Oracle Fuses BI, Performance Management

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Problems ahead?

Smith foresees other problems for Oracle. One is competition, which abounds in both the BI and performance arenas. "Oracle, SAP, IBM, Microsoft, IBI, Microstrategies, all have BI products and the list goes on and on," he said. "Then there's the SaaS players and the smaller vendors selling into lines of business."

Another problem is that people just aren't buying large suites. "With the economic challenges and IT going into cost reduction, suites won't make it," he said. "You have to solve a specific problem." Also, BI suites are considered complex because they take a lot of time to bring up and deploy.

Oracle's track record is another issue, according to Smith. "A lot of cost and management functions need specialized people, so you have to get it to the right skilled individual in the right business area, and Oracle's had problems in that area," Smith said.

Finally, Oracle may have jumped the gun because most organizations are not yet ready for a product with this level of sophistication. "Two-thirds to three-quarters of organizations still use spreadsheets for these functions," Smith said. "Is that a good idea? No. But that's the reality, and they'll continue to use spreadsheets."

*Correction clarifies the makeup of Oracle's EPM System

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