Viador Teams With Business Objects

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Viador Teams With Business Objects
M. Reed - June 22, 2000

Event Summary

Viador Inc. today announced it has completed the initial integration of Business Objects client/server and web-based products into the Viador E-Portal Suite. A technology alliance partnership agreement between Viador and Business Objects will permit both companies to jointly market their combined e-business portal solution, as part of the BusinessObjects InfoView open portal initiative (OPI). Viador and Business Objects corporate customers are expected to be able to enjoy personalized, integrated access to Business Objects reports and queries from the Viador E-Portal Suite as a result of this agreement.

"Organizations that deploy an enterprise information portal rely on it to deliver personalized and timely information to business users, both inside and outside traditional corporate boundaries," noted Steve Dille, vice president of worldwide marketing, Viador Inc. "Our E-Portal Framework, with its portlet architecture, made it possible for us to quickly implement and deliver tightly integrated support for Business Objects e-business intelligence solutions to our joint customers."

"We selected Viador as an OPI partner because we believe its E-Portal Framework solution works seamlessly with InfoView to integrate business intelligence content and consolidate corporate data," said Mark Tice, group vice president of global alliances at Business Objects. "Working together, Business Objects and Viador will enable joint customers to provide employees, partners, and customers with timely e-business intelligence using a personalized, secure, and scaleable portal framework."

Market Impact

Business intelligence portals have become the vogue in the industry over the last few years. The definition is amorphous, but is generally considered to be a web-based methodology that allows users to query and produce reports on enterprise-wide databases. The theory is that the databases will be distributed in varying parts of the enterprise and the user will not have to know exactly where the data is coming from.

The term "business intelligence portal" was coined by Information Advantage when it created a product called MyEureka. Since that time, Information Advantage was acquired by Sterling Software, which has recently been acquired by Computer Associates (for more information, see "Resistance is Futile: Computer Associates Assimilates yet another Major Software Firm" February 16, 2000).

Viador was one of the first companies to embrace the enterprise information portal concept, and has been successful in their efforts to date. The company describes EIPs as a method to incorporate unstructured data, publish and subscribe, search engines, application integration, and personalization. Their customer base includes companies such as the Federal Aviation Administration, IBM, Lucent Technologies, Nortel Networks, and Xerox. Business Objects is one of the leading BI vendors, with an installed base of more than 1,910,000 licenses in over 10,200 organizations.

The teaming of these two successful organizations will challenge the efforts of other portal-type vendors, such as MicroStrategy, Cognos, Informix, and Brio. It should be noted that every vendor defines the term "portal" differently, and many take offence at being branded a portal at all. The definition provided above should be applied to the product concept espoused by the vendor and the customer can make up his or her own mind as to whether it is a "business intelligence portal" or not. Business Objects InfoView is classified by the vendor as a business intelligence portal "which provides an entry point into the business intelligence system." They do not claim to provide the infrastructure that is needed and implied in an enterprise (or corporate) portal.

User Recommendations

Customers attempting to provide consolidated views of heterogeneous data sources should consider the concept of a "business intelligence portal", "enterprise information portal", or whatever the particular vendor is choosing to call it. Business Objects has told TEC that they provide a BIP, and distinguishes other vendors such as Viador, Microsoft, IBM, and Plumtree as EIPs. They have expressed a willingness to work with as many EIPs as possible to provide BI content. There is programming required to enable the portal to find the various data required, but once that is accomplished, it becomes very easy for business users to extract the data they need for day-to-day decision making.

If properly implemented, there is a good possibility of very strong returns on investment due to the increased productivity of business users, and the ability to rapidly evaluate changing business conditions. Due to the complexity of the solution, and the sophisticated infrastructure required to support it, a long list of vendors should be evaluated, and reference sites should be closely questioned as to how much time and consulting was required to implement the product.

Editor's Note:
This article has been modified from its original form since the original publication date.

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