Hyperion's challenge: Convince users it's growing

At its Solutions 2001 conference in Orlando this week, Hyperion Solutions Corp. must convince users that it's continuing to evolve its product into a Web-based tool capable of more sophisticated business analysis than it previously could handle, said analysts.

This is more necessary than ever for the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based data management software maker, which, in the face of flat revenue and a tough market, has been trying to expand its business.

While Hyperion has traditionally offered general-ledger analysis tools, lately it has been shaping its product line to handle Web-based customer relationship management and enterprise resource planning activities as well, said Henry Morris, an analyst at IDC in Framingham, Mass. But it has tough competition, including Microsoft Corp., which bundles a similar tool into its SQL Server database product.

Among the users Hyperion is reaching out to is Staples Inc., the Framingham, Mass.-based office supply retailer, which uses Hyperion's Essbase online processing application to create budgets and analyze its distribution and marketing operations.

Dick Howell, a financial systems director at Staples, said he plans to find out whether Hyperion will be able to expand Essbase's scalability to keep up with the firm's rapid growth. Currently, Staples generates Essbase financial reports in hard copy; the company would also like to establish an interactive Web interface to the data for remote access.

Steve Whaley, director of financial accounting at Dallas-based Southwest Airlines Co., said he's interested in learning more about using Hyperion's Integration Server to connect Essbase to relational databases for financial data queries.

Southwest now uses Hyperion's products to handle financial reporting and budgeting and revenue analysis. "We're definitely interested in the Web, but we're still new to Hyperion's products," he said.

This story, "Hyperion's challenge: Convince users it's growing" was originally published by Computerworld.

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