By Laton McCartney, Editor at CIOZone
There’s no question that the business intelligence business is booming, even in these troubled times.
The market for BI platforms and solutions, analytic applications and performance management software soared almost 22 percent in 2008 and has cooled only slightly this year.
It’s a highly competitive market that’s largely dominated by major software companies that have acquired BI vendors and added their capabilities to existing product suites.
Here are the top six vendors by revenue and market share. Together they represent more than 80 percent of the current BI market.
*Market share and revenue estimates are based on Gartner and IDC projections and vendor SEC filings.
Estimated market share: 24%; estimated revenue: $2.1 billion
SAP moved aggressively into the business intelligence market with its $6.8 billion acquisition of Business Objects in 2007, and it hasn’t looked back.
The company now accounts for almost a quarter of the overall market, according to recent studies by IDC and Gartner.
With offerings including the SAP BusinessObjects BI solutions, SAP racked up a market share gain of 17.8 percent last year.
That growth was due in large part to the company adding significant sales personnel and resources to reach out to BI technology purchasers.
Estimated market share: 14.6%; estimated revenue: $1.286 billion
The largest independent BI vendor, privately held SAS provides enterprise-wide business intelligence within a fully integrated business analytics framework.
That approach makes it easier to share consistent, holistic views of the business and enhances decision-making abilities, the company claims.
It also is one of the dominant players in the performance management market. It’s worth noting that SAS intends to open its own cloud facility in 2010.
Estimated market share: 14.6%; estimated revenue: $1.284 billion
Oracle paid $3.3 billion for its ticket into the BI market, acquiring Hyperion Solutions in 2007.
Built on the Oracle BI Enterprise Edition Platform, the mega-vendor offers numerous functional and industry-specific BI applications that were developed with the expectation that data resides in multiple places and potentially multiple packaged applications.
They include prebuilt ETL (extract, transform and load) adapters and business logic to tap into a multitude of common operational applications and data sources, including Oracle E-Business Suite, Siebel CRM, SAP, PeopleSoft Enterprise and JD Edwards.
Oracle has agreed to purchase certain assets from HyperRole, a data performance management software vendor.
Estimated market share: 11.3%; estimated revenue: $996.5 million
IBM, which likely has the deepest pockets in the tech industry, acquired a major BI vendor, Cognos, in 2007 for $5 billion.
Earlier this month, it completed a $1.2 billion takeover of statistics software vendor SPSS.
IBM’s big-footprint Cognos offering is targeted largely at major enterprises, although Big Blue is now providing BI solutions to the mid-sized market as well.
Of note is the June announcement that business intelligence and analytic applications will soon be available in an IBM cloud.
Estimated market share: 7.7%; estimated revenue: $681.5 million
Microsoft was the last of the major software vendors to enter the BI arena, committing early this year to a subset of the BI market, the performance management space, with its PerformancePoint Server product.
It’s also using Katmai and Excel to make its BI business more ubiquitous.
At Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference in New Orleans in July, CEO Steve Ballmer cited business intelligence as one of the keys to Microsoft’s future success.
Still, some critics say the company has yet to spell out a comprehensive road map for the future.
Estimated market share: 4.1%; estimated revenue: $280 million
One of the last of the independent BI vendors, MicroStrategy continues to add to its large customer base, most recently with Toshiba Europe and Societe Generale, the French investment bank.
Typically MicroStrategy runs deployments on top of large enterprise data warehouses.
In a recent BI survey issued by Nigel Pendse and the Business Application Research Center, MicroStrategy received the highest customer loyalty ratings in several key areas.