What does Microsoft’s recent announcement of its desire to bring “BI to the masses” mean to your organization? Our BI offering will now include Office SharePoint Server and several new services. PerformancePoint Services is perhaps the largest offering and Excel Services, Access Services and Visio Services add power and abilities to the new SharePoint Server BI offerings.

A hidden but significant advantage is the multiple services offered with Office SharePoint Server will reduce the total cost of ownership (TCO) for organizations working with business intelligence. Organizations need and want to store data that represents their key business processes so they can organize this data and then share it and leverage it. Office SharePoint Server offers these capabilities and many more, with the addition of the new services

PerformancePoint Services for SharePoint is becoming easier to use and maintain as a service for SharePoint Server.  Many of the PerformancePoint Monitoring Server capabilities and functions will be expanded and improved, including scorecards, dashboards, and analytical capacity.

Microsoft plans to incorporate the SQL Server Gemini analysis capability into Excel and Excel Services to facilitate analyzing data and creating reports.  This is a low-cost way of expand Excel business intelligence functions. Organizations will be able to save money on TCO in BI. Excel is already one of the most commonly used software packages in the world. Many of the BI products have an “export to Excel” function that users can apply to get the complex data into a user-friendly application.

Check out the current Office SharePoint Server documentation on business intelligence on TechNet. Also in TechNet, see the article Microsoft business intelligence stack overview for the current BI offering.