Deloitte is upping its hand in BI (business intelligence), announcing Monday that it has bought "substantially all" of the assets of SaaS (software as a service) analytics vendor Oco. Terms were not revealed.
Oco's capabilities include a series of preconfigured BI applications aimed at various functional areas, such as supplier evaluation, inventory performance and product profitability. It also has a range of tools for data extraction and integration, including a Data Exporter tool for SAP systems.
The vendor added a series of enterprise-friendly features in a product update last year, including support for multinational character sets, alerts that tell users in real time if a report they are viewing has become out of date due to new data entered in the system, and an integration with SAP's BusinessObjects BI OnDemand software.
Deloitte plans to use Oco's technologies in its managed analytics practice, giving it the ability to deliver projects that can be turned around quickly, yet still deliver specialization, according to a statement.
The deal is "very interesting" and ties into some current trends, according to Forrester Research analyst Boris Evelson.
"All leading management consultancies and systems integrators are putting BI at the top of their priority list," he said in a blog post Monday. "BI is all about software plus services. There's no such thing as plug and play' BI."
BI is therefore a good fit for any firm with software plus services offerings, "as demonstrated by IBM when it acquired PWC and Cognos, or HP when it acquired Knightsbridge and Vertica," he added.
Also, Deloitte rival Accenture made an analytics acquisition last year with the purchase of SaaS vendor CadenceQuest, Evelson noted.
SaaS BI remains a niche market but one that is growing fast in popularity, especially among smaller companies with not enough staff, time and money for on-premises deployments, Evelson said.
Remaining independent SaaS BI vendors -- and potential future acquisition targets -- include Birst and Pivotlink.
Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris's e-mail address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com