Companies in Asia warm to BI

update Business intelligence is gaining foothold in the region, as more companies adopt these tools to exploit their information assets more efficiently.

update SINGAPORE--Business intelligence (BI) is gaining foothold in the Asia-Pacific region as more companies adopt these tools to exploit their information assets more efficiently.

Speaking at a press briefing Tuesday, Ricky Kapur, general manager of business intelligence at Oracle Asia-Pacific, said the BI growth curve is the "highest in the Asia-Pacific region".

Kapur said: "Across the board, we certainly see a growing trend towards adopting BI as a way of driving business processing improvements, as well as a way of driving more take-up with the business audiences."

According to research house IDC, the BI and business process management (BPM) market in the Asia-Pacific region, excluding Japan, will reach US$670 million by 2010, and the market is expected to remain on the "fast-growth track" with a five-year (compound annual growth rate) CAGR of 12.9 percent.

Kapur said the growth of BI varies in different markets across the region, and while some markets in Asia-Pacific are "more mature [in the adoption of BI]", other markets are starting to catch on.

"We see more maturity in Australia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, [South] Korea, Singapore, and to some extent, Malaysia," he said. "Whereas other markets like China, India, Vietnam, Philippines [and] Thailand are at the earlier stages of the adoption curve and still on high growth [curve]."

Meanwhile, companies from industries including financial services, telecommunications, government and manufacturing, are ready to adopt BI in a pervasive manner, Kapur said, adding that some economies, however, are seeing "a lot of growth and interest in other areas".

For instance, he said, there is a lot of interest in India's retail sector as retailers are not just trying to improve their operation systems with BI, but are also "trying to leapfrog by building intelligence into the way they take products to market and how they handle their internal operations".

According to the IDC Asia-Pacific Semi-Annual Software Tracker, released in November last year, Australia accounted for the lion's share of revenues in the region's BI software market. The country registered revenues of US$138.6 million for 2006, while South Korea came in second place at US$59.4 million, followed closely by China at US$40 million.

Across industries, the banking sector, the communication and media sector as well as the government sector, were the top three contributors--accounting for more than a third of the BI software market for the first half of 2006, according to the IDC report.

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