Hyperion re-centres on performance management

Hyperion Solutions has gone back to basics. The company, an early pioneer of financial analytic applications and online analytical processing (OLAP), has abandoned many of its ambitions to branch out into new application areas of business intelligence and focused back on its core strength – tools and applications for analysing and managing business performance.


Company: Hyperion Software

Product: Essbase, Essbase XTD

CEO: Jeff Rodek

HQ: Sunnyvale, California

Company status: Publicly listed on Nasdaq

Key financials: For the first three quarters of 2002, ending 31 March, Hyperion revenues fell 8% to $351.3 million, as net income jumped to $8.7 million compared with a loss $3.1 million in the year-earlier period.

Key competitors: Cognos, Microsoft, Oracle

Infoconomy comment: Hyperion is refocusing on its core strengths in business performance management software. In the current economic climate that message is finding receptive ears, but the company will have to continue to stave off increasingly fierce competition from forces as significant as Microsoft and SAP.




Formed by the 1998 merger of Arbor Software, famed for its OLAP platform Essbase, and analytic applications vendor Hyperion Software, the company has responded to the pressure organisations are under in the current weak economic climate by reworking its product line as a Business Performance Management (BPM) suite.

Its applications, directed mostly at CFOs, financial analysts and CEOs, have been expanded to include modules for business planning and management, modelling, financial consolidation, and general performance scorecarding.

Underpinning that analysis is the company's Essbase engine, which has been upgraded to enable analysis of data held in relational databases as well as its forte of high-speed analysis of multi-dimensional data ‘cubes'.

While Hyperion has sought to help businesses address some of their performance management issues, the company itself has had to face issues that have impacted its performance.

The mainstream business applications software vendors, such as SAP and PeopleSoft, have started bundling analytics with their suites, threatening Hyperion's core applications base. And business intelligence software vendors – Cognos, Business Objects and others – have launched their own analytic applications suites.

At the same time, Hyperion's Essbase OLAP platform, which is resold by IBM as DB2 OLAP, has seen its market share lead eroded by Microsoft. After only three years in the OLAP market with a product it bundles with its SQL Server database, Microsoft is has grabbed 21% of the market, putting it neck and neck with Hyperion.

Hyperion believes it stave off such threats with a 17 year pedigree in applying business intelligence software to the optimisation of business performance.

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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