RealTime IT News

Microsoft Adds A Little ProClarity

Microsoft agreed to acquire business intelligence software specialist ProClarity Corp., a move that will increase the analysis and visualization technologies in its BI platform and pending Office 2007 suite.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

On paper at least, the move appears to be a natural fit for Microsoft. Since 1999, Boise, Idaho-based ProClarity has been a Microsoft partner in the BI space, where customers use information to make better business decisions and get better results.

ProClarity makes an "analytics server," which works with the following applications in Microsoft's BI platform: Office Business Scorecard Manager, Office Excel and SharePoint Portal Server. More than 1,200 customers currently use ProClarity software with Microsoft's BI platform.

Microsoft has placed a greater emphasis on BI in its upcoming release of the 2007 Microsoft Office system, hoping it will appeal to more corporate customers.

"The acquisition of ProClarity will help us build even more BI capabilities into the Microsoft Office system productivity tools people use every day - significantly enhancing the value we can deliver to customers and expanding opportunities for partners to integrate high-end analysis capabilities into business applications," said Bill Baker, general manager of Microsoft Office Business Applications.

ProClarity will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Microsoft and its office and the majority of its 140 employees will remain located in Boise.

Microsoft has been building outs its BI platform for the last few years, adding security and data warehousing features and acquiring ActiveViews to improve its reporting services.

SQL Server 2005 just went public this past fall, along with Office Business Scorecard Manager 2005.

Microsoft competes with Cognos and MicroStrategy in the BI space. Business Objects is also somewhat of a rival to Microsoft, but the two partner extensively on solutions in a sort of cooperative competition arrangement.