PowerOLAP is a smaller niche player in the business intelligence marketplace. Despite the name, they have a breadth of product available in the CPM space as well.

It is the flagship product from Paris Technologies, based in PA. They have over 16 years experience in the BI realm. They have a few larger clients but they seem to be more concentrated in the small to mid-size market. Recently, they added a PowerAnalytics product that is designed to add-on for SAP business customers. Their software is not limited to SAP backends though. Any ODBC compliant database such as SQL, Oracle, or DB2 can be used.

The product name is a bit of a misnomer as it actually is much more than an OLAP engine. It encompasses reporting, planning , forecasting, and analysis. For companies looking for an “all-in-one” solution for planning and reporting, this could be a good choice. Integrating forecasting and reports in one system gives real-time visibility into activity. This is important during those hectic budget seasons. An interesting part of their technology is that you can choose the front-end, using a web browser, Excel, or even Xcelsius. This is key in cutting down a learning curve for users, as most customers are already familiar with those tools. Another area they emphasize is that they are a good replacement for PerformancePoint, as they can connect to Microsoft Analysis Services cubes and allow planning and forecasting against that data.

One area where PowerOLAP appears to be lacking is in the mobile and visualization space. There were no add-on pieces for generating iPad, iPhone, Blackberry or other mobile specific device functionality. For now, a 3rd party add-on would need to be utilized. Also, while they do offer reporting and analysis, the visualization and dashboard area is fairly underdeveloped. A third party tool would probably also be useful for that specific part of a BI system.

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