The Boulder BI Brain Trust


WebFOCUS - A hidden treasure?

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I gotta say that I was surprised listening to the BBBT meeting with Information Builders. I tend to think of myself as somebody who is reasonable knowledgeable about tooling in the BI realm. Either I was wrong (nahh ;-)) or there is something going on with the message that is not conveyed properly.

To name a few with regard to IBI and WebFOCUS;

- IBI was founded in 1975 (35 years old - that almost as old as I am!)
- 12000 major customer sites, lots of vertical market propositions
- Coupling heterogenous sources
- Data integrity tooling (profiler, etc..)
- Complex Event Processing
- Realtime dashboard
- Performance Management (strategy maps, key metrics, etc..)
- Collaboration functionality
- RIA based BI application development (with AJAX controls)
- Predictive analytics (based on the OS R system)
- A platform for making apps (they seem to offer a lot of embedded functionality)
- Enterprise Search (very impressive stuff btw)
- Visual Discovery
- Active Reports (cool......offline HTML/PDF reports with embedded functionality)
- One unified metadata layer - also integrated with there Data Integration software (iWay)
- ....

And I am not even incorporating iWay stuff.....

IBI is offering a platform and in my opinion they are trying to sell this platform. Selling platforms makes selecting IBI a very high profile investment within any organization, in that realm the competition is tough as well as internal opposition. Why not break the platform marketing-wise into several functionalities? One example would be the Data Integrity tooling, it can easily be a separate functionality, separately marketed and priced. As I said I am not very familiar with IBI software, but I like the angle of WebFOCUS being some kind of informational development platform where you can develop and distribute data-oriented apps very quickly. It is certainly an angle that would differentiate IBI from its competitors!

Do not get me wrong; I enjoyed the session with Information Builders, a proud and independent company with solid software and a proven track record. They got some great functionality under the hood and I would like the see this software shine more often.

Thx IBI, thx Kevin for a great session. Learned a lot.

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