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RealTime IT News

Business Objects Opts For Presentation

Business Objects has agreed to acquire presentation software maker Infommersion for $40 million in cash to prop up its business intelligence (BI) software offerings.

Privately held Infommersion develops information visualization and presentation software that helps users access, analyze and share data in real-time.

For example, Infommersion's XcelsiusXL is a Windows application designed to create interactive data presentations from ordinary Excel spreadsheets.

The app uses a point-and-click interface to import Excel data and formulas, as well as output interactive dashboards, charts and graphs, and financial presentations to PowerPoint, PDF documents and the Web.

A multi-billion-dollar software sector, BI is the practice of gathering information and rendering it easily readable in graphs and charts that usually encapsulate the performance of a corporate business or its employees.

Business Objects leads the space, but has healthy competition from Cognos, MicroStrategy, Actuate and Hyperion.

Business Objects set its sights on San Diego, Calif.'s, Infommersion because it is different from traditional vendors. While Infommersion's software basically culls data the same way, it renders information dynamically in real time.

The idea of interactive BI is not new, but it is catching fire with customers who want the on-the-fly capabilities that regular, static BI applications can't provide.

Business Objects, with headquarters in San Jose, Calif., and Paris, France, expects to close the Infommersion deal in the fourth quarter.

The purchase bid is the company's first since it inked the $100 million deal for financial applications provider SRC Software, and the first under new CEO John Schwarz.

Business Objects is also coming off the launch of the revamped BusinessObjects XI release 2 platform.

The revised system includes Metadata Manager, which allows IT managers to unify and view metadata from across the entire BI environment to gain an extra level of trust in information.

Release 2 also includes Intelligent Question, a patented feature that allows anyone to ask business questions and receive answers without the need to build a query or know the underlying systems or data.