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Microsoft to Expand Business Intelligence Product Line


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Microsoft to Expand Its Business Intelligence Product Line: Announcing Microsoft Office PerformancePoint Server 2007
Comprehensive performance management application delivers business scorecarding, analytics and planning with familiar Office software.

REDMOND, Wash. — June 6, 2006 — Microsoft Corp. today announced Microsoft® Office PerformancePoint Server 2007, a complete performance management (PM) application including business scorecarding, analytics and planning functionality that enables companies to more effectively plan and manage their businesses. This new application expands Microsoft’s growing line of business intelligence (BI) products with a new focus on performance management solutions. Microsoft has established a unique position in expanding the delivery of BI to everyone by focusing on an easier-to-use experience while also delivering the high performance and outstanding price performance businesses require.

Microsoft’s vision for business intelligence is based on three major goals:

  • BI for everyone. By providing a user experience in the Microsoft Office system along with the scale and high performance of Microsoft’s BI platform, organizations can afford to deliver the right information to more employees so they can make the right decisions — small or large — every day.
  • Enterprise-grade reliability, high-performance platform. Microsoft SQL Server™ 2005 delivers comprehensive capabilities for data integration and transformation (Integration Services); analytical query, calculation, and data mining (Analysis Services); and reporting (Reporting Services); thus helping people at all levels in an organization transform valuable data into shared information they can act on.
  • Business view above the data. Managers can synthesize information across multiple systems and multiple parts of the organization to give them a more strategic and forward-looking view of the business than they can get from transactional enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems.

Microsoft has expanded its product line with new investments over time to be a full-line BI provider, with a difference. PerformancePoint Server 2007 expands Microsoft’s BI offerings, and delivers performance management capabilities across all departments including finance, operations, sales, marketing and human resources using the familiar Microsoft Office environment to greatly expand the reach of the application.

Microsoft also announced the completion of the ProClarity acquisition. PerformancePoint Server will incorporate ProClarity’s advanced analytic and visualization technologies. In addition, Microsoft will continue to sell and support existing ProClarity solutions, and customers under a maintenance agreement will have a free path to the same functionality in PerformancePoint Server.

“We’re transforming BI by making it cost-effective and accessible to everyone,” said Lewis Levin, corporate vice president of the Office Business Applications group at Microsoft. “Only Microsoft delivers an integrated platform for BI, the most popular end-user tools for analysis, and now a complete performance management application to help companies run their businesses. It’s a cost-effective, flexible, well-integrated and complete offering. Now customers can bet on Microsoft for all of their BI needs.”

In addition, plans call for Microsoft Dynamics™ ERP applications to use PerformancePoint as a future, integrated performance management application tailored to meet the specific needs of its customers.

PerformancePoint Server 2007 Product Details

Developed for business decision-makers, PerformancePoint Server puts the data and business rules for BI on a centrally managed server and makes scorecarding, analytics and the entire performance management cycle much easier and less time-consuming. PerformancePoint Server offers many unique advantages:

  • A complete performance management application. PerformancePoint Server provides all the functionality needed for performance management in one product, including scorecarding, analytics, planning, budgeting, forecasting, consolidation and financial reporting. It’s built to improve operational and financial performance across all aspects of the business, across departments, and up and down the organization.
  • Business Modeler and the IT-business partnership. Business Modeler is the unique design and modeling component of PerformancePoint that enhances the partnership between IT and business analysts. IT provides the infrastructure and security for crucial business applications. Now Business Modeler enables business analysts to use their insight and familiarity with the business to manage roles, workflows, rules and information directly. Business Modeler lets users customize PerformancePoint without the need for IT’s intervention.
  • Handles real-world business complexity. PerformancePoint uses a model-driven approach that allows business users to create strategic plans and detailed budgets and scorecards and link them together with rules that express their relationships. Sales forecasts can be compared and reconciled with manufacturing and finance; divisional business drivers can be viewed independently for specific forecasts or consolidated into a corporatewide view; and a strategic view of real business activities such as sales expansion, new products and investments can be more easily tied to financial views of the business.
  • Reaching all business users. PerformancePoint Server is designed to reach all business users by providing the full Microsoft Office experience to allow users to take advantage of Microsoft Office Excel®, Outlook® and SharePoint®. Microsoft Office Excel gains compliance in financial processes by providing the rich user interface of Excel with auditable changes and processes managed by the PerformancePoint server. The application also meets the spectrum of needs from the sales representative who wants a quick sales flash with simple navigation and a clear view of goals and performance, to the analyst who wants to drill down into comparisons of products and customers and share the analyses; and on to the financial analysts who must rigorously plan, consolidate and report financial results in support of regulatory compliance.
  • Benefits of an integrated BI platform. Many BI competitors have separate stacks, separate user experiences and products that don’t “talk” to one another. PerformancePoint customers benefit from Microsoft’s integrated platform.

Microsoft has enlisted customers to test PerformancePoint Server and provide feedback. The initial response has been very positive, as attested by Allen Emerick, director of IT, applications and integration for Skanska USA Building Inc. “Today’s performance management systems fall short of our needs because they’re not integrated, they don’t reach all employees and they are too expensive to deploy,” he said. “Skanska is excited about the potential of Microsoft PerformancePoint Server in that it provides robust, enterprisewide performance management with the ease of use of Microsoft Office. Also, because it utilizes proven and widely supported Microsoft technologies, we expect it to be the kind of integrated solution we’ve been looking for.”

PerformancePoint has also been in use at Microsoft since September 2005 to manage all of the company’s cost and revenue forecasting. The product has reduced cycle times and increased user satisfaction significantly compared with the financial applications it replaced.


The beta program for PerformancePoint Server will begin this fall and general availability is targeted for mid-year 2007. A technical advisory program (TAP) is currently open and accepting participants. For more information about the TAP program, customers and partners should contact their account managers.

More Information: Microsoft Office PerformancePoint Server 2007
Source: Microsoft PressPass

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