Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Enterprise Software Spending to Slow Down - Business Analytics to the Rescue?

Few months ago, I floated this hypothesis that the software spending generally has a lag of 1-2 quarters to hardware spending and given that hardware spending is slowing down now with Cisco, Juniper, Brocade, EMC, NetApp, (and chip companies prior to that) all coming out with revenue and EPS warnings, software spending could slow as well further down the road.

Now, if ORCL’s  warnings from last night and following quote from an analyst were to be taken seriously, this hypothesis is unfortunately is coming true.  

                   Jason Maynard, an analyst at Wells Fargo Securities, said in a Dec. 19 report that corporate spending on hardware and software may fall 8 percent in the first quarter, a steeper drop than the average 7.3 percent average decline during the quarter in the past 10 years. (Source: Business Week )

The Enterprise Software Industry has enjoyed 12-13 quarters of continuous growth and it is a well-known fact that the spending is cyclical in nature.  May be, the industry should prepare for couple of quarters of slow growth (or no growth.) 

I am off the opinion that a full blown contraction in software spending will not occur. There is a pent up demand and those demand dollars are shifting to the cloud for SaaS, PaaS, IaaS and all other types of aaS as these XaaS become a preferred choice. That is precisely what may have caused the bloody hiccups (the reaction on Oracle's stock in financial markets) at Oracle.

This may be just an aberration for the tech industry and it may require new economy companies to prove that is just an aberration and not a trend . (Please see this blog - Oracle earnings - an aberration or a trend? )

Coming to the Analytics topic - in good times or bad times, more so in bad times, business analytics has become a tool of necessity, a must-have weapon to understand what levers to pull to run the business more effectively, more efficiently and identify the right resources to be delivered to grow and optimize the business in tough times.  

Data is a strategic asset and Business Analytics provides tactical tools to exploit that asset, companies will mine data even deeper with more sophisticated tools to get even more deeper insights if the signs of slow down loom on the horizon.

It is yet to be seen that the business spending on analytics will slow as well.  I will take a different stance here and will form another hypothesis that the spending will likely increase over the next couple of quarters.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Mobile Analytics - A Game Changer!

Mobile Analytics (a.ka. Mobile BI) has been the hottest strategic topic and a top focus for many enterprise software organizations as customers, small and large, grapple with the big data onslaught and throw everything at it to become even more efficient, both on top-line growth and bottom-line optimization, in an economy struggling to grow and a continent unable to stop a contagion from spreading and once again threatening the global economy.  

Customer's perennial struggle and in-turn a cost-saving approach translates into big analytics opportunity for enterprise software companies to shift customers from traditional analytics solutions to Mobile and Cloud based analytics solutions.

On the premise explained above, I did a business case about 9 months ago to develop a FULL picture of Mobile Analytics market.  I used a ton of research and analyst reports and interviews and invested upwards of hundreds of hours to develop and present a complete story on Mobile Analytics including developing my own proprietary models related to assessing the size of this opportunity. 

I am summarizing my findings at a very high level in following bullet points and have made available the synthesis slides on slideshare (link is printed below).
  • Big Data - According to IDC, data is doubling every two years and is expected to reach 1.8 ZB (a trillion GB) in 2011.
  • Eight mobility related mega trends are locked in a virtuous cycle and will be the bedrock for growth and adoption of Mobile BI solutions and for  the overall Enterprise Mobility.
  • Mobile BI market could grow at 20% plus CAGR over the next 5 years and could likely become over a $2 billion market by 2015.
  • According to Gartner, more than 33% of Analytics will be consumed using mobile devices, a prediction well supported by the 8 mobility related mega trends discussed here.
  • Therefore, by 2015 more than 15% of Analytics revenues could come from Mobile Analytics solutions. This should be a serious strategic priority for every Analytics vendor if not already.
  • Advanced Analytics including geo-spatial for  Mobile Consumers is growing as computing power and form factor of mobile devices change rapidly. 
  • Shift to “active production model” from a “passive consumption model”  is expected to happen allowing mobile business users to assemble dashboards and produce/edit reports on the go.
Download slides from Slideshrae - Mobile Analytics (Mobile BI) - A Game Changer

Special thanks goes to Gartner, IDC, Boris Evelson of Forrester, Cindy Howson of BI Scorecard, and Howard Dresner of Dresner Advisory Services for producing excellent research on this topic and answering all my questions and to all my colleagues and friends across the world. 

Upcoming blog on Agile Analytics

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Closing the loop on Pervasive Location Analytics - an enlightening personal journey for sure!

When I started working on Google Maps deal at SAP in February of this year, I had no clue where it will end and what is next once the deal is done. I fell in love with this Location Analytics/Geo Data Visualization topic, and turned it into an opportunity to discuss this topic and also generate excitement in various different camps along the way.
Five sessions spread across three continents, 200+ attendees,1000 views and numerous downloads later, this topic became more than just a personal interest. I met great people along the way and worked with very smart and driven people to co-present from the likes of Ryan from Centigon Solutions, Nimish from FreshDirect and Brendan from ThinkSmart Technologies. (See links to slides and session evaluation below) 
A proud moment arrived this morning when an alert from SlideShare popped up indicating that this topic is hot on Facebook and as a result this topic is being put on SlideShare home page. Wow!

Pervasive Location Analytics: The Next Frontier to Fall in The Enterprise Software?

Session Evaluations Results

Thank you - my next two blogs will be presenting my thoughts on Moblie Analytics and Agile BI - two topics I have spent significant amount of time from strategy, market, customer, competition and product point of view.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Tale of Two Companies - SFSF and RNOW - Why would anyone compare SAP-SuccessFactors deal with Oracle-RightNow deal?

First and foremost, a masterstroke from SAP, I generally don't say that but this is a very smart and timely move. Read my other blog on why this a solid grab by SAP here


  • SAP is proposing to pay $3.4 B to acquire SuccessFactors(SFSF), a multiple of 10.2 on expected 2011 revenue of $332M.  
  • Oracle paid $1.4B to acquire RightNow (RNOW), a multiple of 6.2 on expected 2011 revenue of $226M.

Since Saturday, every other person is commenting that SAP overpaid including this article in WSJ.

Now what my friends in other circuits don't do is to double click on the deal itself which I did in my previous blog on the business rationale. In this blog, I will use a set of visuals to illustrate that SFSF is a far superior pick on financials. Let's start and discuss tale of two companies:

Tale of Two Companies: SFSF is a better revenue story with CAGR more than DOUBLE than that of RNOW:

SFSF is a far better growth story than RNOW:

SFSF has far better cost structure than RNOW even though SFSF has grown revenues more than TWICE as fast:

And my last point – SFSF has better operating structure and is rapidly becoming more efficient with every dollar it spends on its operating cost:

Both the growth in revenue and 15m subscriber base across the globe has come at a cost in net income but it is very quickly turning around: 

I hope that my friends can withdraw their criticism because both qualitatively and quantitatively this is an astute move from SAP.  Making money from cloud apps has been tough but this is very quickly starting to change. As always, time will tell who read this right! 

SuccessFactors - An amazing tech story through its financials and a solid grab by SAP!

I will take a slight detour from Analytics and talk about SAP's acquisition of  #1 cloud company SuccessFactors (SFSF). Announcement

The combination of SAP & SFSF will produce a cloud powerhouse in the cloud segment of the enterprise software market  and that is just starting to take off…

Strong business rationale:
·         Gartner - HCM to be a $10B by 2015, Talent Management alone will be a $4.5B with 75% of it coming from cloud based apps
·          SFSF is:
o    #1 HCM solution in the cloud
o   has 15m users from company of all sizes (CRM has only 3m users) in diverse 60 industries from across the globe (Example: Siemens has 450K seats)
o    60% recurring revenues from existing customers
o    90% of the growth is organic as oppose to Salesforce
o   Has just 14% overlap with SAP customers – a tremendous upside for both companies (with total addressable market of 500m employees of all SAP customers)

·         For SAP, SFSF will be a top-line acquisition with less emphasis on cost-synergies…
·         Deal will be slightly dilutive on EPS in 2012 but will be accretive in 2013 with significant upside to our revenues in 2013

  • SAP paid $3.4 B to acquire SFSF which is not profitable yet.
  • SAP is paying ~10x for 2011 revenues, a multiple HP paid for Autonomy
  • For SFSF, street expects $332M in 2011 revenues; SFSF had $230M YTD revenues for the first nine months with $91M coming in Q3’11
  •   As of Sep, 2011, SAP had $5.2B in cash. The SFSF deal is all cash with $2B coming off SAP's own war chest and ~$1.4B of debt. 
 Taleo with 2011 expected revenues of $324M is barely profitable. Workday is on track to $320 million in billings in 2011, and is nearing profitability. Workday is preparing for an IPO.

Now let us talk about SFSF’s amazing growth over the past 9 years:

SFSF – a company which delivered a PERFECT hockey stick growth since 2002:

A revenue growth story that is enviable:

Operating structure has shown substantive improvement over the past 5 years:

Net net for SAP, a solid acquisition and timing couldn’t have been right. The ride has just begun…

Source: Company Financials and Analyst Calls

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Sentiment Analysis, the R way, on Netflix's September 18th Announcement

Did Netflix make a bad move or a bold move, only time will tell but for now here is a simple sentiment analysis using R and TwitteR package on tweets involving Netflix for you to consume...

So aftermath of #netflix supposedly bad strategic move, I thought that it will be little fun to do a little sentiment analysis using a sample of tweets from the past few days. I turned to my favorite "R" and discovered a new package called "TwitteR" and 4 lines of code later, I had the following outcome:

788 of the 1500 tweets, that is 52.5% of the tweets, over the last three days had words bad, suck, terrible or :( with #netflix...

You be the judge whether Netflix customers are unhappy and whether it was a bad (or bold) strategic move...

>  library("twitteR")
> searchNF <- searchTwitter("#netflix bad OR suck OR terrible OR disaster OR :(", n=1500, since=as.character(Sys.Date()-3))
> negativeTweets <- length(searchNF)
> negativeSentiment <- negativeTweets/1500

And yes, I enjoy coding :)

Friday, September 16, 2011

Best quotes from Forbes Article SAP-Google Maps Partnership

SAP Partnership with Google Maps Indicates a New Openness

"SAP is overcoming a legacy of an insular engineering culture that could accurately be accused of suffering from a “not invented here” complex in the past."

"The only problem with SAP’s pride in its history is that it has sometimes shut the company’s eyes to new ways of creating software. It appears that this announcement may mark a turning point to increased awareness and use of outside components. If SAP becomes truly open to using more and more outside components, and learns how to use them to create stable, reliable software, SAP could accelerate the pace of change, keeping the stable parts of its applications, but adding the best of what has newly arrived."

There is something more at stake for Google than money - it is likely that Google Maps will be adapted by Google to better meet the needs of enterprise applications.

"What’s next? What other cloud components will SAP start to incorporate? The second is: Is a bigger partnership possible? Google’s mission is “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” Much of the information that runs the world is in SAP. Why aren’t Google and SAP working together to make it more universally accessible and useful?"

Pervasive Location Analytics − The Next Frontier to Fall In the Enterprise Software?

Geo-location and spatial intelligence is the strategic turning point for business analytics and BI. Location has become an essential part of the enterprise data and increasing number of enterprises have geo-coded their location data to build location-aware application to drive location-aware decisions. For example, by overlaying the foreclosure data, income data, and the data from its mortgage portfolio on a geo-chart, a regional mortgage bank assesses the risk of its mortgage portfolio and decides to take corrective actions. A fast food company uses the demographics data, the latest census data, and the historical sales of its stores to determine the location of its new restaurant. 
Slides from SAP TechEd 2011 Las Vegas -

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Google Maps - SAP - The press is humming...

Thanks to my friends in marketing...

SAP Now Allows Businesses To Layer Big Data With Google Maps And Earth

Leena Rao, TechCrunch
July 27, 2011
Also seen in: The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, NewsFactor, The Business Insider, 21st Century Networker, Maine Social Networking, Data Centers Canada

(385 tweets)

SAP Tying Analytics to Google Maps, Earth

Chris Kanaracus, IDG News
July 27, 2011
Also seen in: PCWorld, CIO, Network World, Wall Street Journal, Computerworld, PC Advisor, InfoWorld, Albuquerque Express, CFO World, ARNnet, ITworld, Good Gear Guide, Techworld, Computerworld Australia, Computerworld UK,
(114 tweets)

Google Deal Lets SAP Customers Map Data
Doug Henschen, InformationWeek
July 27, 2011
(28 tweets)


Google and SAP Team-Up to Help You Visualize Big Data

Klint Finley, ReadWriteWeb
July 27, 2011
(128 tweets)

SAP, Google expand collaboration partnership, eye enterprise mashups
Larry Dignan, ZDNet
July 27, 2011
(39 tweets)

SAP and Google Maps Team Up to Visualize Corporate Data

Todd R. Weiss, CIO blog: Deciphering Enterprise Apps

July 27, 2011

(3 tweets)


SAP Geo-tagging Business Analytics Data with Google Maps

Clint Boulton, eWEEK

July 27, 2011

Also seen in: eWEEK Europe
(19 tweets)

SAP Invokes Google Maps to Put Data in Context

Mike Vizard, IT Business Edge

July 27, 2011

(2 tweets)


Google Plus SAP Deepen Ties, Deliver More Enterprise Integration

Courtney Bjorlin, ASUG News

July 27, 2011

(14 tweets)

Photos: Google Maps gives SAP's business intelligence a new direction
Tim Ferguson,
July 27, 2011
(6 tweets)

SAP and Google Put Business Analytics on the Map

Justin Kern, Information Management

July 27, 2011

Also seen in: Insurance Networking News
(10 tweets)

SAP and Google Partner for Geospatial Business Intelligence
Paul Shread, EnterpriseAppsToday
July 27, 2011
(7 tweets)

SAP, Google and geospatial analytics
Todd Morrison, SearchSAP
July 27, 2011
(3 tweets)


SAP and Google team up to mash up analytics and maps
Matt Hartley, Financial Post
July 27, 2011

(4 tweets)


The “Where” Dimension of Business Intelligence

Adrian Gonzalez, Logistics Viewpoints
July 27, 2011
(15 tweets)

SAP, Google team up to tie-in business analytics to Google Map

Brad Lemaire, Proactive Investors USA & Canada
July 27, 2011
(4 tweets)

Google and SAP Partner on Geo-Mapping

Chris Crum, WebProNews
July 27, 2011
(23 tweets)

Google and SAP Team Up for Geovisualization of Business Analytics

Matt Ball, Spatial Sustain
July 27, 2011
(5 tweets)

SAP Partnership With Google Allows Data Mapping on Google Maps
July 27, 2011
(5 tweets)

Street Fight Daily: 07.27.11
David Hirschman, Street Fight Daily: Inside the Business of Hyperlocal
July 27, 2011
(0 tweets)

Media and Blogger Coverage – Headlines & Links Select Global Coverage

Geo-Dienste: SAP verbündet sich mit Google
Sibylle Gassner,
July 27, 2011
(4 tweets)

SAP und Google wollen gemeinsam Geodaten sammeln
Jens Hartmann,
July 27, 2011
(10 tweets)

SAP und Google rücken zusammen
Corrina Visser, Der Tagesspiegel
July 27, 2011
(1 tweet)

SAP, Google team up to pair enterprise apps with LBS tools
July 27, 2011                 
(2 tweets)

Big Data: SAP married with Google Maps and Google Earth/ Big Data: SAP verheiratet sich mit Google Maps und Google Eart
July 27, 2011
(0 tweets)


SAP's Google partnership adds mapping data to business intelligence

Phil Muncaster,
July 27, 2011
(0 tweets)

SAP and Google plan ‘big data’ Maps
Tom Brewster, ITPro
July 27, 2011
(13 tweets)

SAP & Google Partner For Enhanced Location-Based Analytics
July 27, 2011
(5 tweets)

SAP sees double-digit growth in software sales
July 27, 2011
(1 tweets)

SAP teams-up with Google to manage big data
CIOL India
July 27, 2011
(0 tweets)

SAP and Google Maps - Putting "Where" in the "What-When-Where" equation!

Organizations are looking for that x-factor to get competitive advantage. Could geo/location-enabled solutions offer the promise to deliver that x-factor?  I think so.  

Lets use couple of examples to understand this deal - where should Chipotle open its next franchise or where should BP drill its next well...  Geo-enabled solutions could help answer those questions. Yes, this is already happening and some of these companies have very sophisticated software to do this. But, these software solutions should be available for the masses - 

Here is my business explanation for this deal- 

  •         A large part of the world’s enterprise data resides in the SAP systems;
  •         And according to some estimates more than 80% of that enterprise data has a space dimension to it; 
  •     Increasing amount of organizations demand geo-spatial lenses to engage with the space dimension of their data; 
  •     Hence, this collaboration between the #1 enterprise software company and the #1 consumer Internet company to bring location-aware solutions to the market.

Go SAP-Google Maps!

R and Future of Predictive!

I am super excited about R. I have been writing quantitative scripts (QuantMod) using R (MatLab prior to that) since 2008 and I am discovering new possibilities everyday. This is my night job!

So once R is packaged behind RESTful APIs, it is available to the masses. That is my goal. I know that RevolutionAnalytics guys have a lead (or at least they say that they have lead), but I have a different approach - take R to the masses, not just to the Enterprise but everyone. I am not far from my goal.

Thank you RApache!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Eight Big Data, BI, Cloud Related Trends from Accenture 2011 Technology Vision

  • Data takes its rightful place as a platform.
  • Analytics is driving a discontinuous evolution from business intelligence. (This is most controversial...)
  • Cloud computing will create more value higher up the stack.
  • Architecture will shift from server-centric to service-centric.
  • IT security will respond rapidly, progressively—and in proportion.
  • Data privacy will adopt a risk-based approach.
  • Social platforms will emerge as a new source of business intelligence.
  • User experience is what matters.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Business Analytics Market - Ripe for M&A Opportunities?

This is not a recommendation to buy any of the companies I am mentioning here. I am just sharing my opinion on potential M&A opportunity in Business Analytics space. The companies in highlighted rows present could be a target of M&A this year. (Click on the image to enlarge it.)

Who could buy: HP, IBM and Oracle (or may be Dell) will likely acquire them in 2011.
There may be some mergers between INFA/QLIK or TDC/TBX or TDC/MSTR or MSTR/INFA or INFA/TDC to build a stronger company and to offer complete business analytics solutions. 

Also see my other post on emerging and fast growing companies in Analytics space.

(Disclosure: I don't have any position in any of the companies.)

From the World of Business Analytics - Miscellaneous Posting

Business Analytics landscape is changing - CORDA was acquired
Former Omniture CEO Unveils A-List Investors – Acquires Corda (A dashboard company)

On Demand Predictive Analytics: In2clouds -

40 BA Vendors We're Watching in 2011 (All eyes on the agile vendors that gained customer traction in the rebound) (Source: Information Management Magazine, 03/01/2011)

Friday, May 27, 2011

Upcoming Post - Intelligence On Demand or Analytics On Demand

Here are some of my favs in no particular order -
  1. PivotLink -
  2. SpatialKey -
  3. GoodData -
  4. SAP -
  5. Birst -
SaaS BI – On demand business intelligence for Sales and Finance Analytics – BirstPivotLinkGoodDataHomeSpatialKey
I will check in later to talk about this segment which no single company has been able to crack (solve) yet. Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Predictive Analytics to the Rescue and Beyond! Predictive Analytics to go pervasive!

This segment of the analytics will explode soon. I have never made a prediction but if I were to make one - this will be it. Predictive Analytics have been the thing of super smart, masters of finance or PHD in statistics and/or mathematicians in an organization, not generally IT. This will soon change just like everything else has changed around us with consumerization of IT. Companies like SAS, SPSS (IBM) and bunch of other smaller niche companies offer predictive solutions to companies to make future decisions by analyzing the patterns in the data (all of the statistics: mean, variance, confidence-intervals, distribution, monte-carlo, seasonality, decision trees etc.)

Here are some anecdotal use-cases from the real would on how predictive is helping companies become smarter and more profitable:

 "Some of the most famous examples of analytics in action come from the world of professional sports, where 'quants' increasingly make the decisions about what players are really worth. Consider these examples from the business world:

--Best Buy was able to determine through analysis of member data that 7% of its customers were responsible for 43% of its sales. The company then segmented its customers into several archetypes and redesigned stores and the in-store experience to reflect the buying habits of particular customer groups.

--Olive Garden uses data to forecast staffing needs and food preparation requirements down to individual menu items and ingredients. The restaurant chain has been able to manage its staff much more efficiently and has cut food waste significantly.

--The U.K.'s Royal Shakespeare Co. used analytics to look at its audience members' names, addresses, performances attended and prices paid for tickets over a period of seven years. The theater company then developed a marketing program that increased regular attendees by more than 70% and its membership by 40%."

Source : Forbes: Why Predictive Analytics Is A Game-Changer?

As always, more on this later.. My approach will be to introduce each topic in the Analytics and then go deeper as the opportunity arise. I want to bring more use-cases in future blogs...

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Does your company have a BI implementation plan? Consider this statistics:

  • According to market research firm IDC, annual data generation will reach 35 zettabytes or about 35 million petabytes by 2020. 
  • That is enough data to fill a stack of DVDs reaching halfway to Mars, or 17.5 million times the entire collections of all the academic libraries in the United States. 
  • As a result, business intelligence has become an eight billion dollar industry and continues to increase each year. Global Industry Analysts released a report in July projecting the BI software market will reach $12.4 billion by 2015.
  •  In May, Forrester came out with a report on the state of the BI industry, finding 49 percent of companies are planning a BI project in 2010 or soon after.
I think that the BI market is expected to be bigger than what IDC is projecting based on my own experience, analysis, research trends and continuous work with BI think-tanks. There are lot of other trends like location analytics and predictive which will make BI even more pervasive in next 2-3 years. 

Now, this ties pretty neatly into my earlier blogs on Big Data and huge amount of innovation happening in this space. Keep blogging... (See my blog entry from February 2010)

A crowded Mobile Analytics (Mobile BI) Competitive Landscape - Is the opportunity really that big?

Quite a few challengers in the market. The following list is a just a first stab at the number of companies looking to capture a piece of the action. The Mobile Analytics market is going to be a big opportunity which also nicely ties into the Big Data story and the Enterprise Mobility trend. More on the size of the opportunity and mobile analytics trends later. For now enjoy this graphics I built using the Dresner study -

Also see the magic quadrant from Gartner on BI. Some overlap between the companies on the two graphics indicating that there are new challengers on the market like LogiXML and Bitam. See my earlier blog on HTML 5 on LogiXML - 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Fast Emerging, Developing and Developed Trends in Business Intelligence (BI)

  1. Emerging - Social and Collaborative
  2. Developing - Location Analytics (Augmented Reality for Mobile Devices)
  3. Developed - Mobile
- Huge amount of investment in collaborative software to optimize performance
- One obvious one - explosion in Mobile device and heterogeneous devices are accepted in the organization
- Strong desire to tie the analytics to its source, where did the event happen - zero in on the location. 

I get to live, rationalize, strategize, visualize, evangelize and everything else to influence build real BI solutions.
More on this in my follow up blogs, for now, enjoy following excerpts from a Gartner report -
Within two years, 15% of BI deployments will combine collaborative and social decision making-environments.
With the rapid development of handheld functionality and mass adoption rates across enterprises, by 2014 33% of business intelligence will be through mobile devices. 
Source: Gartner Predicts Business Intelligence Will Go Mobile and Social

Some Mobile BI companies are starting to adopt a device agnostic strategy - It is about time, go HTML 5!

Manage The Mayhem Of Mobile BI -- InformationWeek: "In-memory analysis and dashboard software vendor QlikTech did an about face on its mobile business intelligence strategy last month. One of the first BI vendors to natively support iPad and Android devices, QlikTech is now taking a device-agnostic approach, relying instead on browser-based viewing.
QlikTech isn't the only vendor avoiding native apps, it seems. Information Builders and LogiXML, for example, also take browser-oriented approaches. MicroStrategy and specialty vendor RoamBI, in contrast, have native apps for Apple and BlackBerry devices. SAP BusinessObjects has native apps, too, but given that this vendor's dashboards rely on Flash (which Apple does not support), the question for SAP customers is not only which device to choose but also what content needs to go mobile? IBM Cognos uses an app for BlackBerry and the browser for Apple, for now. Actuate uses an app, and Tibco Spotfire has a native iPad app as well."

Full Article here -

Growing Bigger - QlikView Faces Headwinds? One Analysts Thinks That is the Case.

QlikView (Ticker: QLIK)  has been a poster child of BI since 2006 growing at a record double digit pace and becoming the envy of many large BI players (by not direct competing with them but still out-pacing on sales and customer growth). Many executives at large firms (un)proudly speak of QlikView as a strong competitor. Pretty good achievement!
 Take a look at the following graphics below that captures all company vitals - 

As QLIK grows, it faces an interesting challenge as faced by every company standing at the gates on an inflection point - transitioning to a larger company. Here are some of the issues identified by identified by Gartner for QLIK - ( I am pretty confident that QLIK will continue to execute well in near-term but it definitely has to resolve all of these issues mentioned below) 

QlikTech offers limited metadata management. As QlikView grows into larger BI deployments spanning the enterprise, the lack of an enterprise semantic layer becomes a more pressing issue. Filling this gap requires additional cost and effort in the management of metadata to lock down common definitions and calculations, and to conform dimensions for cross-functional analysis across QlikView applications.

QlikTech's focus on analysis and usability for end users delivers significant advantages. However, its lack of a number of broad BI platform capabilities (high volume enterprise reporting, planning/financially oriented OLAP, Microsoft Office integration, scorecarding and predictive modelling) means that it will almost always need to be used alongside another BI platform.

QlikView is increasingly seen as expensive — almost a third of its customers surveyed (31.4% vs. 26.1% in the whole sample) see this as its main barrier to wider use. Its pricing model often does not sit well with larger deployments to more users, nor does the investment in RAM required to support the increasing numbers of concurrent users.

Monday, May 23, 2011

IBM - Analytics is a very serious priority! How serious? $14B serious!

Actions speaks louder than words -  
- IBM has pent $14 billion on 24 business intelligence-related acquisitions over the past 5 years** (See the graphics below)
- It has 8,000 consultants in Analytics and Optimization service trained on BI***
- IBM earmarks $20B for acquisition through 2015 * 

Analytics is a priority at IBM for following reasons: 
- that spending on BI is growing twice as fast as information technology spending overall
- that 80% of CEOs see information as the source of competitive advantage. (Source: IBM and MIT Sloan Management Reviews)

Here is a latest press release that further reinforces the market's belief that IBM machine is not slowing down the big-data front - 

IBM Ups Big Data Bet with New Software, $100 Million in Research

Source: *,**,*** Public Press Release (IBM Accelerates Business Intelligence Acquisitions, Jeff Moad, Managing Automations, IBM Analyst Day, 2010)