MicroStrategy Mobile is a key piece of the company’s overall BI marketing platform over the last couple of years. Along with social and cloud, its one of the key places of growth within the company.
For several years, they had a Blackberry version available for their enterprise customers but it wasn’t widely used. While executives loved their Blackberries for e-mail, the small screen and lack of a good interface made it tough for business intelligence. Most of the functionality was reduced to just some basic grid reports. The popularity of Apple products, tablets, and smartphones in general in the last few years made a big enough market to start tackling mobile projects in a more widespread way. MSTR was one of the first BI vendors to release a native iPad and iPhone app, in mid-2010. Recently, they’ve added support to Android, and still support RIM and Blackberry. They are focused heavily on the Apple mobile ecosystem though, and their Intro to Mobile BI and general marketing is geared toward it.
While they have always had a strong partner network, especially for ETL, database, and industry knowledge, they are leveraging it in the apps market as well. Here's a look at some of the iPhone apps.
By making mobile part of the larger platform, MSTR has tried to make it easy for dashboard creators to create applications that will work on the mobile devices. Out of the box, users can access most reports and documents that they would be able to view on the web. The size limits and gesture based functionality in iPads and iPhones make some customization necessary for dashboards to work seamlessly there. The “cool” factor though, has made it a strong marketing option to push to executive, retailers, and other companies with remote sales forces. Many companies are taking a little bit of a cautious approach, most often citing concerns with security, device cost, and support. Other BI vendors have taken a little bit of a wait and see approach to building their own technology.
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