What is our primary use case?
The primary use case is that we want to get away from printed reports. So, not having to print PDFs and send them out; and the whole administration that goes with that. Rather, to make it all digital and interactive.
It is performing well, but sometimes we have complex requirements and the performance decreases, and then we have to find another way to make it perform again. That is what you encounter when use the project, but that's inevitable because if we would have used another product, we would've had the same thing.
What is most valuable?
With the new version that's coming out, I think they have simplified a lot of things. Also, when it comes to the administration part, and sharing, and the collaboration features, they are really great. You can send out comments with a filter to someone in your organization, and if the person clicks on it, he actually sees what you are seeing. So that's really great.
I think it streamlines business.
We also use Microstrategy's Writeback capabilities with financial systems.
We have the Multimedia widget but it's used for reports that we haven't yet converted to the mobile solution. So it's just to have them available aesthetically for reports but, again, on the iPad, so we don't have to print them.
What needs improvement?
You can now do data blending at the document level and data blending allows you to show results from different data sets in one grid, so to speak. I actually want to bring it a level lower. I want to be able to create that union of data sets under the document level.
I want to be able to create a data set that can receive data from multiple cubes, have it in one data set, and then bring it to the document, because then I can reuse it for other documents. Now, I have to do it in a document and then it's less reusable, because if I want to share that functionality, I have to copy the document, strip a lot of things, and then work on that basic element that I've built in that document. That's for complex documents, but I really would want that to be added to the solution.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
It's pretty stable, and if something is wrong then we are also able to find out why, so that's also good. There's extensive logging capabilities, so we quite often able to manage on this front.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
No issues with scalability.
How are customer service and technical support?
It was necessary that they would assist when there were problems. They are knowledgeable.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
Yes, we had Cognos TM1, we have Excel. These programs are still in use but they will be less in use in the future. We couldn't get rid of them yet but at some point in time we think we'll manage to.
How was the initial setup?
When we started it was still version 9, and we deployed our mobile solution through MobileIron, and then we still had to do repping of the app. So there was more complexity, but that's due to the mobile device management solution and it would be the same with any other kind of solution. That's just complexity because of security.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
We did evaluate other solutions. That's the whole RFP. There are so many things involved before I can answer that question. There will be political answers as well.
What other advice do I have?
We are not yet distributing personalized alerts using native mobile push for iOS or Android. We want to do that for sure, but it's currently a "nice to have" and it takes some additional implementations on the server. You have to set up some certificates and then make the communication secure. That's some work that we still have to do.
As for choosing a vendor, we had our requirements. They were:
- the app would be able to perform in offline mode as well because our audience, they're traveling a lot and then what if there's no Wifi? They can't get to their data; that was a strong requirement
- the speed
- the iOS look and feel.
From what I've seen today, here at MicroStrategy World 2018, from the presentation team, I found it very impressive. I also think that it's good that MicroStrategy keeps up with the pace and they also look at what the competitors are doing, and I think that they should really be continuing to do that because we need the "wow."
To someone who is looking at this type of solution my advice would be to start using it now. I think it will save a lot of time if you compare it with other solutions because I want to be able to create a data set that can receive data from multiple cubes, have it in one data set, and then bring it to the document, because then I can reuse it for other documents. Now, I have to do it in a document and then it's less reusable, because if I want to share that functionality, I have to copy the document, strip a lot of things, and then work on that basic element that I've built in that document., and they've improved so many things on the front end. If you compare it with other tools, which may or may not have an analytical engine, which MicroStrategy does have, with all of the other functions, there's so much. They've built in so many functions. It's such a vast solution. For me, it's the obvious choice. Maybe not for everyone.
If you have a big company and you want to do all kinds of analytics, it's an open platform. That's also important. You can create your own data connectors. There's everything you can do with APIs. It's not closed like, perhaps, an SAP system might be.