Vendors and software packages

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The authors of Competing on Analytics say technology only takes a CIO so far. Aligning people around the numbers produced by business intelligence is essential for future success.

A look at the vendors and software packages that empower enterprises with business intelligence.

Quantitative analysis has always been a part of business management and operations. However, in the information age, it is now possible to manipulate and process vast amounts of raw data from across large distributed enterprise infrastructures into actionable business intelligence (BI) and predictive models. The following are leading vendors that provide the software and services that enable BI and quantitative analytics. Hewlett-Packard

While HP is known more for its printers, notebooks and servers, it continues to develop and build its business software division. Hidden among the racks of heavy iron is the Neoview platform, an integrated hardware and software package designed to manage data in storage and across a distributed network, and distill raw data into actionable intelligence. HP says Neoview has enough processing power to perform complex back-office analytics without slowing overall network performance.


Big Blue practically invented the original enterprise-class software industry. In its vast software portfolio are several applications and suites that individually and collectively add up to powerful BI tools. Under the banner of Information on Demand, its enterprise data management packages and information platform and solutions software provide businesses of all sizes with tools for managing data and processing it for decision making. IBM's acquisition of Cognos will enhance its offerings with highly respected BI and performance management software.


After swallowing rivals PeopleSoft, JD Edwards, Siebel Systems and Hyperion Solutions, Oracle rightfully lays claim to the title "world's largest enterprise software company." The company founded by industry icon Larry Ellison boasts some of the most powerful tools in customer relationship management, enterprise resource planning, financial/accounting, human resources, supply chain management, business process management and product lifecycle management. Its Fusion Middleware platform is designed to seamlessly integrate the various software packages into a single BI view, giving enterprises comprehensive insight into operations and business trends.


Founded in 1972 as Systems Applications and Products in Data Processing, SAP is one of the world's largest software companies, and a leader in collaborative and BI applications. The German firm's portfolio includes CRM, ERP and SCM and asset management applications. SAP provides industry-specific BI suites, offering deep analytics for the unique needs of different verticals. Its middleware includes insightful intelligence for corporate governance, regulatory compliance and risk management. The acquisition of Business Objects gives SAP access to innovative BI and reporting software (Business Objects owns the popular Crystal Reports line of reporting software).


The world's largest privately held software company, SAS provides enterprises with an extensible and scalable platform and purpose-built software for extracting data from disparate systems. Its various BI suites are built for statistical analysis, data mining, performance measurements and forecasting, performance optimization, and business performance and process modeling. SAS links its analytics and business software through its Enterprise BI Server, and has products available for data storage management, data integration and reporting.


Comparatively smaller than its mainline competitors, SPSS has maintained its niche in providing enterprises with predictive analytics software. SPSS offers tools that automate the collection and refinement of data into decision-making intelligence. While a part of the BI family, SPSS presents predictive analytics and its tools as a separate discipline that provides deeper insight into performance and more accurate modeling, which gives users greater value as a competitive differentiator.


Teradata provides applications for a wide range of data management functions, from enterprise data warehouse analytics to CRM to finance and performance management to profitability analytics. Its applications for sales pipeline performance and supply chain management give enterprises a greater ability to match inventory to customer orders without creating unfulfilled demand or order backlogs. Teradata's architecture for integrating its various BI software suites enables enterprises to leverage operational data into intelligence to increase sales revenue and profitability.

This article was originally published on 2008-01-09
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