It’s On: IBM To Acquire SPSS

With one stroke, IBM has signalled that it believes itself ready to redraw the BI map. After a multi-year, multi-billion dollar spending spree, IBM has assembled the product portfolio, marketing and sales organization, and a 4000-person services army to launch a full-scale assault. It’s a lucrative opportunity: Mary Weier at InfoWeek quotes IDC to the effect that in 2008, the total BI market grew 10.6% to $7.8 billion. But although IBM’s acquisition of Cognos made it a formidable presence, with around 10% of the total market, until now it seems to largely have been in a holding pattern. IDC says IBM’s 2008 BI revenues were $800 million, up 5% since the previous year. But key competitors  SAP and SAS, who are ahead of IBM in share, and Oracle, nipping at its heels, grew at  double-digit rates. It is time to for IBM up that ante; as strong as Cognos was, it ought to have benefited more from IBM’s muscle. And now, it’s on. Read more of this post

Sand Technology a Risky Bet

It’s a shame that Sand Technology isn’t doing better, because the technology is apparently quite good and has been for years. Decades, indeed, but after all that time, Sand is a US$7M firm. Why is that? Their June visit to the Boulder BI Braintrust (BBBT) offered some clues. And some followup into public filings paints an unattractive financial picture that suggests any prospects should proceed with extreme caution. Sand’s phenomenal compression of data for “nearline storage” and analysis sounds good, but it’s hard to ignore their finances. Read more of this post