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Richard Hackathorn: February 2010 Archives

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SAP logo.pngPresenting for SAP BusinessObjects are: Tom Turchioe, Product Mgt, Michael Stamback, Product Mgt and Byron Banks, Solutions Marketing. Founded in 1990, SAP announced their intent to acquire BusinessObjects in October 2007. For details on the company history, see this Wikipedia entry.

SAP arch.pngTom started with a high-level slides showing strategy versus execution, balancing risks and opportunities. In other words, it had little content. Next is an overview of the BusinessObjects portfolio: (a) Governance (b) Performance Mgt (c) Business Intelligence (d) Enterprise Information Mgt ... all of which is sitting upon (later integrated into) the Information Mgt Platform.

Tom emphasized that there was no "hidden agenda" with SAP. Their products do not sneak the SAP ERP components into SAP BO accounts. There are parts of SAP BO that only cater to non-SAP vendors, like Oracle, IBM, Microsoft, etc. The improvements in version XI 3.x are: performance increases, administration tools, dependency analysis among data elements, trusted BI to track the validity of analysis values, refresh data will highlighted changed values, integration with Microsoft SharePoint and with Oracle E-Business Suite, etc. Tom remarked, "Our goal is to eventually scale our systems to touching one billion users per day ."

Mike continued about their mid-term BI roadmap, which is mostly under NDA. They have not dropped support for any third-party tool or database. Tom emphasized that they integrate with anything that their customers have within their infrastructure. When Claudia asked about collaborative BI analysis tools, Mike mentioned their "12 sprints" work. See a related blog by Shawn Roger.

After the break, Mike shared the long-term "Intelligence Vision" most of which is under NDA. Interesting discussion on various future technologies and their impacts on future product offering. Byron finished with a short discussion of SAP executive shuffle and presented the perspective of Enterprise Information Management, which cuts across all SAP product lines (not just BusinessObjects).

ParAccel Doing Analytic Databases

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paraccel logo.png ParAccel joins the BBBT this morning to discuss their work in analytical databases. Conducting the discussion are Kim Stanick, VP Marketing and Rick Glick, VP of Technology and Applications.

Unfortunately much of the discussion below is confidential, but watch for announcements from ParAccel in the near future.

Kim reviewed their market and current 20+ customers. Some customers are using ParAccel to provide analytic apps as stand-alone and SaaS. Customers can buy ParAccel as a software package, or as a fully configured hardware/software appliance, or as kit of components. They are positioning their ParAccel Analytic Database (PADB) as an analytical application platform, rather than a data warehouse platform. See a technical manual of ParAccel Analytic Database at

An interesting issue emerging from their customer experiences is the interaction with the traditional enterprise data warehouse (EDW) and agile analytic applications. So, what is not working with EDW?

  • We are burdened with all the baggage of EDW infrastructure, politics, etc.
  • Business demands extreme agility in deployment new analytic applications
  • EDW trends to shift power away from end users, creating tension
Rick argued that the analytic ecosystem is at an inflection point driven by the technologies of solid-state memory and computing virtualization.

Kim outlined their future messaging on:

  1. Intrinsic speed of the technology is now supporting any thinking style
  2. Analytic capabilities allow us to ask the 'unaskable' questions
  3. Elastic scalability ensures full scope of required infrastructure
We discussed Kim's plan for "Going Big at TDWI". Fun stuff! Getting traction in media mentions. Mark Lockarff recently became CEO to take the company to the next level. Founder Barry Zane remains as CTO.

My Take... ParAccel has good people who are pursuing a solid vision using a set of exploding technologies. In the large corporations, their success depends on opportunities driven by business requirements for analytic application, relative to IT requirements for a common enterprise DW with a standard infrastructure. For the rest of the industry, ParAccel will do well with the numerous business initiatives within smaller and emerging companies.


This page is a archive of recent entries written by Richard Hackathorn in February 2010.

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