Alliances Mark Progress in Business Intelligence

Progress Software (Bedford, Mass.), a supplier of application development, deployment and management software, will now be able to give its customers better access to data and business intelligence solutions thanks to a partnership formed with CorVu Corp. (Edina, Minn.). Though Progress’s 800 AS/400 customers do not comprise a large percentage of the company’s overall customer base at this time, the partnership with CorVu is expected to provide valuable business intelligence tools that will benefit a growing AS/400 customer segment.

For years, CorVu has provided business intelligence and Balanced Scorecard solutions for Progress Software users before both parties realized it would be in their best interest to form a partnership. Through this partnership, Progress and CorVu will coordinate efforts to integrate and support CorVu’s data analysis and business performance management solutions, and will cooperate in marketing and sales activities directed at Progress customers. This agreement, coupled with CorVu’s native interface with Progress RDBMS and plans to add a native interface to the Version 9 SQL engine, will offer Progress users a more complete business solution and the capability to make faster, more informed business decisions.

"It allows us to provide a more complete solution to customers," says Peter Moloney, product line manager of third-party products for Progress Software. "All corporations have reporting and business intelligence requirements. So, having strong solutions in this area makes the Progress-based applications that our partners build more valuable."

The partnership with CorVu was formed when Progress looked at the business intelligence field and saw there were two main features their customers needed when accessing and organizing data. The first was running reports on a regular basis, which was accomplished when Progress formed an alliance with Actuate Software Corp. (San Mateo, Calif.). Progress then turned its attention to customers who needed more spontaneous access to data and found that CorVu would provide fast and accurate information. "It’s a good tool for extracting data quickly and that’s what our customers needed," Moloney says.

Although CorVu and Actuate do not have a formal partnership, both are interchangeable when using Progress products. "These technologies complement each other to create a comprehensive business intelligence tool," Moloney adds.

Progress’s partnering activity has not been limited to CorVu. In late May, the company announced the selection of FutureLink Distribution Corp. (Calgary, Alberta) to provide application hosting and management services for Progress’s 2,000 ISVs and their estimated 5,000 Progress-based application solutions. According to the agreement, FutureLink will provide hosting services for applications developed by participating Progress ISVs, charging end-users on a per-seat monthly subscription basis.

For end users, the agreement with FutureLink is expected to present an alternative to procurement, implementation and management of Progress-based applications and provide a vehicle for controlling total cost of technology ownership.