August 29, 2012 – Database mainstay Quest Software is making its first direct foray into business intelligence with a new release into a growing market and under a proposed buyout from Dell.  

Toad Business Intelligence Suite consists of three tools: Toad Intelligence Central, a virtual data layer for collaboration via the other tools; Toad Data Point, an analytics tool that culls data from RDBMs, data warehouses, as well as cloud and in-house BI sources; and Toad Decision Point, focused on business data users for analysis and reporting connected to IT governance.

The kernel of creating BI software to tap into the database layer has been a few years in the making, and enterprise demands surrounding big data only piqued Quest’s interest to add analytics capabilities to the database environment, says John Whittaker, Quest senior marketing manager. Admittedly entering a crowded BI marketplace, Whittaker emphasized Toad BI’s role in the enterprise as complementary, adding flexibility to traditional monolithic BI players and integration to the self-service offerings and options.

Hanging over all of Quest is a $2.4 billion acquisition bid from Dell, awaiting closing conditions expected this quarter. Quest marketing officials said they could make no comment on anything regarding the proposed deal, though Dell has stated publicly that taking on all of Quest is part of a reconfigured approach on enterprise software.

Dell’s new emphasis on enterprise solutions – highlighted in a reorganized software division in February, as well as by deals for Quest and others – makes any connections or complications to the Toad BI offering hard to gauge, says Evan Quinn, senior principal analyst with Enterprise Strategy Group.

“Certainly Dell has a clearer commitment to software than at any other point in their history, and the types of licensees Quest brings to the table fit nicely into the Dell vision. That said, I don’t see Dell making its current Hadoop/Cloudera-partnered offering in big data go away due to Toad BI,” says Quinn.

Rather that compete with the plans of its probable future holding company in Dell, Quinn says Toad Business Intelligence will much more likely butt heads with BI offerings from Pentaho and, to a lesser extent, Informatica.

As far as the solution itself, Toad BI gives Quest an opportunity to bring on a pool of users quickly because of the “considerable” existing user community, as well as the number of business users and data analysts who already work alongside DBAs, Quinn says. Quinn says the range of databases and sources possible with Toad BI and its ease of integration with standing systems hold the possibility for a “straightforward onramp” into business data for new users.

The suite is available today at a cost of $1,295 per named user, with a minimum of five seats.