Oracle and IBM are both moving in that direction as well, through partnerships or hosting the technology themselves.
IBM this week announced a corporate portal that connects users to office elements, resources, applications, and the unstructured content in which much of a company's knowledge resides.
Lotus publicized this week the first tangible offering from its knowledge management project, code-named Raven. The resulting product, K-Station, stores pieces of the decision-making process so they can be accessed using a hosting model.
Additionally, San Francisco-based corporate portal vendor Plumtree Software offers hosted BI tools through partnerships with Cognos, Business Objects, Microstrategy, and a deal with ASP USinternetworking. A Plumtree spokeswoman confirmed that the company plans to sign up more ASPs and at least one more BI vendor in the near future.
Analysts, in fact, say that the ASP model is ideal for data warehousing, and vendors are jumping into the fray.
"The outsourcing model will start to look more like banking as companies realize that information is a strategic asset and want to start managing it like they do their financial assets," said Doug Laney, a data-warehousing analystt at Meta Group in Stamford, Conn. "They'll look to some kind of host to protect it, store it, provide various levels of access, cleansing, and integration with other data."
Part of the value proposition of accessing business intelligence via the ASP model is that customers do not have to know about some of the technology that resides behind the scenes.