Hyperion Offering BI For The Masses

Nov 30, 2006 (05:11 PM EST)

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Hyperion plans to offer next year mini desktop applications that can deliver to customer employees selected information from the vendor's business intelligence platform.

Smart Space, a collection of applications and development tools unveiled Thursday, is meant to provide data, without having to train workers on the use of complicated BI software, which is mostly used by business analysts and upper executives. "It's technology for the masses, instead of just for a small number of users," Tobin Gilman, senior director of product marketing for Hyperion, said.

Spreading business intelligence use across a company remains a problem for vendors and customers. Much of the development in this area today involves the use of search engines that offer a user interface similar to what's commonly found on the Web. Google, for example, sells a search appliance that's supported by many BI vendors, including Hyperion.

With Smart Space, Santa Clara, Calif.-based, Hyperion is trying to go a step further by borrowing from Internet companies, such as Yahoo and Google, which offer mini applications called widgets or gadgets to deliver services directly to the desktop. The applications usually provide a narrow set of services, such as weather, a stock ticker, or calendar.

Hyperion is providing the tools for IT departments to slice and dice the information in Hyperion System 9, and deliver through the Smart Space app only data that's relevant to an employee's job. The company also plans to initially ship more than a dozen pre-built applications that have generic capabilities, such as the ability to stream key performance indicators, or deliver briefing books. One application Hyperion plans to offer would enable worker collaboration through instant messaging and the ability to share documents.

Hyperion is also working with customers and partners to develop mini apps for specific industries, Gilman said. "I kind of see this as developing into an ecosystem."

Hyperion made the announcement on Thursday to coincide with the launch of Vista, a major Windows upgrade released to businesses. The consumer version is scheduled to ship in January. Smart Space will support Vista and Windows XP. Pricing was not disclosed.