KXEN Acquisition Deepens SAP Predictive Analytics and Widens to Business User

SAP doubled down on their recent foray into the predictive analytics space when they recently announced that they will acquire KXEN, a predictive analytics software vendor based in San Francisco.

This is significant in that it acknowledges that the relatively new SAP Predictive Analysis solution still had a ways to go in delivering on the promise of taking predictive more directly to the business user. Predictive Analytics and Data Mining have always occupied a rarefied spot in the corporate analytics portfolio, typically owned by statisticians and PhDs as opposed to analysts in finance, marketing, or operations. KXEN will enable SAP to truly deliver on the promise of enabling the business functions to own at least a portion of the organization’s predictive analytics capability.

KXEN, and its InfinateInsight offering, is focused on automating much of the complex and time consuming tasks in the end-to-end predictive analytics workflow. This workflow includes steps of data preparation, model building, scoring, and deploying. With over 500 customers across Telecom (COX, Vodaphone, Rogers, US Cellular), Financial Services (Wells Fargo, Discover, Barclays, ING) , Retail (Lowes, Walmart, Sears, TrueValue), and e-Business (Shutterfly, Overstock.com, CBS Interactive), KXEN brings a varied and significant stable of reference customers. You can find an excellent overview and demo here.

One other exciting thing is that KXEN is already in the cloud as a service. KXEN offers their solution on the salesforce.com appexchange, enabling organizations to gain customer insight by leveraging all the extensive CRM data and social profile data residing in salesforce.com. Look for SAP to quickly integrate this cloud capability into their own solutions.

SAP expect to close on the transaction by the end of the year. I suspect that it will quickly take a prominent place in the SAP analytics portfolio. There is breakthrough value here for organizations looking to quickly adopt predictive analytics as KXEN eliminates many of the existing barriers to entry.

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