April sees flurry of Business Intelligence mergers

Microsoft and Datazen, Tableau and Birst, Infor and Larsen Toubro ... BI mergers are booming as providers look to broaden offerings and transform business users' mobile experiences.

LONDON - April 16, 2015.

Datazen Software has been bought by Microsoft for an undisclosed sum, providing the software giant full rights to its acclaimed mobile business intelligence (BI) and data visualisation tools across Apple, Android and Windows platforms.

The move was made, Microsoft said, to find simpler ways to identify data insights into business firms can then use improve everything from their output to their management, using tools that extract value from big data.

Mobile BI's at a tipping point, Microsoft said, adding that Datazen's products will complement its own offering Power BI, which provides a cloud-based business analytics service.

Prior to the Microsoft purchase, enterprise users around the world had been flocking to Datazen's BI technology, which was created and optimised for SQL Server Analysis Services and the Microsoft platform.

Its first move after the acquisition has been to allow SQL Server Enterprise Edition customers to use Datazen's server software for free.

Microsoft has said it intends to transform itself into a mobile-first, cloud-first company.

Meanwhile, Birst and Tableau partnered in a marriage of BI rivals, to combine Birst’s data extraction engine with Tableau’s award-winning visualisation software.

Previously, the two firms were competing for the same customers, with Birst focusing on creating analytic-ready data and Tableau creating back-end connection and data preparation and visualisation technology.

The merger comes after a year in which Tableau stock doubled to reach a valuation of $7bn (on a price/earnings ratio of 1,200); while Birst had raised $129m (including $65m just last month), ahead of what many through would preclude an IPO.

Before the arrival of such relatively new BI companies, the business intelligence marketplace had traditionally been dominated by the likes of IBM, Oracle, SAP and Microsoft.

However, as data integration has evolved in recently times to become considered part of a workflow rather than a technical task performed by data scientists, these start-ups' fresh approach to usability - especially for the non-technical user customer base - and these same customers' frenzied adoption of this suddenly accessible tech, allowed the newer firms to cash in and compete with the stalwarts.

All this additionally comes off the back of the surging popularity of BI analytics, where forward-looking firms were partnering up to corner this market some time ago...

Last year, Birst and SAP agreed to work together so SAP could provide the database muscle for Birst’s analytic front-end.

Finally, Infor's partnering with Larsen & Toubro (L&T) Technology Services in April was undertaken to provide integration and maintenance for Asian customers of  
Infor applications, including Infor Business Intelligence.

Infor views India along with other Asian countries as key countries for growth, focusing on the public sector and logistics industries.

Their Business Intelligence arm will provide a vital resource for businesses looking to transform big data into actionable insights for their business, they said.

Presswire

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