I am happy to share some insights on Infor based on our latest market Value Index research, which provides an analytic representation of our assessment of how well vendors’ offerings meet buyers’ requirements. The Ventana Research Value Index: Analytics and Business Intelligence 2019 is the distillation of a year of market and product research efforts by Ventana Research. We utilized a structured research methodology that includes evaluation categories designed to reflect the breadth of the real-world criteria incorporated in a request for proposal (RFP) and vendor selection process for analytics and business intelligence. We evaluated Infor and 14 other vendors in seven categories, five relevant to the product (adaptability, capability, manageability, reliability and usability) and two related to the vendor (TCO/ROI and vendor validation). To arrive at the Value Index rating for a given vendor, we weighted each category to reflect its relative importance in an RFP process, with the weightings based on our experience and data derived from our benchmark research on analytics and business intelligence.
Birst operates as an independent subsidiary of Infor. Infor’s backing provides a global presence and financial support that was not available to Birst prior to its 2017 acquisition. The Birst Enterprise architecture supports cloud or on-premises deployments and the data model is designed to access data from a variety of sources in a networked or virtualized approach. Its flexible deployment options and integration with business processes and applications allow organizations to incorporate analytics into varied line of business activities. Additional advanced analytics and collaboration capabilities would make the product an even stronger offering.
The strength of Birst’s Enterprise product is its breadth. The company scored well in many of the categories we evaluate and earned an overall ranking of fourth. Birst’s best rating was in Adaptability where it ranked first due to the product’s flexible deployment and configuration options. Birst Enterprise is designed to be easily integrated into the existing infrastructure, applications and processes. The company also ranked second in both Reliability and TCO/ROI. In terms of Capability, Birst Enterprise ranked fifth overall with comprehensive functionality across many of the areas evaluated.
The category in which Birst ranked lowest is Usability where it placed ninth. Some improvements and modernization to the product’s user interface could help improve its performance here. The company can also improve usability for executives and IT personas. In the Capability category, while Birst was ranked highly, Enterprise lags behind other offerings in advanced analytics capabilities as it relies on third-party integration with R for most of these functions.
This assessment was based on Birst Enterprise 5.31 which was the most recent version available at the end of August 2018. The company plans to announce a new version of the product on Jan. 31, 2019, which includes artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities that it calls “Smart Analytics.” Those features have not been considered in this assessment.
This research-based index is the most comprehensive assessment of the value of analytics and business intelligence software in the industry. You can learn more about Infor and others using our Value Index as an effective vendor selection and RFI/RFP tool; read the report here.
SVP & Research Director