In the April 2019 update to Power BI Desktop, one of the enhancements was a new connector for Solver BI360, a corporate performance management suite. The connector offers BI360 cloud customers to pre-built to bring financial, budget, and other operational data to Power BI for use in reports and dashboards.

The connector itself was several months in the making, Solver CEO Nils Rasmussen told MSDW in a new interview. As he explained it, Microsoft's success in growing Power BI has created more opportunities for ISV partners like Solver, but it has also introduced new challenges as more organizations raise their expectations around BI capabilities like authoring of dashboards and lowering costs.

As BI and reporting software buyers, including BI360 customers, have invested in solutions like Power BI and top competitors, the dashboarding tools that smaller vendors like Solver had built in years past started to lose their attractiveness. Solver made the decision about three years ago to deprioritize their own web dashboard module in favor of Power BI and to focus on their own more specialized financial reporting, consolidations, budgeting, and data warehousing solution.

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Betting on Power BI felt like a risky decision three years ago, Rasmussen said. At the time, Power BI's future as a cloud-based solution was still uncertain. As it has gained market share and has converted more organizations, including SMBs, into believers, the overall impact is positive for Solver as a Corporate Performance Management (CPM) vendor. He explains:

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