WebFOCUS: the great unknown
WebFOCUS is the BI solution from Information Builders. It’s used in very large organizations, but it’s also a relatively unknown product in the BI market, unfortunately.
Information Builders claims to have one solution for your entire organization with WebFOCUS and focuses on self-service BI with a highly scalable product. There is, according to Information Builders, deep integration with Office and other office-like products.
Information Builders distinguishes two target groups
- Information specialist: This type of user has tools available to set up and manage the BI environment as well as possible.
- Information Consumers: This type of user does not need to use tools, but has so-called ‘InfoApps’.
WebFOCUS closes the gap between BI and its users
According to the supplier, WebFOCUS closes the gap between the users that are presented with tools, and the apps that they are actually used to. This is unique in the market. The only question is whether the claims of the supplier will be confirmed in our research. The answer is: partly.
The WebFOCUS BI environment consists of several products
WebFOCUS was originally an organization with a background in database environments. This is easy to see in the product range they offer. They are very strong when it comes to linking different platforms, database, and application environments. Certainly, (legacy) environments are easily unlocked with this solution. They are unique in this aspect.
Review of WebFOCUS in our survey (partial results)
- Infrastructure & architecture
- Cloud architecture
- Core Functionality
- Usability and visualization
- Mobile Business Intelligence
"One of the first companies in the BI world to adopt the web as their delivery mechanism and now after many years of development has a very nice, though not very well known product. IBI like SAS is still privately owned and there have been rumours for years that they will be bought out by one of the large companies who want to establish themselves in the BI market." Read more in our 100% vendor independent BI Tools Survey.
iWay: the solution to link all environments
The solution that combines all environments together is called iWay. This product is based on the WebFOCUS product and ensures that all platforms, data warehouses, and applications can be integrated.
Master data management is very well developed
If Master Data Management (MDM) is important to your organization, this product is definitely worth considering. It’s seen as one of the leading products in the MDM area. By making use of iWay and WebFOCUS, large parts of the metadata are filled and stored almost automatically. It is therefore a great solution if you’re using a lot of legacy systems.
What are the main benefits of WebFOCUS BI?
The most frequently mentioned benefits of WebFOCUS and iWay are:
- They can connect with a lot of platforms, databases, and application environments, including legacy systems.
- They have powerful solutions in certain markets that are implemented a lot.
- Information Builders is strongly committed to its new product, InfoApps, which is a modern tool for “data discovery” and “dashboard creation“.
- With iWay they have a premier solution when it comes to master data management.
- WebFOCUS is strongly present in organizations with more than 100,000 employees.
What should you look out for when purchasing WebFOCUS BI?
Even the best solutions have downsides. The most important ones are:
- The environment is only suitable for large organizations with (a lot) legacy systems.
- The new product InfoApps is completely independent from WebFOCUS and that’s odd. The sale of the new product focuses on existing customers.
- Information Builders claims to have a solution with a very good self-service BI solution. Compared to other players on the market, that claim can only be partly realized.
- They score relatively low on self-service BI and usability, even though they highlight these aspects themselves.
- Information Builders does not promote their products widely, so the company is relatively unknown to the average user.
Information Builders as a supplier
Information Builders was founded in 1975 as a database supplier for the mainframe environment. The database was known as FOCUS. With the transition to a client-server architecture they actually completely missed the boat. They were one of the first to focus on the internet, which proved to be brilliant move. With their different BI products, they are now back at the top of the market, where they experienced the most successful year to date in 2013.
Information Builders is one of the largest intelligence vendors that is not listed yet and they’re now focusing entirely on providing Enterprise BI solutions within very large organizations, often with legacy environments. For that reason, they’re strongly represented within the finance and telecom markets.
WebFOCUS is relatively unknown
Because they only serve very large enterprises, they are relatively unknown in the market. The product offerings and customers fit well with other major vendors such as IBM Cognos, SAS Institute, SAP Business Objects, and Oracle BI.
Want to know more about how Information Builders compares to other suppliers, please check out the Passionned Parabola for BI & Analytics, where you can see where Information Builders finds itself, at a glance.
Want to purchase BI platform or make a better choice?
WebFOCUS is a wide Enterprise BI tool that can unlock many different platforms, databases, and applications. It is increasingly important to quickly unlock the right information and to record the data definitions properly in a Master Data Management solution.
If you intend to take major steps with WebFOCUS, or to purchase large quantities of licenses, and you want to make the right decision in this, please contact one of our specialists. They can advise you on the best choice for your situation.
Information Builders compared to other BI tools
If you’re considering purchasing WebFOCUS or other products, it’s important to form a balanced judgment. Passionned Group has done more than 10 years of research into the BI market with its Business Intelligence Tools Survey 2018. This study compares the different solutions on more than 190 issues. The survey can now be ordered directly online.
WebFOCUS and iWay expertise
Are you planning to unlock several new sources, to manufacture more InfoApps, or roll out new tooling, then it might be wise to hire additional expertise. An expert that accelerates your project with the right knowledge, that helps you to avoid pitfalls, or helps you organize Master Data Management properly for your organization.
The WebFOCUS and iWay experts are ready to help you put your BI solution together even more effectively.
Want to learn more about Information Builders and BI?
Please contact us if you think you need to take the next step in the field of BI and Master Data Management.