Business Objects Fills BI Hole For $300M

Apr 23, 2007

Clint Boulton

Business Objects (Quote) today moved to fill a big hole in its business intelligence (BI) software portfolio, aiming to acquire enterprise performance management (EPM) software maker Cartesis S.A. for $300 million in cash.

Cartesis' product portfolio triggers financial reporting, statement consolidations and planning tasks. The Spanish company, which raked in $125 million in sales in the last 12 months, recently began offering customers a governance, risk and compliance application to help meet corporate accounting regulations.

The move is Business Objects' strategic counter to Oracle's (Quote) $3.3 billion purchase of Hyperion Solutions, which was largely considered the top EPM provider in the market.

Oracle, which had little traction in EPM before the deal, essentially vaulted into competition with Business Objects and Cognos (Quote).

EPM is considered a core part of a complete BI suite to help company managers assess the health of their businesses, as well as the performance of employees. Business managers such as CFOs use EPM to achieve deeper penetration and understanding of the company's fiscal health, and adapt quickly to market conditions.

Business Objects CEO John Schwarz told Cartesis is the next logical step in fortifying the company's enterprise performance solutions for the CFO.

In its quest to become a household name in EPM, Business Objects acquired budgeting and planning software provider SRC Software two years ago and profitability management specialist ALG Software last year.

Cartesis' financial reporting and consolidation applications flesh out the company's EPM suite, Schwarz said.

"The ability to consolidate financial information using regulatory reporting and to bring financial data from divisions and operating units of the company together under one umbrella was the piece that was missing, and it was the one area that used to give Hyperion an edge over us in this performance-management market," Schwarz said in a phone interview Monday morning.

"We are now fully armed and ready to go and do battle with anybody in the marketplace."

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