Saturday, November 28, 2009

MicroStrategy Celebrates 20th Anniversary

Earlier this month, Matthew Ipri, MicroStrategy's Director of Marketing for the Americas, shared with me an e-mail from Sanju Bansal, MicroStrategy's COO, which coincided with their 20 year anniversary.

On 30 October 2009, Sanju wrote:
I’m delighted our quarterly revenues exceeded $100 million for the first time in our company’s history. This is a great accomplishment achieved through long-term commitment to delivering premium BI technology and service to our customers. Here’s the earnings.

This afternoon, InformationWeek and The Wall Street Journal both published positive online articles regarding our quarterly financials:

The Wall Street Journal

Compare this year's Q3 performance with last year's and you will see a 39% increase in product license revenues, proving that companies are buying MicroStrategy's software.  In his e-mail, Sanju listed several factors leading to this success:
  • Prospects increasingly believe that MicroStrategy 9 is the best BI platform in the market today
  • We continue to augment our customer portfolio with industry-leaders. New customers this year include Facebook, Tesco Group, Honda Europe, SUBWAY® restaurant chain, Société Générale, Dean Foods Company, U.S. Department of Energy, and Toshiba Europe, just to name a few
  • As current customers expand their BI deployments, they are choosing MicroStrategy for their growing requirements
  • Influential industry analysts such as Gartner are proactively recommending MicroStrategy technology to their clients
  • Innovative offerings, such as the MicroStrategy Reporting Suite, are enabling us to penetrate new markets

Sanju also credited favorable analysis reviews from Gartner and offered a link to a report on MicroStrategy's website.  The document offers a strength, weakness, opportunity, and threat (SWOT) framework for assessing the MicroStrategy 9 BI Platform and related offerings.  Sanju said:
In short, Gartner addresses some of the strengths of our company, including:   
  • The impressive features and performance of MicroStrategy 9
  • Our world-class customer base (many with enterprise-wide BI deployments) and the high number of customers that choose MicroStrategy as their BI standard
  • MicroStrategy’s low total cost of ownership, thanks to our well-integrated platform
  • The high level of support that we provide to our customers

Congratulations to MicroStrategy on their 20th year anniversary and for their success in 2009.

Microsoft Going for Big Corporate BI

On the 23rd of November 2009, posted an article about Microsoft's latest foray into the Business Intelligence software space, competing with the other megavendors Oracle, SAP, and IBM.

Click on this link to read Jeff Kelly's article.

Back in the 1990s, IT shops did not see Microsoft SQL Server as a true enterprise database and went with vendors such as Oracle or IBM instead.  That attitude has since changed dramatically -- SQL Server now easily competes with large capacity databases such as Oracle, DB2, and Teradata.

Not content with terabytes, Microsoft is working on massive parallel processing capabilities which will take SQL Server into the petabytes size.  On the BI front-end, Microsoft is adding in-memory processing capabilities for fast online analytics.

Even though Microsoft Excel is probably the most common tool for analyzing data, is it really a BI software product? 

Once limited to 64K rows, Excel used to only be appropriate for use at the small departmental or individual level.  Bringing in enterprise data from disparate sources was well beyond the abilities of an end-user.  Even with a "PowerPivot" front-end and powerful database processing, will Microsoft really be able to convince companies that Excel is an effective alternative to true BI products such as Cognos, Business Objects, WebFOCUS, Actuate, and Microstrategy?

DAPPER Methodology for Retiring Legacy BI Software

To convert legacy BI products, Partner Intelligence employs our "DAPPER" approach, proceeding through the following phases:
D - Discover
A - Analyze
P - Perform Pilot Conversion
P - Plan for Full Conversion
E - Execute the Plan in a phased approach
R - Retire the legacy BI product
One of our first steps in a BI conversion is to get an accurate inventory of the existing legacy environment.  Using our automated scanning and inventory application, Partner Intelligence can quickly provide you with details for making a proper decision about a BI rationalization initiative.  Instead of paying analysts to manually look through your code over a period of time, you can use our software application to quickly scan, discover, and report on the functionality buried inside your legacy code. 

Partner Intelligence can quickly and easily customize the scanning tool for your particular needs. We can automatically scan applications written with a variety of software, such as:
  • 3GLs (COBOL, PL/1, etc.)
  • 4GLs (NOMAD, RAMIS, FOCUS, etc.)
  • Mainframe Job Control Language (JCL) and logic in batch steps (SyncSort, DYL280, etc.) 
  • SAS
  • RPG
  • SQL 
  • Crystal Reports

We use this automated scanning to size the conversion project and to determine the feasibility of automatically converting the legacy code into modern web-based BI software.

Contact Partner Intelligence for more information.

About Me

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I am a project-based software consultant, specializing in automating transitions from legacy reporting applications into modern BI/Analytics to leverage Social, Cloud, Mobile, Big Data, Visualizations, and Predictive Analytics using Information Builders' WebFOCUS. Based on scores of successful engagements, I have assembled proven Best Practice methodologies, software tools, and templates.

I have been blessed to work with innovators from firms such as: Ford, FedEx, Procter & Gamble, Nationwide, The Wendy's Company, The Kroger Co., JPMorgan Chase, MasterCard, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Siemens, American Express, and others.

I was educated at Valparaiso University and the University of Cincinnati, where I graduated summa cum laude. In 1990, I joined Information Builders and for over a dozen years served in regional pre- and post-sales technical leadership roles. Also, for several years I led the US technical services teams within Cincom Systems' ERP software product group and the Midwest custom software services arm of Xerox.

Since 2007, I have provided enterprise BI services such as: strategic advice; architecture, design, and software application development of intelligence systems (interactive dashboards and mobile); data warehousing; and automated modernization of legacy reporting. My experience with BI products include WebFOCUS (vendor certified expert), R, SAP Business Objects (WebI, Crystal Reports), Tableau, and others.