SAP, HP to deepen ties around BI

SAP and its long-time partner Hewlett-Packard will announce plans next week to more closely link their technologies for BI (business intelligence) and data warehousing.

The companies plan to conduct joint development efforts resulting in tighter integration between HP's Neoview data warehousing appliance and SAP's NetWeaver Business Warehouse, according to Zia Yusuf, who heads SAP's global ecosystem and partner group. However, the work won't actually be completed until the latter half of 2010, he said.

BI is seen as one of the stronger-selling technologies amid the recession, as companies turn to analytics in search of competitive advantage. Competition among BI vendors has correspondingly heated up.

The joint SAP-HP announcement also follows Oracle's recent announcementthat the next version of its Exadata data warehousing appliance would use Sun hardware instead of HP's. Oracle is in the process of acquiring Sun for US$7.4 billion, but the deal is in limbo as European authorities conduct an antitrust probe.

Meanwhile, IBM announced a new database-scaling feature on Friday that one company executive dubbed an "Exadata killer."

But it would be unwise to read too much into SAP and HP's announcement, according to analyst Curt Monash.

"There are many DBMS/analytics vendor pairings like this for performance engineering," he said. "Microstrategy and SAS have been particularly active, followed by SAP and Business Objects."

In fact, SAP announced a similar co-development plan with data warehousing appliance vendor Teradata earlier this year.

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