MicroStrategy unveils new, next-generation business intelligence technology
McLean, Va., January 31, 2005 -- MicroStrategy(R) Incorporated (Nasdaq: MSTR - News), a leading worldwide provider of business intelligence software, today announced the release of MicroStrategy 8, a new business intelligence technology that integrates enterprise reporting, analysis and continuous performance monitoring into one BI platform. With innovative, easy-to-use functionality and more than 2,000 enhancements, MicroStrategy 8 allows a greater number of business people to access more of their enterprise data, enabling them to make better business decisions.
With MicroStrategy 8, companies no longer need numerous distinct products from different vendors to provide reporting, analysis, and performance monitoring. With a scalable architecture and a single metadata, users can navigate seamlessly from scorecards and dashboards to reports and analysis without being forced to open and close multiple BI tools and navigate dissimilar interfaces. MicroStrategy 8 also features a newly designed Web interface that makes business intelligence more approachable for the average business user.
Additionally, MicroStrategy 8 broadens the universe of data sources that business users can access for their reporting and analysis activity. Business users can now directly query data stored in their financial, human resources, supply chain, and other operational systems, without having to first move this data into a data mart or data cube. MicroStrategy also provides direct access to data stored in SAP(R) BW.
"MicroStrategy has long been known for having advanced and innovative technology," said Sanju Bansal, MicroStrategy's COO. "MicroStrategy 8 raises the bar again by providing the reporting, analysis, and business monitoring capabilities users require as well as access to the data sources they need to improve business decision-making."
World-Class Enterprise Reporting
MicroStrategy 8 offers outstanding reporting flexibility, allowing creation of operational reports, business reports, invoices, and statements with pixel-perfect, print-perfect, and page-perfect precision. In addition, MicroStrategy 8 provides these new capabilities:
1. End-User Report Design - Business users can now rearrange report groupings, sections, and calculations, while still preserving the integrity of the original design. Unlike other products that require technically-trained report developers to make modifications, MicroStrategy 8 allows business users to control the content and structure of boardroom-quality reports. From these reports, business users can drill into the data to uncover additional insights without any further IT support.
2. End-User Report Formatting and Layout - For the first time, MicroStrategy 8 enables business users to format reports and scorecards in WYSIWYG (what-you-see-is-what-you-get) mode. Developers no longer need to anticipate the exact formatting requirements of business users, since these users can now leverage the PowerPoint(R) or Excel(R) formatting skills they already have to fine-tune reports. Formatting can be completed over the web using a zero-footprint, multi-browser Web interface. By allowing users formatting of reports without IT involvement, report development cycles can be dramatically reduced.
"MicroStrategy 8 is reporting at its finest," said Jose Lora, Senior Systems Engineer for Meredith Corporation. "With a unique focus on reporting, it offers an effortless convergence of reporting and analysis not available in other business intelligence products. Our users will be able to see exactly how their reports look as they build them, without having to go into a separate design mode. As a result, we envision faster report writing production."
Sophisticated Analysis Capabilities
MicroStrategy 8 boasts a wide array of sophisticated analytic capabilities with over 200 internal functions including OLAP, math, financial, logical, and statistical functions. Additionally, with MicroStrategy's Relational OLAP (ROLAP) technology, users can perform slice-and-dice analysis against very large databases to view business performance from many different perspectives.
MicroStrategy 8 introduces a new Data Mining and Predictive Analysis analytic module that enables users to integrate data mining insight into mainstream reports. MicroStrategy 8 can now calculate four of the primary data mining functions: neural networks, clustering, multivariate regression, and tree algorithms. MicroStrategy 8 can now import data mining models from vendors like IBM, Teradata, SAS, and SPSS using the PMML (predictive modeling mark-up language) standard and automatically convert those models into standard MicroStrategy metrics.
"We are impressed by the wide range of technical breakthroughs and business benefits found in MicroStrategy 8," said Julio Garcia Florez, Manager of Technology, Information Group for Cortefiel. "MicroStrategy 8 provides a new fresh look and feel that you typically don't see in other business intelligence offerings. MicroStrategy 8 implements windows-like screen paradigms for all action, while maintaining a 100% zero-footprint, browser-independent web architecture."
Enterprise Performance Monitoring
MicroStrategy 8 delivers dynamic enterprise performance monitoring with personalized scorecards, dashboards and event-triggered alerts. Using visual indicators such as charts, gauges, symbols, thresholds, and pictures, customized scorecards can be generated for each user based on their role and affiliations. Managers can track performance at all levels of an organization from corporate to division to department, and even to the individual. MicroStrategy 8 is scalable to thousands of users and with cascaded scorecards and dashboards, every person can take responsibility for his or her performance goals. Business users can also use MicroStrategy 8 as a tool that continuously scours databases and actively alerts them with reports and email notifications based on business rules or when data exceeds threshold values.
"With MicroStrategy 8, FNAC will spend far less time developing, creating, and maintaining reports," stated Bruno Aubert, FNAC's BI and Marketing Technical Manager. "Our decision-makers will be able to monitor performance by receiving visually intuitive scorecards and dashboards. Employees will be able to easily drill down into the data to uncover trends and present information in user-friendly, boardroom quality reports."
The MicroStrategy 8 user interface has been redesigned to greatly improve the productivity of the business user. It incorporates dozens of enhancements focused on improving the ease-of-use and user productivity. MicroStrategy 8 also offers:
Personal work areas to store and organize frequently-used personal reports Shared work areas to permit easy workgroup collaboration Short-cuts to launch frequently-used, centrally-administered reports Over 20 new one-click actions in new Windows-like toolbars and icons One-click metrics to allow users to easily add popular calculations such as rank, percents-to-total, and time comparisons to their reports Right-mouse click actions throughout the interface Windows-like dialog boxes and wizards for multi-step actions such as report formatting The MicroStrategy 8 interface can be custom-tailored for any user depending on the user's skill level through over 50 administrator-controllable settings. Entire workgroups can start with the same introductory interface and, as individual users gain competency, additional features can be made available for them.
"The MicroStrategy 8 offering takes usability to a whole new level, well beyond existing report writers," said Sherrie Benn, Business Intelligence Consultant with the Office of Information Resources for the State of Tennessee. "MicroStrategy 8 has a pleasant, easy-to-use and enjoyable interface. It offers a highly interactive, Web-based reporting and analysis environment that is ideal for all of our users."
Accessing Data Throughout the Enterprise
MicroStrategy 8 permits reporting, analysis, and monitoring of a company's critical data, even if this data is not in a data warehouse or data mart. Users have direct access to systems such as SAP BW, operational (OLTP) databases, ERP systems, as well as structured data warehouse databases. By inheriting the full relational OLAP capability of the MicroStrategy 7 architecture, MicroStrategy 8 can dynamically access the full breadth of the data warehouses and data marts with high performance and high scale. New features of MicroStrategy 8 include:
1. Accessing Multi-dimensional Databases such as SAP BW - MicroStrategy 8 can now dynamically generate Multidimensional Expressions (MDX) to access multi-dimensional or cube databases. Specifically, MicroStrategy 8's new Dynamic MDX Engine generates optimized MDX syntax that is fully certified with SAP BW using SAP's high performance BAPI's.
2. Accessing ERP and Operational Data - MicroStrategy 8's new Operational SQL Engine enables MicroStrategy reports to include data from any operational system using completely free-form SQL, including stored procedures and views. Companies can now directly access operational systems, without having to place the data into a data mart or data warehouse. The Operational SQL Engine facilitates quick deployment of reporting applications, either while a data mart is being constructed or even if no data mart is planned.
3. Accessing Heterogeneous Data - Providing outstanding flexibility, MicroStrategy 8 can access data across heterogeneous data stores, without the use of enterprise information integration tools. MicroStrategy 8 can join data from multiple sources and present the integrated data in reports and scorecards. Data can come from any source accessible by MicroStrategy 8, including the data warehouse, data marts, SAP BW, and any number of operational system databases.
MicroStrategy 8 is Built Upon a Single Industrial-Strength Backplane
MicroStrategy 8 is built for user and application scalability and inherits the performance for which MicroStrategy 7i is known. Its native 64-bit architecture supports thousands of users and provides high performance for even the most demanding BI applications. Its multi-layer data caching technology provides almost instant response to a wide range of user requests.
Additionally, MicroStrategy 8's metadata supports re-use of application objects such as metrics, security filters, and reports, speeding application time. Finally, security is built-in to every aspect of MicroStrategy 8. Support for Single sign-on (SSO), LDAP, and database authentication ensure MicroStrategy 8 fits into your existing security architecture. Also, by attaching Access Control Lists to every BI application object, data access and system navigation can be tightly controlled on a user-by-user basis.
One Architecture on Which to Standardize All BI Applications
MicroStrategy 8 is designed as a highly scalable, highly economical, and highly extensible utility upon which organizations can standardize. Its Services Orientated Architecture (SOA) allows companies to start small and grow their BI applications. By providing plug-and-play modules for each of the five styles of business intelligence (Scorecards, Reports, OLAP, Advanced Analysis and Alerting), MicroStrategy 8 allows enterprises to deploy just the functionality they need and upgrade at any time, confident that all their metrics, reports, security filters and other objects will automatically work as the new BI style is added. As a result, organizations can start with small independent departmental BI applications and gradually grow and converge these applications into a seamless, enterprise-wide business intelligence architecture.
Leading Industry Analysts and Partners Applaud MicroStrategy 8:
Dan Vesset, IDC Research
"Robust reporting and interactive analysis have traditionally required multiple products," explained Dan Vesset, IDC Research Director of Data Warehousing and Information Access. "With the introduction of MicroStrategy 8, integrated reporting and analysis is available from a single Drag-n-Drop based easy-to-use web interface tailored specifically for the mainstream business user. MicroStrategy 8's intuitive WYSIWYG Report Design and Editing capabilities make it a strong option for organizations looking to deploy self-service based BI to the mainstream."
Cindi Howson, ASK & author of Intelligent Enterprise's BI Scorecard
"MicroStrategy 8 takes reporting and analysis integration yet another step further with a highly intuitive web interface designed specifically for the business user," stated Cindi Howson, President of ASK and author of Intelligent Enterprise's BI Scorecard. "With an easy to use, highly interactive BI interface, organizations can start simple and unlock more power as users need it. MicroStrategy's ability to support the whole enterprise through a single BI infrastructure and adaptable interface makes it a strong option for organizations looking to standardize on a single BI product."
Wayne Eckerson, The Data Warehousing Institute
"SAP's Business Information Warehouse (BW) is becoming further entrenched as a data warehouse (DW) for many enterprises," said Wayne Eckerson, Director of Research, The Data Warehousing Institute (TDWI). "Making BW and other operational and DW data more easily available to an expanded number of mainstream users is a major priority for these organizations. MicroStrategy 8's SAP certified BW integration will allow SAP customers to provide highly intuitive integrated reporting and analysis to an expanded base of their mainstream business users."
Nigel Pendse, The OLAP Report
"The OLAP Surveys have consistently found that MicroStrategy sites have the most users, and the highest level of Web-deployment," said Nigel Pendse, author of The OLAP Survey 4 (http://www.survey.com/olap) and The OLAP Report (http://www.olapreport.com). "MicroStrategy 8 provides further improvements in the Web user interface and better source data connectivity while still providing the only fully integrated product set ideally suited for large scale, complex data analysis, highly formatted reporting, proactive exception reporting and advanced queries."
"Combining MicroStrategy 8's reporting, monitoring, and analysis capabilities with the unique 64-Bit BI running on Sun Solaris gives companies a flexible architecture," said Cyrus Golkar, Sun Chief Executive for Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing. "The ability to add more users and data while sustaining high system performance creates a truly world-class BI system."
"With their recent commitment to port to the HP-UX operating environment on Itanium(R)-based HP Integrity servers, MicroStrategy is poised to fulfill the 64-bit, enterprise BI demand on HP's enterprise solutions," said Bruno Castejon, Director, Business Applications Solutions, HP. "We are excited that MicroStrategy 8 will be serving this additional major HP operating system and look forward to continued great customer success together."
"Over 150 of our joint customers have enjoyed tremendous scalability and advanced analytical capabilities due to our highly optimized integration with MicroStrategy," stated Alan Chow, Vice President Research and Development, Teradata. "MicroStrategy 8 will usher in the most demanding BI/DW applications developed by our customers yet."
Join MicroStrategy on February 10 for a special Webcast unveiling MicroStrategy 8. Additionally, MicroStrategy will be conducting a 60+ city road show with an interactive demonstration featuring the new world-class BI capabilities available with MicroStrategy 8. Register for both events on the MicroStrategy website, http://www.microstrategy.com.
Founded in 1989, MicroStrategy is a worldwide leader in the business intelligence software market. Leading Fortune 2000 companies are increasingly integrating MicroStrategy's business monitoring, reporting, and analysis software into their operations. The MicroStrategy Business Intelligence Platform(TM) distills vast amounts of data into vital insight to help drive cost-efficiency, revenue-generation, and productivity. Top companies are using MicroStrategy to cost-effectively empower thousands of employees, partners, and suppliers with the business insight they need to make better business decisions everyday.
MicroStrategy has over 2,800 enterprise-class customers, including Aventis, eBay, General Motors, Lowe's Companies, Pfizer, Sprint, Telecom Italia, U.S. Postal Service, Visa International, Wells Fargo, and Yahoo!. MicroStrategy also has relationships with over 300 systems integrators and application development and platform partners, including HP, IBM, PeopleSoft, Sun, and Teradata, a division of NCR. MicroStrategy is listed on Nasdaq under the symbol MSTR. For more information or to purchase or demo MicroStrategy's software, visit MicroStrategy's Web site at http://www.microstrategy.com.
This press release may include statements that may constitute "forward- looking statements," including its estimates of future business prospects or financial results and statements containing the words "believe," "estimate," "project," "expect" or similar expressions. Forward-looking statements inherently involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results of MicroStrategy Incorporated and its subsidiaries (collectively, the "Company") to differ materially from the forward-looking statements. Factors that could contribute to such differences include: the ability of the Company to implement and achieve widespread customer acceptance of its MicroStrategy 8 software on a timely basis; the Company's ability to recognize deferred revenue through delivery of products or satisfactory performance of services; continued acceptance of the Company's products in the marketplace; the timing of significant orders; delays in the Company's ability to develop or ship new products; market acceptance of new products; competitive factors; general economic conditions; currency fluctuations; and other risks detailed in the Company's registration statements and periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. By making these forward-looking statements, the Company undertakes no obligation to update these statements for revisions or changes after the date of this release.
MicroStrategy, MicroStrategy 7, MicroStrategy Business Intelligence Platform, MicroStrategy 7i, MicroStrategy Report Services, MicroStrategy 8 are either trademarks or registered trademarks of MicroStrategy Incorporated in the United States and certain other countries. Other product and company names mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.
Wende Cover MicroStrategy, Incorporated 1-703-770-1646 firstname.lastname@example.org
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