Competitors attack Oracle’s purchase of Hyperion

Following yesterday’s surprise announcement that Oracle will buy Hyperion, Ottawa’s Cognos Inc. has been cited by some industry analysts as being the next business intelligence software company to either acquire or be acquired.

However, Mychelle Mollot, Cognos’ vice-president of market strategy and strategic communications, dismissed such observations as speculation.

Instead she said the company believes in making its move Oracle has taken out one of its competitors.

“We think it significantly strengthens our competitive position in the market,” she said in an interview. “Customers are looking for a strong, independent and performance management platform open platform, one that’s open to their Oracle, their SAP, their Terradata environments.”

CIOs prefer to buy performance management software from an independent vendor than an applications or database provider, she said. “We can provide that. Hyperion under Oracle can’t.”

Most industry observers believe Oracle bought Hyperion more for its performance management applications than its business intelligence expertise, which it already has. In fact Oracle said it will integrate Hyperion performance management into its Business Intelligence Suite Enterprise Edition 10g, the latest version of which was released Jan. 29.

Current Analysis, a Washington, D.C.–based analyst firm said the release “confirms its status as a best-of-breed BI vendor and positions it well to challenge Business Objects, Cognos, and others for dominance in this fast-growing market segment.”

It also said competitors should make sure that their respective product sets match up feature by feature against the “formidable” new suite.

In particular, it added, BI competitors that cannot match Oracle’s ability to bundle its BI suite with same-vendor service oriented architecture tools, must ensure that they implement SOA/Web services standards thoroughly.

The Oracle deal prompted more than one company to rush to IT industry media to be quoted.

In a news release, Steve Bauer, vice-president of global communications at SAP, alleged Oracle is buying customers because it can’t grow on its own. “This latest acquisition only further muddies Oracle’s already cluttered application landscape,” he said in the release. “SAP has more than 2.5 times the market share in applications and despite all the billions of dollars they have spent on over 20 acquisitions, SAP still gained three percentage points of market share in 2006 alone. The question that needs to be asked is: Has Oracle’s acquisition strategy actually benefited the user?”

Similarly, Cognos’ Mollot alleged that Oracle lacks a clear strategy in performance management. “We went to the market 10 years ago with a complete performance management vision,” she said. Oracle keeps on restating theirs as they bring new acquisitions on, and we think that’s going to be confusing to customers on the Hyperion side, confusing to customers on Oracle side, like their Siebel analytics customers. What about the Hyperion business intelligence – which one is going to be the go-forward platform?

“We think it presents a new BI opportunity in the market (for Cognos) because its clear that Oracle is committed to this for the performance management side of Hyperion and that their committed to their business intelligence  enterprise edition from the lack of talk about BI (during the announcement press conference) to its almost like having a competitor taken out of the marketplace for business intelligence.”

Cognos did some buying of its own recently, picking up privately-held Celequest Corp., a provider of operational business intelligence solutions based in Redwood City, Calif.,

Celequest makes dashboarding solution offered as an appliance or via a Software as a Service (SaaS). With it users can monitor real-time feeds from transactional systems.

Comment: [email protected]

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Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@]
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