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Hyperion CEO sees market shift in business intelligence

All business intelligence software vendors will seek to integrate their reporting tools with financial planning applications, predicted Godfrey Sullivan, CEO of Hyperion Solutions on Thursday.

Hyperion reported second quarter results on Thursday with revenues rising five percent to $185 million and net income at $15.5 million, about the same as the same period last year. Sullivan said fifty percent of the company's license revenue came from System 9, a "business performance management" (BPM) suite that combines the company's financial applications with its reporting and analysis tools.

The results disappointed some investors and financial analysts; Pacific Growth Equities, for example, downgraded the stock. But Sullivan said that the company's license growth fueled by System 9 points to an overall market shift from business intelligence (BI) to business performance management (BPM).

"I believe that that BPM is the future of BI," Sullivan said in an interview with CNET "BI historically has been just been good old-fashioned reporting with little analysis thrown in. But customers really want more now -- modeling, planning, metrics, financial integrity in terms of reporting."

Business intelligence is one area that business customers have consistently spent money on with the goal of giving employees tools to analyze corporate data and make better decisions.

There are a number of specialized providers in the market, including Hyperion, Cognos, Business Objects and SAS as well as larger companies IBM, Oracle and Microsoft.

Some financial analysts have recommended that IBM acquire a business intelligence vendor to boost its efforts there.

Sullivan said Hyperion's size and its status as a stand-alone business intelligence company in the face of ongoing industry consolidation is not a concern with its customers.

"We'd rather be an acquirer than an acquiree," Sullivan said, adding that company will be "opportunistic" and continue to make its own acquisitions.