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SAP Tabs Pilot For Analytics Flight

By Clint Boulton     Feedback

The applications giant buys Pilot Software to fortify its applications portfolio.

SAP  filled a gap in its analytic applications suite by buying Pilot Software, a privately-held company specializing in strategy management software.

Calling the deal a "tuck-in" acquisition, SAP said in a statement Pilot's assets will boost its ability to provide C-level executives with tools for managing employee and business process performance across an enterprise.

Pilot's chief application suite is PilotWorks, a software package that lets business employees in financial services, public retail and other industries manage strategies through goals, initiatives and metrics.

SAP said it expects PilotWorks will be integrated with its enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM) and supply chain management (SCM) applications. With further integration, PilotWorks will all be built on the SAP NetWeaver platform as a bonus for SAP customers.

SAP also expects to benefit from adding the company's 150 customers.

"Analytic applications that help organizations manage their performance effectively represent a strategic area of investment for SAP as we continue to expand our leadership in this market," Doug Merritt, SAP's executive vice president and general manager for Suite Optimization, said in a statement.

Terms of the deal were not made public. SAP expects Pilot Software employees will remain in the company's Mountain View, Calif., office as part of SAP Labs.

Using analytics applications to improve the way employees gauge, manage and maintain performance levels has been among the top priorities for enterprises in the last five years. This is because executives believe such tools can provide their businesses with competitive advantages.

Some experts feel analytics is the only part of the broader business intelligence market that has not been commoditized, but this could change in light of consolidation in the market.

Hyperion agreed to purchase predictive analytics vendor Decisioneering. Oracle bought Sigma Dynamics last August.

Microsoft bought ProClarity last April for its analytics server.

But Oracle could ultimately be SAP's biggest rival in analytics; Oracle, which just launched the third revision of its BI suite, has vowed to step up its BI offerings to compete.

This article was originally published on February 20, 2007
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