Microsoft today said that it has "significantly increased and broadened" its investment in business intelligence (BI) with the development of a business performance management server, and attempts to ramp up the BI capabilities within its forthcoming Office 12.
The software giant promised that Microsoft Office Business Scorecard Manager 2005 will be available in November.
In addition it will showcase technologies that will be included in the next release of Office designed to help information workers find, analyse and share business information.
Where BI has previously lived outside business processes, it can now be a part of all the structured and unstructured processes that occur in Office, according to Microsoft.
"Although the BI market has experienced a 17 per cent compound annual growth rate over the past 10 years to reach $4.3bn in worldwide software revenue, the vendors' primary focus has been on analysts and power users," said Dan Vesset, research director for analytics and data warehousing at IDC.
"During this period, Excel has remained the most widely used end-user tool for BI, but it has lacked the control needed for supporting enterprise-class decision making and compliance processes.
"By integrating new BI functionality into Office and ensuring Office connectivity to the SQL Server platform, Microsoft has the potential to broaden the use of BI by business users and provide IT staff with greater control over deployment and maintenance of the BI platform."
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