Toronto-based business intelligence (BI) vendor Panorama Software Ltd. released the latest iteration of its flagship suite of Web-enabled BI software that now includes integration with Microsoft Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010 as well as native connectivity to an in-memory engine.


The company’s CEO Eynav Azarya said companies are increasingly expressing interest in document collaboration tools like Microsoft SharePoint as a central location for managing office apps. “It was critical for us to also bring the business intelligence data to sit in the same place where people look at unstructured data,” said Azarya.


Providing that data flow between NovaView 6.2 and productivity apps, said Azarya, recognizes that such apps can co-exist with BI software. “We believe Excel is part of a BI story” and not a competitor as other BI vendors might perceive it, said Azarya.


The software’s connectivity to various data sources, be it Oracle or Microsoft, is essential given that employees want to be able to access data without dependency on any particular platform, said Michelle Warren, founder and president of Toronto-based MW Research & Consulting. “Increasingly, we need heterogeneous, not homogeneous solutions,” said Warren.


However, Warren notes that there may be some coding that must be amended before that can happen seamlessly.


In particular, Warren thinks Panorama’s recognition of Excel as a component of an organization’s BI approach is on track. “More and more office employees and departments are using Excel as the main program in which to manage data, to link up the pivot tables, to produce graphs, to transfer the information into PowerPoint and into Word,” said Warren.


NovaView 6.2 also runs atop PowerPivot, Microsoft’s in-memory engine formerly known as Project Gemini. Azarya thinks the addition of PowerPivot in every Excel and SharePoint license will let users take advantage of the engine on their desktops to connect to various data sources and create data models.


“Microsoft recognized that in-memory is an enabling technology to all BI to go to the masses,” said Azarya.


NovaView 6.2 also offers connectivity to Oracle databases, among others, by way of “smart algorithms that can aid smart modeling,” said Azarya. “The business user can open the browser and point to any database … automatically model it for them.”

Panorama’s focus on sectors like health care, financial services, media and retail, according to Warren, holds potential for widespread adoption given businesses in these industries rely heavily on comprehensive BI tools that allow access by multiple users.

Follow Kathleen Lau on Twitter: @KathleenLau

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