Information Builders Targets Partners Of Acquired BI Vendors

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IBI said Wednesday that it hired Tom Rydz as vice president of channels, North America. Rydz previously held channel management positions at Sybase and Vitria Technology where he built systems integrator alliance programs and inked deals with ISVs as well as OEMs. Before that he worked in a number of positions at IBI in the 1980s and 1990s. Most recently he was a regional sales vice president with Princeton Softech, a data archiving system vendor, which was acquired by IBM in August. Rydz reports to sales vice president Monte Roy.

Until now IBI's fledgling channel operations were overseen by Bill Macy, who also managed the company's direct sales in the eastern U.S. Macy will now focus exclusively on direct sales, said Mike Corcoran, IBI's chief marketing officer.

Following Oracle's buyout of Hyperion in April and the pending acquisitions of Business Objects by SAP and Cognos by IBM, Information Builders will remain as one of the larger independent business intelligence software suppliers, along with such vendors as SAS Institute and MicroStrategy.

"With the continued consolidation in the market, we are seeing a surge of inquiries from potential partners as they reassess their competitive interests," Information Builders founder and CEO Gerald Cohen said in a statement.

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IBI has been doing market research to identify solution providers, particularly ISVs and regional systems integrators, currently allied with acquired and about-to-be-acquired business intelligence software companies that might be interested in moving into the IBI universe, Corcoran said. Some ISVs now working with Business Objects might be worried about overlap with SAP's applications, for example, while Cognos service provider and systems integrator partners might fear competition from IBM's Global Services division, he said.

SAP and IBM have both vowed to operate Business Objects and Cognos as relatively independent operations and maintain their technology independence.

After long emphasizing direct sales, IBI has recently been building up its roster of system integrator partners and ISVs for its WebFocus business intelligence software and iWay integration technology. "We see it as a major growth opportunity for the company," Corcoran said. While solution providers today play a role in about 15 percent to 17 percent of IBI's sales, Corcoran said that could eventually grow to 25 percent or 30 percent of sales.