IBM Acquires Netezza – ADBMS Consolidation Heats Up

IBM’s bid to acquire Netezza makes it official; the insurgents are at the gates. A pioneering and leading ADBMS player, Netezza is in play for approximately $1.7 billion or 6 times revenues [edited 9/30; previously said “earnings,” which is incorrect.] When it entered the market in 2001, it catalyzed an economic and architectural shift with an appliance form factor at a dramatically different price point. Titans like Teradata and Oracle (and yes, IBM) found themselves outmaneuvered as Netezza mounted a steadily improving business, adding dozens of new names every quarter, continuing to validate its market positioning as a dedicated analytic appliance. It’s no longer alone there; some analytic appliance play is now in the portfolio of most sizable vendors serious about the market. Read more of this post

Tibco Silver Spotfire – Social BI? Why Not?

Tibco, fresh from a Q2 with license revenue up 23% over last year’s, continuing a two year run of beating consensus earnings estimates, has stepped up and out ahead to pursue the long-coveted mid-market customers who don’t use BI but find that spreadsheets don’t do enough.  Tibco believes, like Microsoft, that many are social technology users: they have blogs and use other channels available to them, and they will build and share reports given the chance. So, says Tibco, here it is: building on the Silver cloud platform it’s had in beta for about a year, Tibco is introducing Silver Spotfire, with an offer tuned to the cloud user – a no-cost, no-obligation, no-risk 1-year trial of a Spotfire play in the cloud requiring no IT involvement. “All you need is a browser,” is the pitch, and this is not from a new company you don’t know, but an established  player with a sizable roster of enterprise BI customers. [Edit 8/27 – Tibco has put up a Wiki on “what is Social BI“.] Read more of this post

SAP – Sybase: Synergies? Suspect So.

SAP announced today that it will acquire Sybase for $65.00 per share, representing an enterprise value of approximately $5.8 billion. The announcement says that “customers will be able to better harness today’s explosion of data and deliver information and insight in real time to business consumers wherever they work so they can make faster, more informed decisions.” But the vision goes beyond that: the combined companies will be able to deliver the ability to act on those decisions, anywhere. The combination of SAP’s substantial share of its customers’ transactional systems with Sybase’s mobile expertise in messaging and application development tools for mobile devices affords extraordinary opportunities that are not lost on management. Following the public press event, I chatted with Vishal Sikka, SAP’s CTO, and Dr. Raj Nathan, EVP and CMO of Sybase. We covered some of the opportunities on the table and SAP’s plans for its new assets. Read more of this post

Tableau Breaks Out With Advanced Visualization

When I last spoke to business analytics vendor Tableau Software in April 2009, the company had run off a string of uninterrupted growth. In a  challenging 2009, Tableau continued to grow, and in our most recent conversation the team was upbeat. Q1 was looking very good, and the company has over 4000 named accounts now. Its revenue  growth was about 50% overall at the end of the year, and direct sales are growing faster than indirect as its sales model shifts with increased visibility. Tableau is among the leaders of the new advanced visualization players, and the battle is heating up. Read more of this post

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