperion Solutions
1344 Crossman Ave., Sunnyvale, CA 94089
(408) 744-9500


Ticker: HYSL
Exchange: NASDAQ
Employees: 2,250

Jeff Rodek
CEO, Chairman
Joined in October 1999 after four years as president and COO at technology wholesaler Ingram Micro. Says his 16 years at FedEx before that help him appreciate business intelligence software.

Godfrey Sullivan
Chief Operating Officer
Joined in October 2001, after a year as CEO of Promptu Corp., a vendor of marketing software that folded last summer.

John Kopcke
Chief Technology Officer
Joined last year; manages technology strategy; was CTO at Softlab, which provides technology to carmaker BMW, and at Pilot Software, which was bought by Dun & Bradstreet Software in 1994.

Key Products
Fifteen products, including the flagship Essbase, an online analytical processing system; Hyperion Analysis Portal, an end-user data analysis tool; Hyperion Q&R, a Web-based query and reporting tool; and the Hyperion Financial Management application.

Reference Checks

Grace Murphy
Director, Store Budgeting and Analysis
Project: About six hundred employees at the $22 billion pharmacy chain view reports on sales and employee performance.

Brian Kilcourse
Project: Financial analysts and others at the $4 billion retail chain use Essbase to predict point-of-sale and pharmacy activity.

International Rectifier
Doug Burke
Senior Manager, Financial Analytics
Project: The semiconductor firm has at least 10 analysis applications built with Essbase, including inventory, accounting and capacity planning.

Kevin Rogers
Corporate Financial Systems Manager
Project: Using Hyperion Essbase, Pillar and Enterprise, the $1.7 billion printer built systems to analyze shop-floor data, and then better plan workloads.

Cabot Creamery
Charlie Green
Senior VP, Logistics and New Product Development
Project: The $200 million dairy co-op uses Essbase to help set prices for cheese and other items.

Will Newcomer
Senior VP, MIS
(662) 680-2000
Project: Using Hyperion Enterprise, Essbase and other products to consolidate and report on financial results, and to compute total worth of each bank customer.

The executives listed here are users of Hyperion's business intelligence software. Their willingness to talk has been confirmed by Baseline.

Senior Writer
Kim has covered the business of technology for 14 years, doing investigative work and writing about legal issues in the industry, including Microsoft Corp.'s antitrust trial. She has won numerous awards and has a B.S. degree in journalism from Boston University.

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