A Look Back at the OLAP Market

The OLAP market share numbers for 2000 are in and -- not surprisingly -- more than a few feathers have been ruffled.

After another year of steady growth in the OLAP space, Hyperion Solutions still emerges at the top of the list, holding about 22 percent of the overall market share. This is the fourth year the company has taken home the gold, despite its slight loss in market share, so its position is nothing new. But for first-time silver medallist Cognos, celebrations should be in order.

Oracle had retained its second place standing since 1995, but this time around, the Redwood Shores giant was bumped out of its second place slot by Cognos, which took home nearly 13 percent of the market share.

Oracle was not only knocked out of the second place position, but was in fact bumped down to fourth place by its infamous rival, Microsoft Corp. Microsoft, which only arrived on the OLAP scene in 1998, made the most dramatic jump this year moving from fifth to third place, picking up four percent market share, and knocking down Oracle and MicroStrategy in the process.

Nigel Pendse, analyst and author of the OLAP Report, says Microsoft’s growth should be attributed to the large number of organizations buying SQL Server and deploying Analysis Services. The key, Pendse says, is that customers are not just treating Analysis Services like a free add-on to SQL Server -- although it is -- but are instead installing SQL Server to get the OLAP services.

Other notables include MicroStrategy, which lost its fourth place position to Microsoft this year, but has grown in market share every year since 1995 and still picked up over one percent in 2000. Business Objects, a company that has grown in market share every since it entered the OLAP market in 1996, bumped itself up by one percent in 2000 -- likely due to the company’s April 2000 acquisition of pure-OLAP vendor OLAP@Work.

 IBM kept its ninth place seed for another year, but lost part of its market share, dropping it down to about two and a half percent, right behind Applix, which retained its eight place rank for another year.

Overall, Pendse says, no one vendor rules the OLAP market space, despite the generous lead that Hyperion has over other contenders. And although Cognos overturned Oracle for the second place title in 2000, Pendse believes the company shouldn’t get too comfortable in that position, since it is likely to be claimed by Microsoft in 2001. –Alicia Costanza

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.