Today MicroStrategy joined us at #BBBT.
Present were Douglas Hope - Director Product Management and Dan kerzner - Sr.
Some context as to this blog post; I have been
working a lot with MicroStrategy in the years 1998 - 2001 with a big retailer
in the Netherlands. We selected them, implemented it and worked with the
software extensively. I was and still am deeply impressed with the software as
well as the company which is still independent and where the software is
integrated by design, not by acquisition (which I like I lot).
Independence is something that seems to be
embedded into the DNA of the company; ‘We wanna control our own destiny’.
MicroStrategy and SAS, companies that seem to have found their market,
partnering and integrating witch their environment.
MicroStrategy is especially dominant in
retail, but other branches are growing as well. And - to my suprise -
MicroStrategy is also used as an embedded application in many commercial
Technically MicroStrategy made (in my opinion)
a huge jump the moment their server products supported 64 bit OS’s with great
variety (Linux, AIX, Windows). MicroStrategy always believed that the query
processing should be executed as close with the data as possible; being the
database. This makes a lot of sense to me. Sophisticated SQL generation which is certified to specific environments like Oracle, Teradata, Netezza
differentiates them from their competitors.
However, the real differentiator in my opinion
is ‘scale’. MicroStrategy is able to support large, complex
environment/organizations; security, mutltiple development teams, complex
business processes, 1000’s of users, large volumes of data and different types of
Claudia stipulated some challenges; there is not really a solid
argument for MicroStrategy not to focus a bit more on SMB environments, but the
marketing of MicroStrategy needs to realize this. MicroStrategy seems to also
lack a bit in offering functionality regarding un-structured information as
well as collaboration. The latter MicroStrategy is working hard on.
Ok...what I like (summarized):
- Integrated metadata, integrated architecture; develop once, distribute many times to many different devices
- Object orientation / modularization / metadata driven development of reports, dashboard and even mobile apps!
- Uniformity in GUI for all different types of BI
- Large libraries of statistical and data mining functions (or import predictive algorithms in PMML)
- Deployment offerings that make centralized governance a real possibility (huge differentiator)
- Near-database query processing with certified SQL for a lot of vendors combined with in-memory stuff
Now, the new stuff of course was pitched; MicroStrategy Mobile. MicroStrategy is pushing the Mobile agenda hard and is making a pretty solid case. Apple devices like Ipad and Iphone, together with 3G/4G/Wifi communications and the 'apps' explosion opened up the Mobile BI market according to MicroStrategy. Interestingly, MicroStrategy is offering the Mobile suite versions for 25 users for free. Just download the Iphone App and there you go.
So where is this mobile functionality used? Mainly by consumers of information, not producers. So Mobile BI will not replace the functionality offered on desktops. So - analytics on your mobile is just plain stupid, the outcomes of these analyses are however published to your mobile. To me that sounds extremely realistic. By using prompts as well as sophisticated drilling in the apps, the Mobile user has the possibility to get his hand on a lot of data.
I have seen the apps and I gotta say; damn, they are hot! I really think this kind of functionality could really speed up data management/data quality/warehousing adoption big time. Furthermore, integrating Mobile BI functionality with other apps and technology like GPS, accelerometer, compass and camera makes it a disruptive cocktail.
I really see this mobile BI technology making a difference to the peeps doing the day-to-day important work (police, teachers, health care personnel, ..) as well as the top executives. And these are the groups BI is traditionally struggling with. New business models will emerge....
Exciting times to come!