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.
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".
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.
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?.)
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."
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
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.
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.
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.