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Hyperion sharpens BPM focus with products and Alcar acquisition. (BI News Review).

Hyperion Solutions Corp has given its strongest signal yet to its business intelligence rivals that it intends to dominate the rapidly emerging market for business performance management (BPM) software.

First, the company announced that it is working on advancements in its Essbase XTD analytic engine to support what the company calls "integrated BPM". Essbase is a multidimensional query and analysis engine that Hyperion gained from its purchase of OLAP specialist Arbor Software in 1998.

In two separate announcements, Hyperion also announced new versions of its four packaged applications that comprise its BPM Suite as well as its intent to buy Alcar Group Inc, a privately held financial modeling solutions company.

Officials at Sunnyvale, California-based Hyperion say that the new version of Essbase XTD will provide enhanced performance management reporting capabilities, hybrid analysis capabilities for simultaneous analysis of relational and OLAP data structures, enhanced scalability through connection pooling, database clustering, loadbalancing and failover, and an extended set of APIs and drag-and drop components for rapid application development.

Hyperion also unveiled version 3 of its four packaged applications--Planning, Financial Management, Performance Scorecard, and Business Modeling--that collectively make up its BPM Suite. The new versions feature enhanced process support, robust collaboration capabilities, and tighter integration across the four applications. For example, support for cascading plans and scorecards allows for the linking of high-level corporate strategy to individual performance. A model-linking function captures cross-departmental dependencies to support enterprise-wide processes such as consolidated demand plans. All four applications are now designed on a consistent UI and support singlesign capabilities.

Hyperion followed up by releasing details of its intent to buy Alcar Group, a pioneering financial modeling software solutions and consultancy firm. Alcar's solution provides a software framework for analyzing and modeling the financial impact of business decisions, such as mergers and acquisitions, divestitures, and capital allocations. The purchase will help Hyperion to embed best practice financial and operational modeling capabilities into its BPM Suite. For example, users of Hyperion's Strategic Finance product will be able to analyze and model the balance sheet and cash flow projections of a proposed merger or acquisition in the same BPM environment used for financial planning, budgeting, and reporting.

Prior to the acquisition, both companies had worked closely together as partners for seven years. The financial terms of the deal, which is expected to close in the next few weeks, were not disclosed. Founded in 1979 by two value-based management thought leaders, Alcar has around 40 employees and is headquartered in Skokie, Illinois. The company claims around 200 customers. Hyperion says all Alcar's employees with be retained.
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Publication:MarketWatch: Business Intelligence
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 27, 2003
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