SAP Buys an EIS Pioneer

SAP just purchased Pilot Software, which first came out with an executive information system (EIS) in 1986. I remember evaluating Pilot Lightship, a windows-based EIS solution, in 1992 or so. Then they had almost no discernable impact on mainstream BI for fifteen years, only to pop up recently as a “company to watch” according to Intelligent Enterprise.

They were a pioneer in the Balanced Scorecard space and it looks like they have developed some deep expertise in that area, notably in features to support “real-world” implementations, in all their complexity. For example, they support delegated collection of metrics for KPIs that can’t easily be sourced automatically from internal systems, and support for initiative prioritization with complex relationships between initiatives and metrics.

Performance managment is more developed in the public sector than in commercial organizations, because they have to track more objectives than just profit. It’s therefore no surprise that Pilot’s solutions are heavily oriented towards this area.