Hyperion Solutions acquires UpStream Software

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Hyperion Solutions acquires UpStream Software

In an acquisition greeted positively by analysts and users,
Hyperion Solutions announced it is acquiring privately-held Upstream
Software
.

Hyperion_logoUpStream’s product, called WebLink DM, provides “a data
readiness and guided workflow application that is used to track the movement of
financial information from source to report.” (Quote from   Hyperion’s press release of April 20, 2006

What does that mean? Sometimes concepts do not lend
themselves to easy classification and may be difficult to get the market’s
attention. The product enables data integration and data quality processes to
move data between applications and to track any flow and changes to the data. 

Upstream_logoSo far, it sounds like Extract, Transform and Load (ETL)
tool. This is where it gets more complex. ETL is a general capability that is
offered in many tools, but what we have here is more of an application that
manages the data integration workflow and data quality processes. It works with
financial data (current application not a design limitation) including
Hyperion’s financial and business performance management (BPM)
applications. So it tracks and manages
data movement from the data sources to reporting. This sounds like just what
the market is demanding in financial transparency and the government with
Sarbanes-Oxley.

This product illustrates that data quality is much more than
cleansing name and address data. The latter is a great capability, but it
greatly limits the scope of what data quality is all about. Data quality needs
to address the numbers that business people use in monitoring their businesses
and making decisions. Data quality is not a one-time conversion or cleansing
operation, but involves managing and tracking what happens to the data from
creation (data sources) to consumption (reporting and analytics.) Data quality
is a process that is ongoing and needs to be measured just as key business
indicators (KPIs) are measured by the business. And the financial area, both
Hyperion’s and UpStream’s “sweet” spot, is just the corporate function that can
provide business justification to build those processes into data integration
and data quality.

UpStream was a Hyperion preferred partner since 2002 and its
approximately 200 customers are also Hyperion customers. The acquisition
appears to look like a “no brainer.” The product that should blend in well with
Hyperion and they’ve got a common customer base. Also,  UpStream is pretty small (less than fifty people
is what I hear), so the organization and people portion of the acquisition should
be relatively easy (as acquisitions go.)

Although much larger acquisitions usually get most of the
attention, smaller targeted acquisitions by software companies are a great way
to pick-up product and people expertise. And it is a bonus when the acquired
company has an installed base of customers.

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