Sunday, February 26, 2012

Gartner Study Shows BI Importance

In their "Amplify the Enterprise: the 2012 CIO Agenda," industry analyst firm Gartner surveyed over 2300 CIOs around the world and learned the importance of Business Intelligence.

Ranked fifth in importance last year, BI has bounced to the number one thing on CIOs' minds. Their top ten priorities for technologies this year are:

  • Analytics and Business Intelligence
  • Mobile Technologies 
  • Cloud Computing (SaaS, IaaS, PaaS) - moved down from #1 in 2011
  • Collaborative Technologies (workflow)
  • Virtualization - moved down from #2 in 2011
  • Legacy Modernization 
  • IT Management - moved down from #4 in 2011 
  • Customer Relationship Management
  • ERP Applications
  • Security 

See Gartner's report for more information. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Information Builders Re-Brands

In February of 2001, Information Builders spun off a separate company called iWay Software. The idea was that certain underlying components of the WebFOCUS BI product could be separated, re-packaged, and re-branded into a new line of integration software utilized for purposes other than business intelligence.

Eleven years later, Information Builders is rolling iWay back into its parent organization. In a sense, not much is really changing.

The stand-alone iWay Software website will disappear, but its product information will just be moved into the website. Employees who have iWay Software business cards will have to call the printer. Shirts with iWay Software logos will be saved for special internal occasions.

As part of this change, Information Builders is rebranding. They will now present their software offerings as part of a three-product framework:

WebFOCUS Intelligence
"WebFOCUS Intelligence offers easy-to-use business intelligence, analytics, and performance management capabilities to promote a proactive business culture that helps organizations gain a competitive edge."

iWay Integration 
"iWay Integration Solutions work on any platform, interoperate with proprietary technologies as well as industry standards, support more than 300 database and application adapters, and lay the foundation for a real-time, integrated enterprise."

iWay Integrity 
"iWay Integrity Solutions integrate, enrich, and transform data into relevant, timely, and usable information. Better manage data assets to cut costs, reduce risk, achieve compliance, and improve business performance."

You may wonder why Information Builders didn't just prefix all three products with "WebFOCUS" and drop the iWay moniker altogether. Their reasoning is probably similar to that of 2001; while a WebFOCUS customer may need all three components, there are also companies who would be interested in buying enterprise integration and/or data integrity tools but already have a different BI product (e.g., IBM Cognos, Business Objects, MicroStrategy, Actuate, QlikView, Pentaho, and others). There is no reason to limit the sale of these two valuable software products to just WebFOCUS customers.

Check out for more information on the new change.

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.