Knosys "in the Kno" With ProClarity 3.0 Analytical Platform

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Knosys "in the Kno" With ProClarity 3.0 Analytical Platform
M. Reed - November 15, 2000

Event Summary

Knosys, Inc. announced on November 6, 2000 that version 3.0 of their ProClarity® Analytical Platform and OLAP client are now available. The products were developed specifically for Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Analysis Services. (For more information on SQL Server 2000 see What's new in Microsoft SQL Server 2000.) The products are based on the COM (Common Object Model, a de-facto standard written by Microsoft) architecture, causing them to be completely tied to Microsoft software, including SQL Server 2000 and Commerce Server 2000.

According to Clay Young, VP of Marketing at Knosys "Our strategy of delivering extremely powerful and cost-effective analytical solutions to the masses starts with the ProClarity Analytical Platform 3.0. The COM-based platform dramatically increases enterprise-wide deployment options because it offers an exceptional level of customizability, extensibility and full integration with Microsoft Office 2000." The product is completely component-based, which the vendor claims will make it "fully extensible, customizable, and capable of being embedded into custom applications".

At the same time, Knosys announced a partnership with integrated enterprise and eBusiness applications vendor Epicor (NASDAQ:EPIC) to collaborate on development of a portal-based business intelligence solution. Epicor focuses exclusively on the mid-market.

Epicor eIntelligence is a fully integrated component of the "e by Epicor" suite of business applications that spans the entire application from front office sales and marketing, to back office accounting and distribution. Epicor ePortal will provide a seamless personalized gateway to rich user-specific content from both "e by Epicor" and external sources. (For more information on Epicor see Epicor Software Corp.: How Far From Being 'One-Stop' Shop?.)

"Epicor's expertise in portal development combined with the functionality in the next generation of Knosys ProClarity Analytical Platform, will allow us to bring the mid-market a unique business intelligence offering together," said Bob Lokken, president and chief executive officer of Knosys, Inc. "Epicor customers benefit from this OEM agreement through the combination of the cutting edge technology from three market leaders; from Epicor's eIntelligence DecisionStore to the advanced analytical capabilities Knosys provides and the power of Microsoft Analysis Services."

Market Impact

Many business intelligence vendors are tying themselves to Microsoft Windows 2000 and the ".NET" platform because it includes a number of powerful and intricate features, including web services, transaction services, commerce services, and the SQL Server database. Using Microsoft technology accelerates time-to-market for the vendors, and is not a major hindrance for most customers. However, this conscious decision by Knosys and others would make a UNIX port very difficult. This platform dependence may have some effect on sales to their larger Fortune 1000/Global 3000 customers, because some larger companies are not willing to install and support Win2K environments.

Knosys' current clients include companies such as AT&T, Compaq, Ericsson, GE Capital, Hewlett Packard, Nabisco, and Pfizer. Platform OEM customers include Great Plains, Infinium, Manugistics, and now Epicor. Epicor has more than 30,000 customers worldwide. Pricing for the ProClarity Analytical Platform and OLAP client starts at $495 per seat.

One impact on the market will be that Epicor will have a "leg up" on some of the competition, which require that 3rd party business intelligence tools such as Cognos or Hyperion be added on to provide useful analytics. Having the analytics built in as a component of the core product will be a strong selling point.

User Recommendations

Customers evaluating business intelligence products which provide advanced analytics (such as drill-thru and English Query) should include Knosys on a long list of vendors to be investigated. They should keep in mind the fact that choosing this set of products (Knosys/Epicor) ties them inextricably to Microsoft Windows 2000 and the versions that follow it. Nonetheless, many will find the full integration with Microsoft Office 2000 very useful. Customers already using ERP and Supply Chain products not running on a Windows platform can tie ProClarity into their existing software, but the requirement for Win2K as the ProClarity platform will be the same.

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