Microsoft Corp is planning to ship new business intelligence software for small to medium-sized firms this summer, underscoring its continued interest in the sector.
The Redmond, Washington-based software giant unveiled its BIO (Business Intelligence Optimization) for Microsoft Dynamics SL this week, a product that serves up role-based scorecards and analytic interfaces that tap into Microsoft’s financial management, project management, accounting, distribution, field service, payroll and e-business applications suite.
The software, which was developed in conjunction with one of its mid-market channel partners NexVue Analytics Corp, effectively allows users to create, view and manage scorecards and analytic reports either natively from BIO or via standard Microsoft desktop tools like Office, Excel, and SharePoint.
Under the covers BIO runs off Microsoft’s Analysis Services OLAP engine which is baked into the core SQL Server 2000 and 2005 relational database platform.
An initial version of BIO will be rolled out for mid-market manufacturing firms sometime in May.
General availability of the product is slated for June with entry-level pricing options starting at around $3,600 for staple financial analytics capabilities and a two-user license. Additional types of analysis – i.e. for project, distribution and field service analytics – are purchased separately as are additional users.