Charles Phillips, president of Oracle, said the company's $3.3 billion (£1.7bn) acquisition of Hyperion will add critical analytical applications to its line of business intelligence (BI) products.

"We weren't very strong in planning and budgeting," he acknowledged. "We had a small product there that had not done well."

Oracle agreed to buy the BI tools vendor last week. The deal is expected to close in April.

Phillips noted that the analytical tools gained through Oracle's acquisition of Siebel Systems early last year will remain the centrepiece of Oracle's enterprise BI offering.

The Hyperion deal is the latest in a string of 28 acquisitions by Oracle since the start of 2005.

Hyperion said that about 12,000 customers use its software and that it employs about 2,500 workers spread over 20 countries. The company reported revenue of $765.2 million for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2006.

David Mitchell, an analyst at consultancy Ovum, noted that Oracle has been trying to build out its own BI business, but its strategy and product offerings have been focused primarily on customers of its own software.

"Adding Hyperion to the family makes it a best-of-breed player rather than just focusing on the traditional Oracle customer base," he said.

Phillips said that adding the Hyperion financial analysis software to the Oracle product line will provide it with better access to corporate chief financial officers (CFOs). As a result, Oracle will be able to push "a lot of other applications and tools into the CFO's office – mainly compliance and governance [software] that the CFO drives," he said.

In addition, Phillips noted that because "thousands of SAP customers close their books with Hyperion products," the deal helps to further Oracle's goal of inserting its products into enterprises that may be using SAP, he added.

However, Mitchell said he doubts that the Oracle acquisition will make much difference to SAP, noting that companies make big investments in their ERP software and don't switch vendors lightly.