Saturday, November 28, 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?

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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.