Wednesday, February 27

Microsoft leader in execution

I'm sure you've heard the Gartner quadrants are out again. The BI vendors are graded and ranked according to Gartner criteria. And as you can expect, vendors want to be high and to the right.

This year Microsoft is a leader in platform BI and ahead of the pack for "ability to execute" on the BI vision. This means Microsoft has the competitiveness, success from it's BI products, investment in BI, and can execute on it's pricing model.

Tidbit: Did you know Microsoft spends $6B (with a 'B') company-wide on research and development annually?

And it's pricing model... which I have to say is aligned with the BI industry's goal: deliver BI for the masses. No longer will an organization have to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars on licenses -- this is a cost prior to building anything for end users! Microsoft's model flips the traditionally expensive licensing model upside down.

Plus Gartner thinks Microsoft's PerformancePoint Server is coming to a desktop near you. Aimed at the mid-market and above with a CPM focus, Microsoft's BI stack integrates well with it's integration engine (BizTalk), Office products, and portal software (Sharepoint). What else could most organizations need?

And if you're interested, here are the Top 10 benefits of PerformancePoint Server from Microsoft's marketing department.

Okay, there are a few short comings but which vendor doesn't have them. One being a not so competitive data mining story. I view this as a small portion of most organizations, so I shall not dwell. The second is how they intend to deliver their BI products to customers -- through a partner community.

Yes, Microsoft isn't interested in implementing their own software, unlike Cognos and Oracle. They want to educate and train partners to do this. Today the downside is the limited choice of BI Systems Implementation partners.

The huge upside is when more partners come on board, watch out. These partners will have the collective brain-power to Outsmart, Outwit, and Outlast (yes I watch the Survivor series on TV) any in-house services group from the likes of Cognos, Oracle, etc.

So I like the Microsoft model and their products and expect to see them competing along side the other leaders that are high and to the right.


MAIA Blog said...

Can you give some points regarding Microsoft's BI tool is the best of all. Can you draw a comparison?

Tom Hudock said...

One significant difference is the licensing model. Microsoft is promoting that everyone in the organization can use BI -- because Microsoft is making it affordable to do so.

As for how MS BI is the "best of all" is difficult to gauge. What is best for one company may not be best for another. It depends on what functionality is needed by the users.

For more information, Ben Tamblyn writes for the new Microsoft BI blog called "The BI Blog" (

The Gartner documents that I link to have done an excellent job of comparing the BI leaders and showing the benefits of Microsoft's BI tools. Worth a read, I'm sure.