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.

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