I reached Hotel Lalit, the Intercontinental by 8:45 AM after having started some ETL jobs in office, a stone’s throw away. MicroStrategy Mobile launch was happening in a hall which was two levels underground. As I reached for registration stall, I was greeted by helpful staff who promptly handover me an ID batch (pre-printed). Pre-registration was not really required as my colleague told me that there were some people who registered on spot. Think so, as there were lots of extra chair arranged in the back of hall.
The Introduction was done by Mr. Shantanu Shrivastav. He was very short and finished in just 2 minutes even though he had 15 minutes slot. BTW, schedule was changed at 11th hour. More on that on later. After this there wsas an recorded demo of MicroStrategy on Apple iPad and iPhone, which would not appeal to Indians at all. I don’t know why they included it. The star presenter (or at least the presenter which had 80% of time), Mr. Pradyut Bafna has terrible voice as a speaker and his voice needed coarsening and habit of saying “aaa….” after every 5 seconds, but worst was he seemed to be totally unconnected with presentation. It cleared looked that he was not aware about the presentation. Also, turning back to presentation was making him goa bit away from mic, which was making is fumble voice even worse. The demo had some scope of Indianized, specially in Google Maps and usage. There are very few Retail customers, but financial reporting examples are that Indian customer would be able to connect. Please don’t give highly radical example like inventory shortage or mystery shopper. I have never ever found any speaker who was lost about what was on the screen. Sadly they had just one screen on Analytical functionality, one of most killing feature of MicroStrategy. Only positive, App integration and sensor integration (in MicroStrategy prompt, obviously) were very exciting. He lacked the enthusiasm of a good and commendable speaker. One of the screen, Info window surprised him. May be he was not ready. Regarding demo on Blackberry integration, which was pre recorded but w/o sound track, Pradyut must have had mastered it. Most of action came like Easter egg to him. He used words attribute, attribute element which very few business people could have had understand. Hearing nested prompt made me to kill myself.
Projector used was also bad too and fonts looked jarred with small font.
Him saying “No programming needed.” was misleading as I’ve rarely write any code in last 8 years. In fact that’s one of the reason I opted for (MicroStrategy) QA. A Writeback feature is new. What a joke. It was available since v7 days. One could buy it from MicroStrategy by paying a bit extra, or there are third party vendors. If you had time on your side, one could get it developed it in-house. In fact MicroStrategy willfully killed Writeback feature market. (MicroStrategy is actively involved in killing 3rd party market instead of letting in expand.. but don’t want to write about it..)
Sadly there was not a single live demo. No one had an iPad infact in the whole room. They had an MicroStrategy Event app listing various events organized by MicroStrategy across the glove but failed to show the current event. Should hve had some impact for bosses or high flayers decision makers.
Another claim was about i18 support. Multi lingual support is not really built in. There are changes to be made by client side.
Speaking about Command Manager, Integrity Manager and Cubes was totally unwarranted. First, it was made to be like be default in the license, which is not true and secondly companies can survive and have world-class implementation not having them. Lastly, who could have had understood about them in two minute half hearted demonstration. You must know that you are marketing to people who had never ever seen MicroStrategy (even the gentleman from L&T Infotech, who was last minute replacement for Future Group delegation)
Even though saying that (MicroStrategy has) not having bought any company and strongly believing in organic growth was right, it was wrong to say that MicroStrategy never ever had or not having collaboration with any Data-warehouse. Special collaboration with Teradta and Sybase is world known, not to forget the virtually every Data Warehouse maker is partner of MicroStrategy.
Luckily his finally his boring speech was over and entire room felt revealed.
Something first that support for another Mobile platform is going to be launched soon. Example of high performance and scalability with Ferrari and bus was right on spot for business users.
Calling MicroStrategy a ROLAP was incorrect too, it is HOPAL (please don’t ask me what it is.) Performance slides were truly awesome and must have had denting impact on decision makers. Emphasis on Cube, 64 bit implementation and numerous self certification which their competitor would no dated to, were good. Don’t know why they didn’t quote biggest back-end implementation w/o speaking the name of client.
From presentation I came to know that LinkedIn uses Asterdata. ;). They should have had given free installation DVD/ VMWare image to business user, which installation guide. Came to know about one more new engine to be released soon. (Probably it would be open secret, but don’t wanna name it)
In the schedule sent in email, Future Group was listed as original presenter but backed out at last moment and were replaced by L&T. L&T representative started off with an excellent note but on BI but came down to Marketing of L&T Infoech soon. 95% of slides didn’t connect with MicroStrategy and none had any mention of MicroStrategy mobile. In fact he was not prepared for MicroStrategy portion of slides and didn’t come out to be a good speaker (at least for MicroStrategy feature). He gave info about some two reporting solution created for other L&T companies, like Trax TA and Toll analytic, which were plain reporting and NOT analytics.
I don’t know whay sponsors of event, iCreate and BI retail were not allowed to give a demo. I had attended MicroStrategy 9 launch presentation in the Grand Hyatt two years back and all three sponsors were given 5 minutes each. iCreate and BI Retail have very zazy, intuitive, simple solution based on MicroStrategy Mobile. At least people could had had soon something in action. I have sympathy with sponsors. Probably they wanted demo (as authorization) a big name client then application maker. :((
It was a good time to catch up with Brajesh, who was my lead during my Cybage days and Jayesh, whome I met for first time (face to face). Lastly met Gautam, who had come to even for official reason. It was immensely satisfying to catch up with all. I fact, I missed opportunity to meet an ex-colleague just because we had never met face to face before.
In nutshell, visitors would remember this event as “at least food as good”. Many people said that with smile. Menu was same what was served in MicroStrategy 9 launch.
In end, I spoke with someone from MicroStrategy for around 20 minutes and shared my opinion (!@#$%^&) about the event. also, I came to know about marketing strategies of MicroStrategy in India and few daring confirmation of mistakes. I have given lots of suggestion to him, hope that they change accordingly.
Last but not least, As MicroStratey called himself in demonstration that it is a Ferrari that can run with a truck load of passenger or a bus that can run like Ferrari speed, like the way you like it. Remember, you need to have provide ample number of good drivers too. Only good number of MicroStrategy professionals would make a game chnager for MicroStrategy in India.
(Regarding bad speech by Pradyut, if you can get hands on the recording of the event, which was done, you would find this blog is highly toned down)