Hyperion: Hitting Its Stride

With its acquisition of Brio complete, the company announces tentative product integration plans.

In less than four months, Hyperion Solutions Corp. has finalized its acquisition of Brio Software Inc. and announced tentative product integration plans, along with a roadmap of future product plans.

To top it all off, Hyperion last week began offering a new business performance management (BPM) dashboard that’s based on a mix of its own technologies and those from Brio.

Hyperion has already re-branded Brio’s existing product set, such that the former Brio Performance Suite 8 is now called Hyperion Performance Suite; the former Brio Intelligence became Hyperion Intelligence; the former Brio SQR is now known as Hyperion SQR; and Hyperion Metrics Builder is the current name of Brio Metrics Builder.

When Hyperion announced its acquisition of Brio this summer, many industry watchers said that on paper, at least, the match was a slam dunk, largely because there was so little overlap between the two companies’ products. According to Jesse Castillo, senior director of platform product strategy with Hyperion, that high degree of separation has simplified the tasks of integration and future product development for his company. “The product roadmaps for all of the current releases that were planned were essentially unaffected, so we are going forward with the products that we already had in the pipeline here, largely because they were so complementary,” he observes.

What that means, Castillo says, is that existing uses of Hyperion’s Essbase OLAP engine should expect the next major version of that product—Essbase 7.0—to ship in January, as promised. Brio users won’t be neglected, either: Hyperion will deliver Brio 8.2 in February, he pledges. Hyperion remains committed to delivering the next version of Hyperion Metrics Builder, nee Brio Metrics Builder, as well.

For the most part, Castillo says, Hyperion will continue to deliver solutions that are functionally similar to the products that Brio marketed. “We don’t have a need to beat a quick path to rationalizing the product set, [because] it fits together very, very well,” he says. “There are certainly aspects of each of the products that we’d like to see combined into the eventual vision, [which is] a single BI solution for query and analysis that makes it easy to deploy, manage and use the product.”

In terms of integration between the two product lines, Castillo says that Hyperion has already notched a few milestones. “We can already demonstrate some rudimentary level of integration, [such as] being able to deploy data from Essbase into the [Hyperion] Intelligence product, so that you can use the Hyperion Intelligence, the former Brio product, and expose data calculations from Essbase,” he says. “Or you can run a report from [the former Brio] SQR to call data that’s in Essbase, so there’s already some integration.”

In the near term, Hyperion will concentrate on providing a common installation experience across its own and the acquired Brio products, along with a common security model and single sign on capabilities, Castillo says.

One of the biggest questions that Brio users have about the acquisition is pricing. While reluctant to part with specifics, Castillo indicates that Hyperion’s pricing model will be largely similar to Brio’s own licensing terms. “We do have a single price list going forward. We try to avoid making any big changes, but there are some pricing models differences,” he comments.

In August, Hyperion announced that it would immediately begin reselling Brio’s products in advance of the formal completion of the acquisition (http://info.101com.com/default.asp?id=2754). This strategy allowed Hyperion to effectively jumpstart the integration process by providing its sales force with exposure to Brio’s product line. As a result, Castillo says that his company has integrated Brio’s development, sales, and marketing teams with its own.

Last month, Hyperion kicked off its Dare to Dashboard campaign, which offers customers a chance to test drive Hyperion Intelligence without cost or obligation. The company says customers can be up and running on a dashboard that provides them with key BPM information in two business days or less. “It’s a guarantee of getting a dashboard up in two days that’s actually delivering information of what the customer is looking for,” says Castillo, who notes that Hyperion representatives will oversee implementation of Dare to Dashboard, as well as meet with business executives to discuss key performance indicators and other information obtained as a result.

Aaron Zornes, a senior vice president of application delivery strategies with consultancy META Group, says that as far as he can tell, Hyperion is executing very well on the Brio acquisition. In particular, he notes, it appears to have won over that company’s user base, which is elated that financial troubled Brio is now on firm financial ground. “We found that users are overwhelmingly positive about this,” he comments. “The usual concern was the financial liability of Brio, which is no longer an issue, and they’ve basically been happy with what Hyperion has told them they’re doing to integrate the products. They’re just very, very happy.”

About the Author

Stephen Swoyer is a Nashville, TN-based freelance journalist who writes about technology.