RealTime IT News

Actuate Boosts Business Intelligence Software

Actuate has refreshed its Multi-Application Option (MAO) software, which allows companies to manage disparate business intelligence applications and includes the ability to monitor the use of a single application.

The South San Francisco-based vendor, which moved to acquire Nimble Technology to bolster its reporting software capabilities, said the software option will be available with release of the Actuate 7 platform by year's end.

Actuate competes with Business Objects, which acquired Crystal Decisions, Cognos and Hyperion, which purchased Brio.

Research firms such as IDC believe the market for applications that help businesses intuit more about their customers' sales patterns will amount to a multi-billion dollar market in a few years. Companies such as Actuate are looking to capitalize on that.

Actuate's MAO lowers the costs of business intelligence software for companies because it allows multiple applications to share the same hardware without subtracting from the security and management of other applications. Organizations can manage user management, backup, archiving, and security administration for several applications.

MAO allows administrators to assign a set of processing resources to specific applications and provides usage logging so administrators can monitor how much applications are used. Usage logging also provides a tool to implement charge-back policies.

The company also unveiled the Actuate e.Services Business Intelligence Center of Excellence (CoE) Service, which helps businesses set up business intelligence platforms to cut costs and better comply with reporting regulations. By creating a CoE, companies can add more business intelligence applications while controlling the cost of technology deployments through the re-use of technology, processes and hardware across multiple applications.

Actuate e.Services helps coordinate infrastructure planning, operations, business facing IT, application development and executive sponsors to plan, strategize and implement a Business Intelligence Center of Excellence. Options for the CoE service include the configuration of server resources and operations procedures to support a shared services environment, among other things.

"Success with business intelligence requires a coordinated effort across the dimensions of people, process, technology, and data," said Allen Bonde, president of Allen Bonde Group. "A BI Center of Excellence offers the means to coordinate that effort by creating a common set of resources, models and tools to meet the needs of the broadest set of business needs while taking advantage of existing organization expertise, standards and infrastructure."

Companies under pressure to meet the reporting requirements within new regulations such as the Sarbanes Oxley Act are using business intelligence software to gain organizational insight and accountability at multiple levels, said Vijay Ramakrishnan, Senior Director of Strategic Communications for Actuate. Ramakrishnan illustrated how two customers, Pitt Ohio Express and KeyCorp, are using BI to help inform themselves about the quality of their business processes on a conference call.