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Business intelligence software is a lot like the Wild West: the quickest draw often wins.
That's why Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL ) goes out of its way to push the performance of its business intelligence platform at every opportunity. For example, that software just received a communications industry certification by the TM Forum, but spent more time in the press release talking about how blindingly fast its Exadata machines running a top-to-bottom integrated solution can churn through its data analysis.
The Exadata boxes reportedly complete test runs eight times faster than "previous tests," but further data on what percent of that is related to superior hardware in new Exadata boxes and better software is lacking. Either way, the business advantages of quick handling seem obvious enough: "Accrued business benefits include near real-time network and Usage Detail Records analysis, product contribution and revenue forecasting, customer churn profiling and scoring on the fly."
For Oracle as well as data warehousing and business intelligence rivals Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT ) , IBM (NYSE: IBM ) , and SAP (NYSE: SAP ) , speed is becoming a key sales pitch to data driven companies looking to spot patterns and take action on trends faster.
That sounds a lot like the benefits of working with the "two-second Advantage" analysis tools you'd get from Tibco Software (Nasdaq: TIBX ) . I felt compelled to ask that company whether this is anything Tibco worries about. Answer: not so much.
"This is not something that our Telco customers have asked for, but if they did TIBCO would investigate the certification and pursue as required by customers," said a Tibco spokeswoman. The communications industry is important to Tibco and nobody does platform-independent data models quite like Tibco does. Certifications may sound nice but mean very little.
Furthermore, even an ultra-quick database model still relies on relatively sluggish disk systems and would be hard pressed to keep pace with the in-memory data model Tibco espouses. Until Oracle compares its data analysis products to IBM's bundled Cognos solutions or Tibco's Information Bus, I wouldn't get too excited about a fast database system for business intelligence workloads.
If that sounds too technical, consider this: Tibco's message is being heard on Wall Street these days and the stock has nearly doubled over the last 12 months. This would be a fine time to understand the company better, in case you missed it when I named Tibco the best tech stock for 2010.
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