Oracle’s Smarts For Small Businesses


Think Oracle  isn’t serious about stealing share
from mainstays Business Objects
 and Cognos  in the torrid
business intelligence (BI) space? Not so fast.


The software maker today rolled out its new Business Intelligence Standard
Edition One, a pre-configured BI package targeted at small to medium-sized
businesses (SMBs) and workgroups.


Oracle Business Intelligence SE One boasts most of the bells and whistles of
traditional BI suites, including interactive dashboards, formatted
reporting, ad hoc query and analysis, and extract, transform and load (ETL)
technology.


That’s in large part because it’s based on Oracle’s BI Suite Enterprise
Edition, which the company developed
largely from the Siebel Analytics technology.


SE One includes Oracle’s Database 10g Standard Edition One, as well as the
Oracle Business Intelligence Server for churning metadata and Oracle
Warehouse Builder 10g, which ensures data quality and auditing and relational
and dimensional modeling.


Mindful that SMBs typically have small or no IT departments to help them
install and configure software, the system employs business user interfaces that do not require coding or other technical skills, said David Planeaux, director of BI product marketing for the company.


In other ease-of-use examples, Oracle Business Intelligence Publisher layout
and design tool leverages Microsoft Word and Adobe Acrobat.


Moreover, business users can build dashboards through the drag-and-drop Web
interface of the Oracle Business Intelligence Interactive Dashboards
software and create ad-hoc analyses with mouse clicks using the Oracle
Business Intelligence Answers tool.


Initially targeted for Microsoft’s Windows platform, the product runs on a
single server and can be deployed for five to 50 users at $1,000 per user.
However, those shops who want to expand their BI coverage beyond 50 users
can easily migrate to the Oracle Business Intelligence Suite EE without
ripping and replacing SE One.


If nothing else, the coalescence of SE One proves that BI is no longer
relegated to large enterprises looking for leverage versus their
competition; there is a viable market for BI in small businesses looking to
gain additional insight and efficiencies in selling to their customers or
managing their financial performance.


“We’re bringing the same BI technology to a much smaller audience,” Planeaux
said. “We’re providing enterprise-class products for a an SMB price.”


Oracle President Charles Phillips originally announced SE One as a core part of its BI strategy in March 2006 and pledged to
attack the market.


The company acquired the majority of its BI capabilities from Siebel Systems and Hyperion Solutions in a bid to carve out a bigger slice of the BI pie and
take market share from incumbents Business Objects, Cognos and
MicroStrategy.

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