Nigel Pendse, leading OLAP and Business Intelligence analyst and author of the study comments: "Despite the consolidation in 2003, the market still remains relatively fragmented, with three of the top five vendors losing net market share in 2004, and the other two making modest gains. As the market matures, growth normally slows due to a degree of market saturation, but the 15.7% growth rate of 2004 demonstrates that sales of OLAP products are accelerating."
Results reveal that Microsoft continues to be the largest OLAP vendor, having widened its lead over Hyperion Solutions by grabbing extra market share during 2004. Its growth has largely been driven through low pricing and partners, with improved front-end tools increasing the attraction of the MS OLAP platform.
Hyperion, Cognos and Business Objects have not been growing as fast, with the previous market leader, Hyperion, losing valuable market share.
Hyperion's declining market position is the result of its acquisition of Brio Software, as the historical data for Brio was taken into account which indicated a steady fall in market share. This reduced Hyperion's overall market share trend. Similarly, Crystal's OLAP sales were very small and subsequently had little effect on Business Object's OLAP market share.
Cognos's acquisition of Frango was too late in 2004 to affect its market share.
MicroStrategy has recorded one of the fastest growth rates throughout 2004, which is testament to its successful financial transformation from its accounting perils of 2000/1. IBM, Oracle and SAP are all relatively weak in the OLAP market and despite its leading position in the mid 1990s, Oracle has continued to decline.
Vendors were ranked according to their worldwide market share. Analysis included OLAP server and client software, applications and OLAP consulting, whether performed by the software author or third-parties.
Pendse predicts that 2005 will also show strong growth: "Microsoft will continue to make further gains in 2005, boosted primarily by partner product enhancements, as the Yukon release of SQL Server won't be released until the end of the year which will have little impact on its 2005 market share.
MicroStrategy will continue to do well, propelled by its newly released version 8 software and SAP's OLAP share will increase based on the bundling of Business Information Warehouse as part of mySAP. Further market consolidation is inevitable and vendors will need to re-assess their market strategy in light of the Microsoft threat.