MICROSOFT BI = FREE ?
What a day,
Yesterday saw an interesting change in BI. One small part bad, and a HUGE part good. Microsoft has made a very aggressive move against its competition in the BI space. Everyone will put their own spin on this however from my standpoint its pretty simple math as to the outcome and the roadmap for the future.
First move, the bad news. Microsoft will be sun setting the planning application that is part of Performance Point Server. There will be one more update in the summer in the form of a service pack, then no further updates to the product.
Second move, the rest of the Performance point tools will be delivered in the future through SharePoint and Office.
Third move, effective immediately all PPS licenses are now covered by eCal of SharePoint.
So what does it all really mean?
Let’s look at the product direction. Many customers were having issues with having to buy a SharePoint license and then buy PPS licenses to view embedded objects in SharePoint. It seemed like a double bill (Yes I know the competition does this as well…, but that doesn’t make it right). Also, the future of the analysis tool ProClarity was in some doubt, between excel, and the new tools demoed (Gemini) this was not clear. Now Microsoft has indicated that information would be delivered in the next release of Office through Excel, and most of the functionality on the server side would be part of SharePoint. So this is all great news.
Licensing. Well the number of companies that already have SharePoint and SQL Server 2005/8 are rather vast, so in a reporting / BI game Microsoft is now available to most customers with no additional costs. This means that your implementation and consulting are the only costs to deliver BI (Provided that you ready have SQL Server and SharePoint eCals.). That is AMAZING!! It’s like free BI for a LOT of the clients that I currently deal with.
It’s going to be a pretty big and impressive year with BI, that much is for sure. Talk to you soon!
See the announcment for more info.