Microsoft Corp. today announced it has agreed to acquire ProClarity Corp., a software company based in Boise, Idaho, that develops advanced analysis and visualization technologies that work in association with Microsoft’s business intelligence (BI) platform, which includes Microsoft® SQL Server™ 2005, Microsoft Office Business Scorecard Manager 2005, Microsoft Office Excel® and Microsoft Office SharePoint® Portal Server. The upcoming release of the 2007 Microsoft Office system significantly increases and broadens Microsoft’s investment in BI, and this acquisition deepens that investment, providing functionality that includes additional advanced analysis and visualization technologies as well as business-logic-driven “guided” analysis.
Some analysis from Elizabeth Montalbano at InfoWorld:
Keith Gile, a principal analyst with Forrester Research Inc., said the acquisition “fills a gaping hole” for Microsoft and positions it more competitively as a BI vendor.
Gile said Microsoft’s investment in BI is fairly new, and there has not been a link between the back-end data mining and reporting services in the SQL Server database and the front-end interfaces business customers use. The acquisition of ProClarity changes that, he said.
“Office is a great consumer tool for BI, but it’s not a great producer tool — it’s not a mechanism for building, but surfacing the results,” he said. “ProClarity is a good tool to [produce BI results]. It’s strong at building queries, dashboards and analysis on top of the Microsoft platform.”
Over the past few years, Microsoft has increased its emphasis on having a comprehensive BI portfolio. In particular, Microsoft is promoting the next release of its Office suite, Office 2007, as not only a package for productivity but also BI in an effort to encourage customers to upgrade. Office is the front-end interface to Microsoft’s BI strategy, allowing users to see the results of business information extracted from SQL Server.
ProClarity, a long time Microsoft partner, is privately held and no financial terms were disclosed.