I’ve quietly followed this relative minnow in the business analytics market for some years and reviewed the product several times way back in the day. It’s a damned fine offering for planning and forecasting if a little dated by today’s standards. Josh Greenbaum’s take is interesting:
SAP now has three key products to fill out its CPM strategy: strategy management is covered via the Pilot acquisition, profitability management is covered via a reseller agreement with Acorn. And now planning and consolidation have been covered by OutlookSoft. SAP will have its own integration challenges, though I believe they will be much simpler to surmount than Oracleâ€™s integration requirements vis-Ã -vis Hyperion.
More important – OutlookSoft gives SAP an immediate analytics entree into the SMB market. Fast integration into A1S will help considerably. Josh continues:
What I think gives SAP some advantage is the integration with GRC and Duet, which are generally considered leading edge initiatives.
I agree with the Duet statement but not that about GRC (Governance, Risk and Compliance) which I see as a ride on the back of SOX. I will be following this announcement up as part of my review of SAPs GRC initiatives when I travel to Vienna next week on the next leg of the SAPPHIRE 07 circus.
As an aside – I believe SAP is on the software equivalent of a rolling thunder story. Oracle has recently been given huge kudos for its stellar growth among financial analysts. Quite rightly. But that attention doesn’t change the business fundamentals as they pertain to users.
SAP is a class act by any measure. Its ‘german-ness’ allows it to differentiate itself as a player that delivers quality. Not always (actually rarely) on time but quality nonetheless. It also has another quality Oracle doesn’t possess. Integrity. (Oracle people – feel free to flame…or join the conversation.)