Deloitte acquires Software as a Service provider Oco

Consulting firm Deloitte has bought Oco, a vendor of Software as a Service BI tools, in a deal that one analyst said points to the fact that BI “is not just about plug-and-play.”

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Professional services provider Deloitte Inc., jumped into the BI market today with the acquisition of “substantially all of the assets” of Oco Inc., a Software as a Service (SaaS) provider for business intelligence (BI).

“More and more businesses are looking for both analysis and real insights gleaned from multiple sources without having to make significant investments in internal infrastructure and support,” Jane Griffin, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP and head of Deloitte analytics in the Americas, said in a statement.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

 

According to the press release, the acquisition will allow Deloitte, which already provides business intelligence services, to expand its offerings to include “an extended suite” of applications for reports, data discovery, data integration, data updates, data visualization and data warehousing, to name a few; solutions for mobile BI; and the ability to stay on top of internal trends through dashboards, key performance indicators, reports and alerts.

 “Delivering customer value is the foundation of what we have built at Oco,” said William Copacino, president and CEO of Oco, in a press release.

The acquisition, though, only confirms an ongoing trend one analyst has been keeping his eyes on for years.

“Business Intelligence is not just about ‘plug and play.’ You always need experts to not just install the software, but to customize that software as well,” said Boris Evelson, an analyst with Cambridge, Mass.-based Forrester Research Inc. “Software and services are really inseparable. That’s the trend we’re confirming with this acquisition.”

As evidence, Evelson pointed out that Deloitte isn’t the only service provider to expand its BI offerings recently. Last year, Accenture, a service provider, purchased CadenceQuest, another SaaS BI provider.

A move like this one provides Deloitte with a “solution accelerator,” according to Evelson who added that he considers Deloitte to be a tier one service provider.  In other words, Oco tools will help Deloitte differentiate the kinds of services it can bring to the table for current and potential customers.

Even so, Evelson said SaaS BI is still a niche market. However, he said, the convergence of software with services is growing, not simply in the BI market, but across the industry as well.

 

A closer look at the companies

Oco, founded in 1999 and headquartered in Waltham, Mass., specializes in SaaS services for business intelligence, data integration and data warehousing.

The prebuilt SaaS model enables Oco to provide services with “minimal capital investment” and “less IT distraction,” according to Oco’s website. The company lists Dunkin’ Brands, Welch’s, Casual Male Retail Group Ltd. and Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. as current customers.

 “As part of Deloitte, our practice will offer enhanced business analytics and rapid deployment capabilities that can empower our clients to gain new insights, change their business and help improve their bottom line,” Copacino said.

Most customers turn to Deloitte for audit and enterprise risk services, which includes financial services as well as data quality and even project risk management, to name a few; and consulting support.

Audit and enterprise risk services and consulting support are two of four core service areas provided by Deloitte, and they pulled in more than 75% of the company’s $10.94 billion in U.S. revenue in 2010 alone, up slightly from 71% of the $10.7 billion the previous year. Financial advisory services brought in the least U.S. revenue in 2008 and 2009, and continued to do so in 2010, while tax services brought in between 21% and 24% of U.S. revenue in the last three years.

 “This acquisition enhances our ability to help further an organization’s existing business analytics and data management strategy,” Griffin said. “We can help businesses realize faster time-to-value through more immediate access to critical business data from disparate sources.”

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