When I was a product manager in Redmond, our team focused on the area of BI and scorecards typically referred to by the marketing term “Enterprise Performance Management” (EPM). This is the space currently led by Hyperion, Cognos and Business Objects (now Oracle, IBM & SAP, respectively) . Gartner refers to the space as Corporate Performance Management.
No matter what you call it, the intent of this solution space is to provide a way to measure your business using key performance indicators (KPIs), strategic measurable objectives and balanced scorecards.
When I was PM in 2008, PerformancePoint was a stand-alone tool that was going to provide the planning, measuring and presentation of these dashboards. Now with SQL Server 2008 R2 and SharePoint 2010, the strategic direction of EPM with PerformancePoint Server has changed. Much of the functionality of building balanced scorecards and dashboards resides in SharePoint.
That being said, I wrote a piece on using PPS (PerformancePoint Server) as an easy-to-use business-user tool that allows you to build dashboards of pre-built cube in SSAS. Since PPS is geered not toward DBAs or developers, but toward business user personas, this allows the business to build reports in balanced scorecard fashion, publish the dashboards on SharePoint, while utilizing a cube that was built by IT in SQL Server Analysis Services.