RealTime IT News

HP Eyes BI Services Throne

HP  agreed to purchase Knightsbridge Solutions Holdings Corp. to flesh out its business intelligence services offerings.

Chicago-based Knightsbridge provides services for the business intelligence, data warehousing, data integration and information quality market segments, all key ingredients for well rounded information management portfolios.

Knightsbridge, with 700 employees in offices across the U.S. and in London, offers BI service for Fortune 500 customers and their global divisions in telecommunications, financial services, government and retail fields, to name a few.

"Recognized for excellence and innovation, Knightsbridge advances HP's leadership position in delivering business intelligence and data warehouse solutions," said John W. McCain, senior vice president and general manager of HP Services, in a statement.

The move will significantly boost HP's BI offerings, which include the company's Neoview data-warehousing platform and other software offerings and services.

Financial terms of the deal were not made public.

The transaction is expected to be completed within approximately 30 days, upon which Knightsbridge will be integrated into HP Services within HP's Technology Solutions Group, led by Executive Vice President Ann Livermore.

HP enjoys a partnership with Oracle in which it pairs its ProLiant and Integrity hardware servers, which it claims on its Web site are "built for BI," with Oracle Database 9i or 10g with Real Application Clusters software to offer customers BI.

But compared to rival systems vendor IBM, HP has been perceived as weak in the BI and data-warehousing space, Ventana Research analyst Dan Everett confirmed to internetnews.com.

"Having a strong consulting services arm can be one way to get more penetration and control in global 2000 companies. It can also be a way to get more hardware sales for BI," Everett wrote via e-mail, noting that IBM's global services group is very good at including IBM hardware as part of BI proposals.

This latest BI deal underscores the continued popularity of BI solutions, in which customers crave software that helps them get a better handle on sales patterns, "hot" geographies or even employee performance; enterprises managers believe BI software helps them make better decisions about the businesses they run.

With interest in this multi-billion-dollar market snowballing, BI has undergone a lot of consolidation in the last several years: Business Objects  bought Crystal Decisions; Hyperion  acquired Brio; and Microsoft  bought startup ActiveViews, among others.

Just last month, Business Objects tipped its hand on its plan to expand to the on-demand BI market, agreeing to purchase software-as-a-service provider Nsite for an undisclosed sum.