Ovum bi-may2013-1946353


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Ovum bi-may2013-1946353

  1. 1.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    BI bites into a bigger slice ofOracle’s Red StackReference Code: IT014­002727Publication Date: 02 May 2013Author: Madan SheinaOVUM VIEWSummaryOracle recently held its third annual Industry Analyst World conference at its Redwood Shoresheadquarters, and it came as no surprise to Ovum that business analytics featured as one of six majortrack themes (aligning nicely with our Big Data and Analytics Super Theme for 2013). Oracle’s businessintelligence (BI) and enterprise performance (EPM) portfolio is undoubtedly impressive in both breadthand depth. Having spent much time and effort rationalizing and updating its product set, Oracle is alsoplanning innovative new analytics offerings through the convergence of new products, notably itsExalytics in­memory engine and Endeca­powered information discovery environment. This willinevitably present product development, integration, and marketing challenges, but Oracle has thenecessary engineering resources and budget to address all three. However, it needs to do so quickly.BI and analytics now pivotal in Oracle’s Red StackBusiness analytics is a significant component of Oracle’s attempt to provision an entire end­to­endcorporate IT stack that extends beyond software into its engineered systems strategy. Oracle has anembarrassment of riches when it comes to BI and EPM, thanks to a combination of home­growndevelopment and a series of astute acquisitions. BI and EPM now sit as a core software valueproposition for broader Oracle applications (E­Business Suite) and infrastructure (Fusion) solutions,both horizontally and vertically implemented.Analytics also continues to have an increasing influence on Oracle’s platform strategy. Oracle Exalytics,Oracle Exadata, and Oracle Big Data Appliance are all engineered hardware­software systems bornfrom BI and analytics data­processing needs. Ovum expects Oracle to engineer more analytics smartsinto these platforms that are hardwired to take full advantage of the hardware processing potential.BI bites into a bigger slice of Oracle’s Red Stack (IT014­002727) 02 May 2013 © Ovum. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited Page 1
  2. 2.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ovum also expects BI and analytics to deepen in Oracle’s newer customer experience (customer 360),personalization, and social initiatives, forming a key component of the business value andtransformation proposition.This will resonate well for companies that view Oracle as a strategic business investment. BI andanalytics could certainly be a seed for further expansion and growth, particularly for customers that arelooking at Oracle as less of an infrastructure technology supplier and more as a value generator acrossvarious business operations. BI and analytics certainly help shift the debate from technology “boxes” tobusiness enablement and improvement, a subtle trend from Oracle that Ovum has noted over the pastcouple of years.Oracle’s strategy goes broad and deepOracle’s BI and analytics product strategy is aligned to both a broad continuum of business use casesand needs, ranging from the simple (operational reporting) to deepening analytic sophistication (addedmulti­dimensionality). A third alignment, which can be layered across both use cases, is real­timeperformance.Meeting all of these alignments can be achieved in two ways technologically, with a set of point tools ora unified platform approach. Oracle is clearly angling for the latter, a flexible analytic server, withextensions and integrations based on tight metadata sharing and exchange between different BI, EPM,predictive, and unstructured analytic use cases. This includes, for example, allowing users to shift fromtraditional Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition (OBIEE) dashboarding and reporting to EPMplanning, predictive analytics, or Oracle Information Discovery (Endeca) mode of analysis.Innovation is being driven through product convergence and integrationOracle’s business analytics strategy clearly points to convergence, pulling together cleverly engineeredcombinations of new and existing tools, applications, and platforms that are already well­developeddivisions within Oracle. For example, many of its in­memory capabilities are derived from OracleExalytics, Oracle TimesTen, and OLTP product development teams. Internally, this could be Oracle’sbiggest challenge, but Oracle has the resources to invest heavily in engineering and R&D to pull thesolutions together, and in 2012 it spent nearly 13% of its revenue on this area.Oracle has had a very active product cycle over the last year, culminating, curiously, to coincide with theend of Oracle’s fourth quarter, which is always a busy time of year. New versions of OBIEE, Exalytics,and Endeca are in the process of being developed and released, and Oracle is also ramping up itscloud and mobility offerings. Aggressive release cycles across multiple products show there are stillplenty of integration points across the Oracle BI stack that need to addressed in order to present aunified platform, as well as more opportunistic integrations enabling innovative BI and analytics, such asthe recent OBIEE integrations into Oracle Essbase and Oracle Information Discovery.BI bites into a bigger slice of Oracle’s Red Stack (IT014­002727) 02 May 2013 © Ovum. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited Page 2
  3. 3.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      However, the integrations will not be straightforward and will require some work, and as more disparatesystems are straddled and connected, some will also raise non­trivial technicalities. One immediatechallenge is to ensure that data lineage is maintained across OBIEE and unstructured InformationDiscovery environments, particularly from social sources.However, the signs are that Oracle is starting to rationalize its overlapping BI and analytics products,and is standardizing on a particular application or platform. It is also re­architecting some of its coreproducts to run on a single core base.APPENDIXAuthorMadan Sheina, Lead Analyst, Information Managementmadan.sheina@ovum.comFurther reading“The Oracle juggernaut keeps rolling; picks up Tekelec”, TE008001310 (April 2013)“Analytic Databases: Technology to Solve Modern Decision­Making Challenges”, IT014002699 (March2013)DisclaimerAll Rights Reserved.No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form byany means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior permissionof the publisher, Ovum (an Informa business).The facts of this report are believed to be correct at the time of publication but cannot be guaranteed.Please note that the findings, conclusions, and recommendations that Ovum delivers will be based oninformation gathered in good faith from both primary and secondary sources, whose accuracy we arenot always in a position to guarantee. As such Ovum can accept no liability whatever for actions takenbased on any information that may subsequently prove to be incorrect.BI bites into a bigger slice of Oracle’s Red Stack (IT014­002727) 02 May 2013 © Ovum. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited Page 3