SAP to Acquire Business Objects as 2nd BI Vendor Falls to a Giant

Over the weekend SAP announced there intention of purchasing Business Objects for a massive 4.8bn Euro. This signals the fall of the second major independent BI vendor this year with the other being Oracle’s acquisition of Hyperion. This is a good move for SAP who have needed to strengthen their BI offering for some time. This acquisition gives them an ETL tool with strong SAP integration, a service oriented BI platform that fits with NetWeaver and several performance management applications that are in need of deeper integration. Business Objects has only completed the acquisition of Cartesis this year and ALG last year while SAP also acquired OutLookSoft in the PM space last year. The dust has obviously got to settle but there is no doubt that BI is now becoming a giants game as the four software giants (SAP, Oracle, Microsoft and IBM) start to flex muscle in a battle over this evergreen market. Such an acquisition has been on the cards all year with speculation rife as to whether Business Objects or Cognos would get acquired first, especially after Oracle made their move.

Now that Oracle and SAP have declared their hand the question is what happens next? I would be staggered if IBM continue to sit by and watch. Surely they must move as they have a real hole in their product portfolio on BI tools. This announcement only leaves two large independent BI vendors in the market – namely Cognos and SAS. With the latter of these the largest of the BI independents and also privately owned it seems inevitable that the spotlight will shine on Cognos as potentially the next candidate with IBM or Microsoft as a suitor.

It will be interesting to watch.


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