A few words on BI Office: It’s a relatively young product which has been doing very well in professional surveys such as Gartner’s magic quadrant and BARC. In its essence, BI Office is a suite of tools using a strong and reliable MDX engine to query Microsoft Analysis Services data sources, either tabular or MOLAP. The product leverages Analysis Services as a semantic layer (Including the ability to model data sources from within BI Office and publish them to a tabular instance of SSAS), and uses patented, familiar, MS-Office-like front end to allow analysts and end users to query their data easily and effectively.
There are, obviously, some down sides to this approach. If you’re looking at PowerBI because of the attractive price-tag, adding in a Pyramid Analytics BI Office server and licenses might make the whole deal a little less attractive, for one. It also adds an extra tool to the already-overcrowded Microsoft solution: On top of SSRS, Datazen, PowerBI, Excel Services, and Power View, now there’s yet another front end tool to choose (BI Office), and this is a third-party software with a different interface. That’s another interface to teach to users, another repository to manage, another area in which to manage security, and so on. Tailoring the right solution for a Microsoft-based implementation becomes more complicated.
Contact Altis if you would like to learn more about how you could take advantage of either Microsoft’s BI offerings or Pyramid Analytics BI Office.