BI is a big opportunity for partners. Gartner recently released analysis of the BI market and found that spending on BI and analytics software had increased by 13.4 per cent in 2010. This is a huge jump, particularly considering the tight budgets worldwide at the moment.

Maybe the recession has played a part in the demand for BI. Companies need to be able to investigate their own operations and get a clear picture of what is working well and what isn’t. If a company is having to make tough calls about where they should invest their money, they need accurate information to base their decisions on. A good BI implementation can provide them with that insight into their numbers.

In the BI space, there are four major players fighting for this growth share. Microsoft is up there with SAP, Oracle and IBM. And remember, back in February, Gartner put Microsoft at the top of their magic quadrant in terms of ability to execute in BI.