MicroStrategy Review

MicroStrategy Mobile BI- “Smart Analytics using Smartphone’s”The day

MicroStrategy Mobile BI- “Smart Analytics using Smartphone’s”

The day is not too far when everyone on this planet will stand connected. With another five billion people set to become a part of mobile users community, the digital revolution promises to redefine and improve lifestyle in terms of productivity, health, education and myriad other avenues of the physical world. The introduction of this small, compact but empowering device has undoubtedly filled in the digital divide across the globe. Mobile computers are spreading faster than any other consumer technology in history. Mobile telecom has been witnessing a decade of depreciation in prices of devices as well as calling rates, making wireless services affordable for masses.

In the year 2007, the average price of a phone was $120 and is continually falling; analysts predicted that the consumer market for mobile phones has reached its saturation as everyone who could afford one had one. Revenues from mobile handset sales have been doubled since 2007. Today, one can own a smart phone with all the high-end features for as low as $60. More and more people are getting their hands on the latest phones available in the market. The major implication of mobile phones whether it be a feature phone, smart phone or tablets lies in its connectivity. More than eighty percent of the world population remains underserved that present’s immense potential for mobile telecom to provide the much-needed connectivity. An array of value added services to trigger another technological revolution in developing countries. Just as consumers in the developing world skipped from traditional landlines to cell phones, they are soon going to skip large PC screens to land on tablet, Smartphone’s and the feature rich phones capable of running internet given the fact that most of the people in developing countries have their first web experience through a mobile. A whole new era of convergence towards devices is being witnessed as PC makers and electronics makers turn to manufacturing mobile devices. This would take care of their dwindling revenues and add another promising stream of revenue to their portfolio of businesses. Microsoft acquired Nokia, Intel has come out with a new series of smart phones called Xolo, similarly Intex and Lenovo have launched mobile devices, yet another instance is HCL 'Me' tablets by HCL. Among electronic manufacturers Panasonic and Videocon are some companies considering mobile device segment very aggressively.

The business opportunities in the Smartphone arena are endless. From the makers of the Smartphone to wireless service providers to tiny application developers, all are in a relentless pursuit to squeeze every cent out of this technological gold rush. Wireless carriers make money at a greater scale. Globally 900 of them make 1.3 trillion dollar in revenue each year; about four times the revenue of major technological providers such as Apple, Google, Microsoft and Intel combined. Micromax, India’s only indigenous Smartphone maker has successfully established a

reputation for itself in its home country and is now trying to take on the international market by signing Hollywood starlet Hugh Jackman, as its brand ambassador. Application developers have a smaller proportion of share. Mobile advertising brings about$9 billion as of now. But here is where the opportunities lie. Over sixty percent of people access Facebook from their phones and tablets. WhatsApp, a US made messaging app has 300 million users worldwide, out of which 20 million users are in India. WeChat, a messaging app by Chinese company Tencent has over 200 million users. This is where there is a latent need for ‘Business Intelligence’ providers. All these apps are not just restricted to smart phones and tablets, a huge chunk of feature phone users are being seen as an explored market. For instance apps like FB, Nimbuzz are developing Java versions to serve this set of customers who would slowly mature on a technology adoption curve and shortly become Smartphone users. Mobile phones are not just voice any more, they can deliver over and above one's imagination. Gesture control, robotics, connected homes, navigation, task management, virtual wallet and what not. Mobiles have not just impacted lives personally but much more professionally. Workplaces have not remained intact of this mobile revolution.

MicroStrategy, a leading BI tool is relentlessly betting on mobile Business Intelligence Apps. Saylor who is the founder of MicroStrategy has also written a book called “The Mobile Wave: How Mobile Intelligence Will Change everything” and I believe that it’s Saylor’s vision on the Mobile technology that has made MicroStrategy to grow on the Mobile Side. The Mobile App Platform transforms business intelligence reporting from paper or the desktop, to the mobile device. Workers are no longer chained to their desk or reliant on paper-based documents that are obsolete by the time they reach their target audience. This is a leading innovation, imagine your organization printing dozens of stock ledger reports every day and maintaining those paper copies. This caused a lot of wastage of resources; not even that imagine you as a CEO of a company who is scrolling through those pages every day. A complete transformation in people’s lives by what I call the 3E’s; Everyone, Everything, Everywhere. There is a big moat for BI companies in Mobile Advertising. Market penetration has significantly increased with the Mobile era. As an example of mobile Internet growth, you could see that increasing number of people use their mobile and tablets rather than their personal computer to connect to the Internet. Mobile business intelligence application can take huge benefit from this considering a lot of companies earn their revenue through advertisements. These companies become the ideal customers for Mobile BI as they would be interested to see such analysis. In this way Mobile is helping them with new opportunities to reach out engage and connect to more people; in highly relevant contexts and environments. However, there is a big problem visavis opportunity in mobile advertising. Facebook, which now has 60 percent of its login from mobile and tablet devices, is limited to small screen for its ad revenue. Hence, in order to boost their income many small app development companies will be in a dire need of more targeted marketing. Mobile analytics companies, such as MicroStrategy, can have a unique selling proposition here by creating a lot of values for application developers

Mobile applications provide functionality that is unmatched by paper or a web browser. Smartphone’s and tablets allow Internet and its digital affordances to flow into every hand, everywhere, in every circumstance. MicroStrategy has created some really amazing apps for IOS and Android users. They also have a program called ‘Mobile Quick strike’ for 10 days where they would come up with a fully functional app. It gives customers confidence in the overall strength of the tool. MicroStrategy’s mobile intelligence platform helps companies and organizations build, deploy, and maintain mobile apps across a range of solutions by embedding intelligence, transactions, and multimedia into apps. Having worked on different reporting platforms, I feel that MicroStrategy holds a distinct advantage by making most of the out of box functionality directly available to its users in a lucid development framework. MicroStrategy Mobile platform supports distributed development for many developers to work on a project at a given time. Most of the objects are reusable and their definition can be reused across different business areas. For any BI tool, the ease of use is very important along with the sophisticated analytics which can be presented using the best visualization framework. It has become very important for a BI tool to analyze these enormous data volumes in the best representable format. Data visualization is driving demand in the business intelligence (BI) market because it's intuitive and accessible to business users who aren't schooled in query languages or statistical analysis. MicroStrategy Mobile has a strong stand in these areas due to a large number of visualizations in their library. This separates MicroStrategy Mobile, as a tool, for visual exploration from other competitors.

MicroStrategy Mobile can be a big game changer in all the Market areas. For instance imagine yourself shopping in Walmart, when you do the transaction an E-commerce software would capture the data which would then be processed using some ETL tool to create sophisticated analysis for Business Users. You might end up filling some consumer experience survey which would then be manually fed into some application for capturing consumer trends information. With the birth of this Mobile Intelligence imagine how all of this can be transformed using a single solution MicroStrategy BI. A transaction report replacing the E-commerce software in retail sector for every point of sale, an automated report to take surveys in iPad. This is a more engaging and interactive consumer experience and provides increased speed of delivery of actionable business information. This example can very well be related for an everyday customer and can be termed as everyday BI.

For organizations like Banks that have data security as their prime focus. Everyone wants to have access to the data they need at all times, from any location, in order to make real-time decisions. While this is appealing it poses security and other troubles for tools to provide the level of access. MicroStrategy mobile App development framework gives you power to develop and deploy “In House” Organization specific apps. This is a big step towards data control and security as only employees would be able to see the critical data. For sectors like healthcare imagine a doctor taking advantage of this cutting edge technology on their iPad to study the current disease and medicine trends. His decision makes a big impact on the patient’s life.

Now the interesting question why this Mobile BI is a very hot topic and why do you think MicroStrategy Mobile BI standout? The answer is simple, till now ease of use for end user was always the priority for BI tools and the reason smart phones and tablets are becoming so popular is because even a 4 year old kid could operate them. Hence the bottom line is the interface should be unique and simple which MicroStrategy Mobile pretty much achieved and is the reason for their success in this particular area.

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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