Business intelligence vendors combine wares to gain federal users

With its recent acquisition of Crystal Decisions Inc., Business Objects S.A. plans to expand its sales of business intelligence products to the government.

Crystal Decisions of Palo Alto, Calif., is a maker of quickly deployable decision support software that can analyze data from multiple sources without using a full-fledged data warehouse. Meanwhile, Business Objects of San Jose, Calif., makes BusinessObjects Enterprise, which does in-depth data analyses and graphically shows the results on Web dashboards.

By selling both, Business Objects can pursue a broader range of government customers, said Greg Lorden, vice president of Business Objects' government group. Enterprisewide buying by both government and the private sector spurred the acquisition, settled this month for $1.2 billion, he said. Organizations are increasingly looking for a single product for intelligence reporting, he said.

The companies' installed base also is complementary in the government market. Business Objects has had success within the Defense Department, whereas Crystal Decisions' customers are mostly in civilian agencies, Lorden said.

Both had recent DOD sales. Business Objects in February won a deal to integrate its software into the department's Tricare health care system to track budgeting, forecasting and purchasing data. Crystal Decisions in April sold its software to the Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division to help unify multiple data sources into a knowledge management system.

Business Objects will keep the name Crystal Decisions as a product brand for the foreseeable future, Lorden said.

About the Author

Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.

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