Business Objects, a French $1.3 billion provider of business intelligence (BI) software, announced on April 23 that it was acquiring privately held Cartesis S.A. for $300 million. Cartesis, an enterprise performance management company, provides financial reporting, consolidations and planning capabilities, as well as a new governance, risk and compliance (GRC) portfolio. Cartesis, with annual revenues of $125 million, was founded in 1990 and has 1,300 customers worldwide. The acquisition comes less than a week after Oracle Corp. closed on its $3.3 billion for Hyperion Solutions.

"Overall, it's a good pickup for Business Objects," observes John Hagerty, vice president of research for AMR Research. With the Cartesis acquisition, "Business Objects has sent a clear signal that it's planning to grow–and remain independent rather than be acquired by the Oracles of the world," he adds.

Hagerty notes that a few years ago Business Objects had kicked the tires on Cartesis and a few other GRC vendors, but ended up buying SRC Software (which is now renamed Business Objects Planning). "At that point, Business Objects felt that to get [to] the CFO, it needed more about planning," Hagerty says. Now, Business Objects recognizes that the gap it must fill is in financial reporting and GRC space, he notes. "Especially on the risk side, we're seeing a lot more appetite from CFOs and companies–above and beyond the Sarbanes-Oxley compliance issues," Hagerty concludes.

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