BI Acquistions Off and Rolling: Oracle’s $3.3 Bid for Hyperion

I’ve been saying that 2007 would be the year of business intelligence (BI), and it appears my prediction is coming true already.  Here’s a recommendation from my 2007 Service and Support Industry Trends:

Invest in analytics. A common refrain emerged from the last Customer Service Executive Summit: more business intelligence is needed. Companies are collecting massive stores of customer history and interaction data, but what is missing is strong, business user targeted analysis tools to identify strategic business intelligence from the data.

After Thursday’s announcement that Oracle has offered $3.3B for BI vendor Hyperion Solutions, it occurred to me that customer frustration over too much data and not enough analytics is likely impacting CRM/ERP vendors’ ability to sell applications.  By my count, this is Oracle’s third acquisition of business intelligence software, and one wonders, how much is enough?  And, with a variety of analytic/BI tools in the Oracle war chest, how long will it take for more capabilities to be imbedded into the applications…not bolted on to the side?

For companies needing better business intelligence tools today than what is provided by their enterprise application vendor, there are fewer specialist products available to pick from due to industry consolidation.  The original real-time decisioning engines that helped drive successful upsell and cross-sell in inbound contact centers, Epiphany and Sigma Dynamics, have both been acquired by larger vendors (Epiphany by Infor, Sigma Dynamics by Oracle).  Who is left?  Here are a few to consider. (Note:  these vendors are marketing and Web centric.)

·         [x+1]. Solutions for customer acquisition, conversion, and retain and upsell.

·         Intelligent Results. Solutions for collections and recovery, marketing and portfolio management, analytics and strategy, and government.

·         Kefta. Specializing in Web analytics, including personalized content and offers.

·         Touch Clarity. Recently acquired by Omniture, offering real-time predictive modeling to automate targeting and delivering personalized content.

Another twist on analytics for upsell and cross-sell comes from SSPA partners Encover and Rainmaker Systems, who offer outsourced services to analyze your data and identify prospects for offers.  These vendors also can analyze your maintenance renewal history, and are able to suggest changes to your maintenance programs to entice more subscribers to higher tiers, as well as automating maintenance renewals.

What analytic products are you using, and how much value are they delivering?  If you have questions or comments, or want a recommendation on a product for a specific area, please post a comment or drop me an email.  Thanks for reading!

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