Reporting Services and PerformancePoint Services are primarily tools which help IT deliver reporting and dashboards to the business. While this model can work we often hear that neither party is happy in this arrangement. The business want to be in a position to turn around their own reporting requirements quickly if they need to, without a formal internal request process. IT want to focus on the core application support activity and planned new project work rather than 'firefighting' the latest specific reporting request.
FluenceXL delivers managed self service reporting where IT is typically responsible for the data warehouse and cubes, for performance and data integrity, and the business is in control of their reporting and dashboard requirements. FluenceXL requires no programming or query syntax knowledge, and can readily be picked up by business users already familiar with Excel. In many cases we have also seen IT teams choose FluenceXL because of the lengthy report development time which can be associated with building non-trivial reports in Reporting Services, or due to a lack of flexibility in Performance Point.
For web delivery of interactive Excel reports and dashboards, FluenceXL Web is a standalone solution, and as such can be an alternative to SharePoint BI for many customers. The benefits are one consistent development environment for formal reports, dashboards and analysis, and a much more straightforward setup and architecture.
FluenceXL can also integrate very tightly with SharePoint and many of our customers use it this way. For the Standard Edition of SharePoint it provides a way to deliver BI solutions on the web, and for Enterprise Edition it offers a richer and consistent development environment.