Sunday, July 11, 2010

Mobile Intelligence from MicroStrategy

MicroStrategy, one of the leading Business Intelligence software vendors, is showing everybody how to take BI to mobile user interfaces.  They are in effect announcing the end of the desktop BI era, claiming that "using a mouse and keyboard is now outdated" and giving us notice that more intuitive replacements have arrived.

Their recently released whitepaper explains the importance of taking BI to handheld computers, predicting that it could "revolutionize business processes across every industry."

MicroStrategy positions Mobile Internet Computing as the latest technology cycle, following the established technologies of Mainframes, Mini Computers, Personal Computers, and PC Internet.  MicroStrategy points out that the smartphone adoption rate has outpaced that of PC technologies.
"The reasons are simple: these mobile devices provide constant connectivity and are convenient to carry, extremely powerful, and easy and fun to use. Unique capabilities aside, the number of people that can carry a smartphone is significantly greater than the number of people that take a laptop with them when away from the office."
MicroStrategy calculates that BI on a mobile device is 400 times more powerful than using BI on a desktop computer, based on the increased size of user population, the increased information opportunities, and a more natural user interface that expands personal query relevance.
Here is MicroStrategy's warning about ignoring this emerging Mobile Intelligence trend:  
"In the new era of Mobile Intelligence, businesses that presently don’t exist may evolve into industry leaders. Applications that are moderately valuable with the desktop Internet may be billion dollar applications when fully applied to the mobile Internet.  The next YouTube or Facebook hasn’t been invented yet, but will be designed as a mobile application. Organizations that stay with today’s desktop-based information distribution models may become obsolete, outpaced by those organizations that choose to thrive on the mobile Internet.

Organizations that embrace Mobile Intelligence will become leaner, faster, smarter decision-making machines resulting in more business, more revenue, and greater competitive advantage."

Of course, MicroStrategy would not be talking about Mobile Intelligence unless they saw themselves as a leader in this new marketspace:
"MicroStrategy 9 is well-suited to support the emerging and demanding needs of the new generation of Mobile Intelligence applications. Mobile Intelligence applications demand much faster performance and serve much larger user populations than traditional wired Internet applications. MicroStrategy offers Mobile Business Intelligence capabilities for the Apple iPhone and iPad, the BlackBerry Smartphone, and the Kindle DX, with an architecture that is engineered for the speed and performance required to rapidly deliver information on a mobile device."

Some industry analysts agree with MicroStrategy.  Wayne Eckerson from TDWI says this:
“MicroStrategy has recognized the importance of mobile for current and upcoming generations of BI users and has taken the lead in providing optimal mobile BI solutions for a range of devices. They’ve got the vision and are now executing. The competition is clearly in catch-up mode.”

Mark Smith of Ventana Research seconds that:
“Information is the energy that powers today's businesses. The use of mobile devices has outpaced the traditional desktop and is now a preferred method for many business professionals to consume information. With MicroStrategy Mobile, companies can assemble and deliver business intelligence applications for executives, operational workers, suppliers, and business partners much more rapidly and cost effectively than ever before through direct and native support of mobile platforms, including iPad and iPhone.”

For more information, see MicroStrategy's description of their iPhoneiPad, and BlackBerry offerings or their main Mobile Intelligence page.

And when you are ready to create a mobile BI application, MicroStrategy's Professional Services organization will be there to help.  For $15,000 USD, a consultant will come onsite for ten days.  At the end of the engagement not only will you have a full-featured mobile BI application, but MicroStrategy will also provide a mobile intelligence strategy document, a mobile application storyboard, and a mobile BI application video.  Your MicroStrategy mobile BI application will consist of a customized homepage, up to ten functional screens, and a combination of dashboards, data visualizations, and grids and graphs in a guided workflow. 

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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.