Hyperion Takes OLAP to the Web

It seems more vendors are looking to integrate OLAP technologies with their own solutions. OLAP kingpin Hyperion Solutions Corp. (www.hyperion.com), in particular, recently partnered with purveyors of data mining and data mart solutions. Thanks to a series of agreements with Engage Technology Inc. (www.engage.com ) and WebTrends Corp. (www.webtrends.com), Hyperion now plans to bring OLAP to the Web.

Engage is a provider of online marketing solutions, and WebTrends is an organization that specializes in Web site statistical reporting.

Hyperion plans to combine its new e-Business Analysis Suite with Engage’s Profile Server, a dynamic audience profiling application that provides services for online marketers. The OLAP specialist plans to integrate its Essbase OLAP Server and Wired for OLAP products with WebTrends' CommerceTrends eBusiness intelligence solution, which is a Web-based data warehousing technology. 

According to Dan Druker, general manager of Hyperion’s new e-business division, it’s no longer sufficient for online companies to simply log Web site clicks or collect information about customers. In today's environment e-businesses need to combine reports and other statistical information with the detailed analytical capabilities provided by an OLAP solution.

"What’s been happening in the market is that e-business initiatives used to be valued by the number of clicks that people were getting, but now the stock market and the board of investors are starting to demand that companies show accountability for their e-business initiatives in financial terms," Druker says.

And it’s in the area of accountability that OLAP technologies enter the picture, says Mike Schiff, director of data warehousing strategies at Current Analysis Inc. (www.currentanalysis.com).

"The bottom line to these agreements is that while in the past people may have been satisfied with or accustomed to simple query or reporting solutions, now they want to drill down and do advanced analysis or do other things that only an OLAP solution can provide," Schiff says.

In the case of his company’s partnership with Engage, Hyperion’s Druker expects the combination of the two companies’ efforts to result in a solution that will help e-businesses get a better handle on customer behavior, assist e-business marketing organizations by better tailoring marketing campaigns for customers, and provide superior overall customer service. Through Hyperion’s partnership with WebTrends, Druker says the combination of his company’s OLAP technologies with WebTrends’ reporting software will produce a combined solution that can capture, analyze, and understand the behavior of Web site visitors.

According to Glen Boyd, president and CTO of WebTrends, the partnership with Hyperion represents a marriage of traditionally Web-oriented data reporting technologies with business intelligence and analytical software.

"Our partnership with Hyperion enables us to deliver to our customers the most powerful set of proven technology available in the market today for Web data integration and eBusiness Intelligence," Boyd says.

Hyperion’s recent partnerships with both Engage and WebTrends were cemented under the auspices of its new e-business division. Current Analysis’ Schiff sees this as an important point, primarily because it illustrates that Hyperion isn’t forsaking its bread-and-butter tools business in the pursuit of e-business fortune and glory.

"The important thing here is that they’re not abandoning their tools business. They’re growing their solutions business -- they’re going after both ends of the spectrum," Schiff says. "And since this is in a separate division, it tends to minimize channel contention."