Business Objects has signed a deal with Thomson Financial to deliver ‘analysis-ready’ financial information to companies on demand.
Under the terms of the deal Business Objects will use its OnDemand platform, gained from its acquisition of its software-as-a-service applications partner NSite Software last November to host pre-packaged external financial content for customers for further analysis.
The content includes information such as detailed company financials, corporate fundamentals, IBES estimates and pricing, and relates to companies of all sizes. Business Objects has structured the data in an analyzable format.
Stamford, Connecticut-based Thomson Financial, a $2bn firm, gathers and manages the financial data culled from over 40,000 companies worldwide.
For its part Business Objects is offering pre-built data models that effectively package up the data as parameterized reports, interactive dashboards and small analytic widgets that target applications such as market analysis, sales territory prospecting and P&L comparisons.
The predefined reports and other analytic components are all built using Business Objects technologies like Crystal Reports, Xcelsius and WebIntelligence.
We’re taking Thomson’s financial data and packaging it up to solve particular problems, said Steve Williams, senior product marketing manager for on demand at San Jose, California-based Business Objects.
The challenge for BI has always been how to get average business users to integrate that external business information into their corporate in-house systems.
Rather than interacting directly with external data, which usually means scraping it into a spreadsheet, we do all the data preparation work for you. Users simply interact with pre-defined model via reports, dashboards or desktop analytic widgets built using our technology.
Williams said you don’t have to be a Business Objects customer to take advantage of the service.
Companies don’t need any Business Objects infrastructure in place since they interact with our software over the Web and purchase models via subscriptions.
But he did say that Business Objects would benefit more by being able to take-away the Flash-file reports and visualizations and customize them by adding their own interface or integrating other back-end data from their corporate IT systems.
There’s definitely more value if you bring this data into a Business Objects BI environment.
The new financial information service is currently in beta development.
Williams expects to launch 200 predefined data models as part of the initial release of the service which is expected to sometime in the third quarter.
We’ll continually be adding more models ourselves and through our partner community as well.
This will be first to first service of its kind to be deployed on Business Objects’ OnDemand platform which was previewed in May this year.
In parallel Business Objects continues to pursue its on demand BI business, with is being spearheaded by Crystalreports.com, a lightweight on demand version of its Crystal Reports XI software that was launched in April 2006 year for report distribution.