Go where the money is. That's apparently just what the big boys did, as a number of industry titans in enterprise software jumped into business intelligence software with some hefty acquisitions.
This year, Oracle kicked off the big spenders' buying spree by announcing its Hyperion Solutions deal valued at $3.3 billion in February, followed by SAP in October with its plans to acquire Business Objects in a deal valued at $6.8 billion. And last month, IBM announced its intent to acquire Cognos for $5 billion.
The market in business intelligence software, or business performance solutions, is projected to rise 11 percent through 2010, according to Forrester Research.
Enterprise software players tinkered with their on-demand efforts during the year, with SAP unveiling Business ByDesign, its long-anticipated on-demand service.
Google expanded its GoogleApps effort beyond small businesses and into Corporate America via its Capgemini partnership.
And as the enterprise software industry evolved, a changing of the guard was also in the works.
SAP's Shai Agassi, president of its product and technology group and a rising star once viewed as a potential heir apparent to the CEO, resigned in March. Agassi, who left after the current CEO Henning Kagermann extended his contract term, is now putting together a company involved with electric cars.
In November, Adobe Systems Chief Executive Bruce Chizen announced his resignation, after having spent seven years at the helm. Chizen, however, will remain as a strategic adviser to the company until the end of 2008.
Enterprise software companies had their share of drama this year. Two of the more notable cases involved Oracle.
Earlier this year, Oracle filed a lawsuit against archrival SAP and its wholly owned subsidiary TomorrowNow, alleging that third-party support and maintenance company TomorrowNow pilfered its proprietary software code beyond what Oracle's former customers' contracts allowed. The companies have a status hearing with the judge scheduled for early next year, but in the meantime, SAP is considering selling its TomorrowNow business.
And in another squabble, Oracle made an unsolicited bid for middleware rival BEA Systems in October. Oracle offered up $17 a share, or $6.7 billion in cash, but BEA wanted $21 a share from any prospective suitor to engage in buyout negotiations. Oracle has since walked away from the deal, though investors are not convinced the software maker is gone for good.
Company extends Henning Kagermann's contract by 17 months, temporarily quelling concerns about its future leadership.
Hyperion's business intelligence and financial planning tools could be a lever to help pry customers from SAP.
The database giant alleges its German rival gained illegal access to inside information in a large-scale case of "systematic theft."
Shai Agassi steps down in a surprise announcement. He had been seen as a possible successor to CEO Henning Kagermann.
NetSuite, an on-demand applications company controlled by Oracle's Larry Ellison, has filed for an auction-style initial public offering.
The two companies announce a partnership that aims to crack into large corporations with the search giant's online Google Apps.
European court deals a severe blow to Microsoft's competitive ambitions in Europe by siding with regulators in an antitrust case against the company.
Enterprise software giant's midmarket-focused service to compete with those of Salesforce.com, NetSuite and Oracle.
Company's $25 million fund can open new markets for developers, but they'll need to prepare for the added workload.
SAP to buy business intelligence software company in a cash deal valued at slightly more than $6.8 billion.
Proposed $6.7 billion acquisition could resolve questions about BEA's future growth. Then there's the Carl Icahn factor.
IBM announces plans to buy business intelligence software company Cognos in a $5 billion all-cash transaction.
President and COO Shantanu Narayen to take over from Bruce Chizen. Company forecasts 13 percent revenue growth in fiscal 2008.
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