Despite a snub by Microsoft Corp in May, Canadian business intelligence vendor Panorama Software Ltd said it would continue to create industry-specific applications on SQL Server 2005.
The Toronto-based business intelligence software maker said it would continue to collaborate with Microsoft to develop a series of industry-specific BI applications aimed at retail, credit management and risk management and high-tech manufacturing.
The applications will tap into the beefed-up OLAP, reporting and data integration capabilities bundled into Microsoft’s SQL Server 2005 platform, which was released last November.
Panorama also said it would leverage the new BI features that are promised in the forthcoming Office 2007 edition and the recently announced Office PerformancePoint 2007 performance management application.
Panorama’s announcement is partly to show customers, and its rivals, that it is business as usual with Microsoft, despite the latter’s acquisition of ProClarity Corp, another close BI partner, earlier this year.
That acquisition has arguably changed the dynamics of its alliances with BI vendors, particularly those providing front-end tools that tap into Microsoft’s predominately server-based technologies.
Unfazed, Eynav Azarya, CEO of Panorama, said in a statement that Panorama will continue to focus on innovations that build on top of Microsoft’s BI platform in the coming year.
Many interpreted Microsoft’s swoop for ProClarity as a slap in the face for Panorama, a partner that effectively handed Microsoft a BI strategy several years ago. Panorama is the original developer of the OLAP technology behind the Analysis Services OLAP component in SQL Server database platform. Microsoft acquired the technology back in 1996 and the rest is history.
Sensing Microsoft’s growing ambition in BI, Panorama has already started to align itself more closely to another software giant, SAP AG. Last month the company announced that its NovaView OLAP product has attained SAP NetWeaver certification, paving the way for tighter integration to the SAP Business Information Warehouse.
However Panorama stressed that this is not a direct knee-jerk reaction to the ProClarity acquisition. Officials go to great pains to point out that the SAP collaboration started well before the ProClarity acquisition. Nevertheless the company said it expects SAP installations to drive 80% of its business in the future.
But the company’s latest announcement confirms that it not ready to break its Microsoft alignment anytime soon – at least not until Microsoft puts a mid-tier between ProClarity and Analysis Services like Panorama does.
However that could still change as Microsoft earlier this week announced plans to integrate ProClarity’s Analytic Server into its new PerformancePoint and Office applications.