Business intelligence grows as acquisitions cut vendor choice

Business intelligence market Pac-Man evidence that specialist BI functionality is more tightly integrated with the traditional business operations

Research firm Analysys says that IBM’s acquisition of business intelligence and performance management software supplier Cognos, following announcements by Oracle and SAP that they would be buying specialist business intelligence vendors, is evidence that specialist business intelligence functionality is becoming more tightly integrated with the traditional business operations of the enterprise.


The global adviser to telecoms, IT and media advises that this should prompt firms to take the opportunity to evaluate more widespread adoption of business intelligence functions within their organisations.


Focusing on the telecoms industry, Analysys said that the relatively late arrival of competition  means that operators have not tended to exploit the opportunities of business intelligence to the same degree as organisations in other industries, such as retail. “However this situation is now changing,” said Therese Cory, Analysys Associate and author of a report on the way telcos use business intelligence.


“The business intelligence function is becoming more tightly integrated with the operations of the enterprise,” Cory continued. “In the telecoms industry, operators are already standardising on a single business intelligence product to reflect the increasing use of business intelligence as an enterprise-wide strategic tool controlled centrally rather than a disparate set of departmental tools being utilised autonomously. Nonetheless, there should still be room for creative and innovative uses of business intelligence to solve problems in specialist areas of the business.”


Operators in developed markets are discovering innovative uses for business intelligence because of a new urgency to extract more intelligence out of their business and operational data, while operators in developing markets are starting to explore how business intelligence can provide competitive advantage as their markets are liberalised.


What is more, Cory added, the way that business intelligence is utilised is evolving from a reactive activity (performed by specialist business analysts in isolation from operational staff in other parts of the organisation) to a business activity that staff across a range of functions and departments across a telco organisation can perform in the course of their work.


It will likely be, Cory predicted, that operators will increasingly demand a virtual view of information from both historic (formatted) information in the data warehouse, and near real-time information from the operator's live systems in order to assist in decision making and service quality assurance.


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