When Oracle Corp. acquired Hyperion in March of 2007, suitors began sizing up other major business intelligence companies as merger material--whipping up an acquisition frenzy that continued through the year with SAP AG leading Business Objects to the altar and IBM Corp. landing Cognos. By year's end, SAS Institute Inc. was the only major independent BI company without a partner, and happily so, management says, coyly--repeating protestations by Hyperion, Business Objects and Cognos before they were snatched up.
While it was immediately clear that the rapid-fire buyouts would forever alter the BI landscape, several questions were left up in the air. Would BI sales continue to grow in the U.S. and abroad? How would the vendors split up the market? Would this be the end of best-of-breeds? And would SAS remain independent?