On December 5, Microsoft announced the public availability of a Community Technology Preview (CTP) test build of PerformancePoint Server 2007. PerformancePoint Server is a highly-integrated performance management application, driven by the SQL Server platform and familiar Microsoft Office front end, allowing corporations to monitor, analyze, plan and make critical business decisions based on reliable data from all aspects of the company. Partners, customers and end-users are encouraged to visit the Web site at to download the application to begin building plans in a real-world environment and testing the overall power of the product for themselves.
If you're not a KPI (key-performance-indicator) jockey, you probably haven't paid much attention to Microsoft's PerformancePoint. But here's why it matters, in the grander Microsoft scheme of things.
Almost all of Microsoft's recent talk about Office has centered around the desktop application suite. But Microsoft also is angling for Office to be a front-end to back-end business applications. That's why Microsoft announced the release of OBA RAP for Supply Chain Management. OBA RAP is the abbreviation for Office Business Application Reference Application Pack. An RAP is a set of technical resources and guidance to enable architects and developers to design and build solutions using a reference application. If you want to know all about OBA read the blog Office Business Applications: What is it, and how can I get started? of Erika Ehrli (Site Manager for the Office Developer Center).
Microsoft is expecting more OBA's from various third-party developers. OBA's are important to Microsoft because they provide yet another way to get Office entrenched in businesses. And via its related Line of Business Interoperability (LOBi) service, Microsoft is hoping to get SharePoint Server equally embedded inside corporate IT shops.
OBAs and LOBi are both part of Microsoft's overarching push to make Office more roles-based/verticalized. And it looks like Microsoft's planning a similar vertical — and horizontal — push with PerformancePoint Server, too.
Where is Office PerformancePoint heading for
Since Microsoft acquired ProClarity for its technology and its people, MS speeded up their entrance into the performance management space. Microsoft Business Scorecard Manager Server 2005 and ProClarity 6.2 where already often integrated as part of a customer solution. In the next picture I'll show you which areas the BSM and Proclarity are covering and at which areas OPS is aiming.
With Business Modeling, companies determine costs, capacity, activity levels and production volumes across the enterprise. Managers simulate, dynamically test, and compare alternate business scenarios and identify the optimal solution to maximize business performance and profitability.
Business Forecasting allows you to forecast your business needs. Define business scenarios and project your financial position. Manage your business, prepare detailed business forecasts including: sales, loans, salaries and investments.
Pervasive Analytics is used to support and improve the decision-making process. And making faster and better decisions, based on the speed and format at which data is collected, sorted by relevance, and delivered, is key to a company’s survival and ability to stay competitive.
Scorecarding / Dashboarding expands the reach of business intelligence and brings every employee into the performance management process through personalized Web-based scorecards.