Category Archives: 3rd Party

IBM India’s Cognostrategy

This is some what’s insider information, but may be something that MicroStrategy re-sellers should be knowing or should find out in due course of time. This is specific to India. MicroStrategy can not compete any BI tool to a the most price sensitive market of world, India. Even free is not something that people would easily go for, due to extremely low awareness about MicroStrategy BI in India. Sales is India doesn’t really affect much to MicroStrategy in the sense, it is not directly involved in selling the product here but only and only through authorized resellers, that to with a division of region of sales among them. But so far from last 7 years, sales of MicroStrategy is dismal. An recent consolidation in BI landscape has made things very tough for re-sellers, though I fail to understand why any damn company would go for Cognos/BO, even though they can’t beat MicroStrategy in any aspect, but price.

But how much the high price is hurting to adaption of MicroStrategy, I came to know while speaking with a friend only last week. First, MicroStrategy has around 30 clients in India, one of them having HQ right across my apartment. 😎 . Low penetration is mainly because of selective marketing by resellers but MicroStrategy, Inc has tried their hands. Now IBM is exploiting the high license cost of MicroStrategy in sales like anything. These guys (sales representative of Cognos) admit in front of client that MicroStrategy is highly scalable and better analytic capable than Cognos, but why to pay such a high price when you can have Cognos for BI and SAS for analytic, and is working great for them (IBM Cognos). Seriously a high price paid by MicroStrategy.

MicroStrategy really can’t do much about this evil marketing. Though I must say having two different tools would increase the cost of “experienced professionals” to handle them. Something that MicroStrategy reseller can counter argue. But after having lost Netizza, SPSS, Unica, etc. it is going to a tough market for them. also new kids on block like TableU are also giving them tough challenge in department BI sales, not here in India though.

All I can advice MicroStrategy is that you are the best BI. You can be the best BI, winning all accolades for the blah blah BI report, Nigel etc, done by independent authorities, but your scalability, features would be still used by least %age in industry due to very high cost of license and high cost of processionals (and tough search of them too). Just bring down your prices and see yourself sweeping the market.

Critical part of this blog is based on discussion with person who taught me MicroStrategy.

GIS tools for MicroStrategy

This was probably long pending, but I had first hand information only about MapInfo, now called Business Insight (such a boring name) and Visual Crossing. Among MapInfo and VisualCrossing, former is lot cheaper. My ex-employer or rather client, LoanPerformance, have used both for trail and finally settled for Visual Crossing, due to the depth of GIS information, as they wanted to show the data at MSA level not just District or pointers for city. This was obvious for a company dealing into selling best and vast history of the real estate prices in USA. If you need to show the data at a higher level, MapInfo should suffice. FYI, VisualCrossing has been co-founded by MicroStrategy alumni, who has worked in MicroStrategy SDK for a decade and its integration is extremely seamless. With these tools you need to have a GIS Server that would have geo-coding information. Integration of VS after installation takes just 5 minutes and you are good to change all geography grids to maps. AFAIK, VC supports only USA and Canada where as MI have much larger support in terms of countries.

With permission from Ehsan Hoque:

  1. Visual Crossing was created by Andrew Wiggemore. He also created the MicroStrategy SDK for web. So as you can imagine, his stuff has the tightest integration with the product and hence the most rapid time to deploy.
  2. Google/Yahoo/Microsoft integration. I have done this for a few clients including a POC with Bank of America, when I was there. While the onus of maintaining the data is on Google or others, you pay them per click or per tile depending on the pricing scheme you sign up for. Now if your website is public (which I cannot imagine it is) then you do not pay them but you are limited to 50K transactions.
  3. A little known solution is Oracle Spatial. If you have Oracle, then you have Oracle Spatial. The API is very much AJAX and you can replicate Google Maps like functionality. Dan Abougov (I think I spelt the name right) at Garmin (now Nokia) will sell you all the maps and spatial data you need. The advantage of this and #1 is that you do not need a round trip to an external entity.

From Massimiliano Parcaroli

Maps4Strategy. Until now the maps are only available for Italy, but soon we will implement Europe and USA Maps. We introduce this product on November 2009 at the National Symposium Microstrategy in Milan Italy.
If you feel interested, watch the video to understand the simplicity of use and the perfect integration whit MicroStrategy Platform.

This arguments, brings us to the conclusion that not just the tool but the depth of GIS data sources is equally important, but this depth may or may not be concern of every client. Please share your experience of using GIS tools and source data.

BusinessObjects vs. MicroStrategy

On the MicroStrategy-website white paper can be downloaded, tells where in 10 pages why Business Objects is beaten in all possible fields of MicroStrategy. As my readers, but certainly the decision not want to leave a competitor and is also intended for the subtle but important details of interest, I have made the following (incomplete course) to compare the features of MicroStrategy and Business Objects.

As mentioned before, I have considered only the features relevant to the SQL generation of meaning. I have also considered that MicroStrategy and Business Objects to build on fundamentally different approaches and some features are therefore not simply comparable. Such radio ions so I left aside.

The plus sign in the table means is that each tool has an important feature that for the other product would be implementable, although certainly, but unfortunately is not available.

Some “little things” that are in my view, just very important and therefore be present at every BI tool should not be missing, but in the current release of Business Objects. This is why I have marked with a minus sign.

And now the scoreboard:

Feature MicroStrategy Business Object
1 Automated Aggregate Awareness +
2 Into account the cardinality in SQL generation (eg Subquery with an M: N relationship) +
3 Dimensional metrics and conditionals +
4 Filtering using HAVING (QUALIFY is missing even in Micro Strategy) +
5 Consolidations; Dynamic Groups +
6 Assembly of the key figures within the database +
7 Joins on operators other than “=” (eg BETWEEN Join for Slowly Changing Dimensions) +
8 A simple way to choose one of the join paths (via contexts) +
9 No examination of the object dependencies when deleting
10 No SQL-Preview for the prompt reply but before the execution

MicroStrategy has over so much more powerful means for the rapid generation of high-performance SQL code – and that’s without taking account of VLDB countless settings that exist for the fine-tuning of the SQL query for MicroStrategy!

An important advantage of Business Objects is in my view, only the possibility of any conditions in the join between the tables to use shortcuts.

Based on Google Translator of original article.

No SQL-Preview for the prompt reply but before the execution