It was just announced a few days ago that PerformancePoint Server will not longer exist as a stand-alone product. It's functionality will be integrated into Microsoft Office SharePoint Server. Exact details and the reasoning behind this are described below in the SharePoint Senior PM blog entry:

What is being announced?

As part of this vision, and feedback from a wide variety of customers, PerformancePoint scorecarding and dashboarding capabilities will now become part of SharePoint Enterprise CAL and available to customers who are on SharePoint SA. This means that customers who want to deploy PerformancePoint can do so today at no additional cost. 

In mid 2009, we will release PerformancePoint Server 2007 “service pack 3” which will include updates to the current product’s planning module. Thereafter, customers should not expect further investment in standalone versions of PerformancePoint Server. However, we will continue to invest in a performance management platform and increased functionality through Excel, SharePoint and SQL Server to support broad-based performance management models and simulations. These changes enable customers to deploy a complete BI solution with existing investments in SharePoint Server, SQL Server, and Excel.

What does this mean for you?

Microsoft is removing the barriers for customers who want to deploy a complete Business Intelligence solution, leveraging their existing investments in SharePoint Server, SQL Server, and Excel. Customers with SharePoint ECAL SA will have rights to deploy PerformancePoint Server today. PerformancePoint’s scorecard capabilities are certified by the Balanced Scorecard Institute/Palladium, building on the capabilities first introduced in Business Scorecard Manager. This means companies can implement their scorecards, following any methodology they choose, and accurately reflect this with their company strategy. The contextual dashboards allow organizations to create data-rich views that are interactive and change based on the users context. Organizations can create rich views that combine Excel, Excel Services, SharePoint Lists, Reporting Services, Analysis Services, and relational information to accurately reflect the business, measure the right information, and quickly understand changes in real-time.

This capability augments the team-based KPIs in SharePoint today, and utilizes the Excel Services environment, already allowing customers to share and reuse their workbooks in personal dashboards across the organization.

What can you do today?

More information is available on http://www.microsoft.com/bi regarding this announcement; here are some links to specific product capabilities and how-to's, to help you get started. Now, there is no excuse to start rolling out a complete BI solution, one that you know will be utilized because it uses the technologies you know today, and works with the systems you are already familiar with.

More information is avalable on http://blogs.msdn.com/sharepoint/

(The article was originally posted on the German Language Swiss IT Professional and TechNet Blog by Stefan Hagenbuch)