I think that MicroStrategy has a lot of well-designed features, and that if users know how to use them or are willing to learn, it maybe a very valuable tools for them. I can recall that most users love to use the MicroStrategy Visual Insight tool that allows users to see in-real time graphs that users design on-site, using the attributes and metrics that they are familiar with.
Another good example, is the intelligence cube and incremental refresh reports that allow developers to update or create a report with a great quantity of information and store it on memory. This only takes a few seconds to show users the full results instead of always querying the data warehouse for the same results over and over. In addition, developers can schedule an incremental refresh of data on days, weeks, months, or whatever filter they desire, without the user feeling such work being done.
Update: MicroStrategy Mobile application is considered to be one of the best, for almost 4 or 5 years. I have used multiple times and I have to say, it is a great tool. Easy to configure and easy to adapt the reports to Mobile users, specially if they have an Iphone, since in the 9.4 version it was well prepared for Iphone users. Aside from that, Documents can be made to take pixel % in account, so you can make a report in the Developer, that suits both mobile and web users in a unique report.
Improvements to My Organization
Using the intelligence cube, I’ve managed to increase the performance of the main load of my documents, giving users the full data access in less than five seconds, instead of spending 30 seconds or a minute waiting for the results.
Update: Using the mobile application, it gave insurer agents more flexibility and a great success in their daily roles, since they could insert new information directly from MicroStrategy Mobile (using Transaction Services) and the colleagues at the company could respond within minutes or hours, saving the problem that is the trip.
Room for Improvement
I think that there are some bugs regarding the design, and some features are a little hidden from the developer. Developers need to do a lot of research and consult a lot of manuals just to find that the solution for their problem was in a check-box within the configurations of the tool or project.
Update: Never tried the MicroStrategy 10, only installed it, so the improvement may already been answered in a lot of features.
Use of Solution
Update: I’ve used this solution for about 1 - 1,5 years, but not constantly.
The installation was well explained in the manuals, and the deployment of hotfixes and patches are as easy as a normal computer program installation.
Update: MicroStrategy version 10 (and beta) is similar to version 9.4 in installation and configuration.
The only issue that I can think of, is that from time to time my web server stops and I have to restart the web server. I do not know why this happens, but we’ve created a process that every minute there are checks the status of the web server, and restarts it if necessary. It may be a problem with the tool or a problem with the infrastructure at the client's company.
Update: Turns out, the client infrastructure may be blocking the Web Server from running all the time. Comparing the installation done in a Virtual Machine and another one in another client, they haven't got any type of web server related problems and the first one has, which makes me think its a infrastructure configuration that from time to time, blocks the service.
Customer Service and Technical Support
I've never used it, but I only have good things to say about the users of the MicroStrategy Community. They always give good ideas, a lot of workarounds and 90% of the time, they respond within the day with a lot of links to technical notes and others posts among others.
Update: Initial setup was really straightforward, in my opinion.
I've done the installation, configuration and designed the entire project (Logical Architecture, Reporting/Dashboarding, Mobile application, among others)