A theme I will undoubtedly hit over and over is this difference between solutions and tools in Business Intelligence. To some, the BI market is entirely populated by tools vendors. If you say you sell a BI solution people will quite literally ask back "what kind of a tool is it?".
Of course the difference between a tool and a solution depends on your perspective. If you are a data analyst, a solution to your particular problem may be a superior tool to help you analyze data in flexible ways. However, if you are a business person looking for solutions to business problems, then a data analysis tool is clearly not a solution. It might be part of one, but much additional business knowledge must be used to turn it into a business solution. So when I use the term 'solution' I generally mean 'business solution' to a business problem for a business person to use, and specifically NOT a tool for a data analyst to use.
At Oco, this is a huge part of what we do. We add business value by facilitating cross-business-unit agreement on common definitions for business concepts, so that our reporting solution really addresses the needs of the business and is usable by business people. Our solution contains quite specialized knowledge about the business problem areas we address.
As an example of this, imagine you work for an equipment manufacturer. The equipment needs servicing, repair, preventative maintenance, and so forth. An important part of your business is revenue from this service business. Optimizing this business for profit, customer satisfaction and such is, naturally, important. So, you don't need a "BI tool". Rather, what you need is a system for understanding and optimizing the way you run this services business. To this point, Oco (with Aberdeen and Qualcomm) is having a webinar titled: Smart Business Intelligence Solutions For Optimizing Your Service Operations. Attend if you are in the equipment/service industry, or really want to understand the difference between a solution and a tool for BI. Once you start to appreciate the value of this embedded business value in a BI solution, you start to use the term "BI tool" rather pejoratively, as in "XYZ product is interesting, but it's just a tool".