Microsoft’s vision for Business Intelligence has always been about pervasive access to information. Having more people access the right information enables smarter, timelier decisions, stronger collaboration on projects, facilitates accountability throughout the organization, and propels the company forward.
As part of this vision, PerformancePoint scorecarding and dashboarding capabilities will now become part of SharePoint Enterprise CAL and available to customers who are on SharePoint SA. This means that customers who want to deploy PerformancePoint can do so today at no additional cost.
In mid 2009, Microsoft will release PerformancePoint Server 2007 “service pack 3” which will include updates to the current product’s planning module. This change will enable customers to deploy a complete BI solution with existing investments in SharePoint Server, SQL Server, and Excel.
Whereas SharePoint is tremendously successful, Microsoft PerformancePoint never reached the BI for the masses stage. Not all organizations who license MOSS throw their non Microsoft BI solution overboard tomorrow, but many will consider replacing existing solutions overtime with PerformancePoint. At the same time there will be a huge boost in favor of Microsoft for new, to be developed solutions.
The downside of the move is that some essential parts of the BI Microsoft stack are eliminated. Ask every user who used the ProClarity Desktop Professional and he or she will tell you it is one of the best clients for the BI professional business user. Although Microsoft always had in mind to "kill" ProClarity's "fat" client, Excel is not the answer for many Enterprise BI solutions.
The desktop solution has been one an essential piece of the puzzle winning deals. If that functionality does not come back into Microsoft’s new BI roadmap, it opens the door for the competition to deliver BI in the Enterprise space.