The Aberdeen Group recently released its "Annual State of the Market Report," which it says resulted from five years of research and more than 2.5 million interviews. For the first time, the report includes a list of the 100 most influential technology vendors. As you might have expected, Microsoft was listed as the number one most influential vendor, with Oracle, SAP, IBM, and Cisco rounding out the top five.

What I was most excited to see is that business intelligence (BI) and analytics are considered to be top technology growth areas. According to the report, "This year the results from the 2008 Aberdeen Report indicate that mobility will take a back seat to business intelligence and analytics as the technology capabilities having the greatest impact over the next 3-5 years." For more information about the Aberdeen Group's "Annual State of the Market Report," go to http://www.aberdeen.com/2-0/campaigns/14-aberdeen-report-2008-landing-page.asp.

With BI and analytics becoming such hot topics in the market, it's smart for IT pros to learn all they can about Microsoft's BI products. For more information about Microsoft Office and Microsoft SharePoint technology, check out the following Windows IT Pro and SQL Server Magazine articles:

Get Past the Gaps in SharePoint

What's Next for the BI Market?

Getting to Know Office 2007

Outlook 2007 and SharePoint Synchronization: How It Really Works

Information Integration: SSRS and MOSS 2007

SSRS and MOSS 2007: Deploying the Power