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MicroStrategy adopts iPad for BI apps

16th Sep 2010
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Business intelligence developer MicroStrategy is challenging the accepted wisdom that PCs and Microsoft Excel are the default tools for analysis and reporting.

Available as a free download from the iTunes App Store, MicroStrategy’s Mobile BI App for iPad, promises that users will be able to interact with data on the iPad rather than just look at it.

According to Computerworld, the developer practises what it preaches by equipping more than 1,000 executives and sales people with iPads. The deployment follows a total cost of ownership study that was “wildly in favour” of the iPad. In comparison to laptops that typically cost $1,000 a year to support through a three-year life cycle, the iPads will work out at around $400 a year over a two-year life cycle, said senior MicroStrategy product vice president Mark LaRow.

The developer’s latest tools have been optimised for the larger 9.7in iPad touch screen. Apple has also ensured the devices can import and export Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents, spreadsheets and presentations to ensure compatibility with most business application users.

Unlike laptops, the iPad doesn’t need to boot up for two minutes and is ready for action almost instantly.

MicroStrategy already offered versions of its BI software for BlackBerrys. While sales are growing growing modestly on that platform, they are in danger of being overtaken by the “gigantic interest” in its iPad and iPhone versions, he added.

 “Apple is breaking the mold for mobile computing,” LaRow claimed.

He illustrated his argument with examples of how the company is using iPads internally. MicroStrategy now review employee expense claims, requisition requests and purchase orders fed to their iPads and iPhone from a corporate request system. The approval process is not only quicker,  but can also be completed almost anywhere.


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