MicroStrategy Now the Leading Independent Provider of Open Systems Business Intelligence Software

Published on November 13, 2007 in Computer & Electronics, Computer Software, Internet, Technology


Open Systems BI Software Preferred by Many Organizations

McLean, Va. (November 13, 2007) –

MicroStrategy® Incorporated (Nasdaq: MSTR), a leading worldwide provider of business intelligence (BI) software, today announced that it is now the leading independent provider of open systems BI software, following the recent announcements of the acquisitions of Cognos by IBM and Business Objects by SAP.

MicroStrategy issued the following statement of its views regarding the consolidation in the BI industry:

Business intelligence consumers require financially strong, independent BI software providers. The acquisition of independent BI vendors by conglomerate software vendors will have the effect of creating “closed stacks” of proprietary software that work best only when used together. In contrast, independent vendors work with one another to create an “open systems stack” of software that has several important advantages for BI consumers.

1. CIOs Prefer Open Systems Solutions that Provide Freedom of Choice

Historically, CIOs have enjoyed and exploited their ability to freely choose software platforms that do not lock them into working with other specific hardware or software platforms. For example, operating systems have been chosen independently from hardware; ERP systems have been chosen independently from operating systems; database management systems have been chosen independently from operating systems and ERP systems; and BI platforms have been chosen independently from all of these.

This independence of choice gives CIOs the leverage to get the best prices from their vendors and the flexibility to change the software at any layer, as their needs change. Freedom of choice forces software vendors to be highly responsive and innovative, because they know they can be replaced at any time in the stack.

Open systems BI vendors provide BI software that is optimized to work in conjunction with a wide range of potential complementary DBMS, ETL, Operating Systems, Directory Services, ERP, and Web software. Unlike proprietary or closed stack BI software, such as Oracle Discoverer or SAP’s Business Explorer, open systems BI software provides CIOs the flexibility to change hardware, databases, or ERP systems as their needs change.

2. Only Open Systems Solutions Can Be Optimized for Heterogeneous Technology Stacks

Independent open systems vendors have the advantage of being able to optimize their technology for interoperation with other component vendors’ technology, often through the synchronization of development priorities. Conglomerate software vendors are necessarily prevented from working closely with each other because they compete with each other in one or more areas, ultimately resulting in more proprietary closed stacks of technology. It would be unrealistic for a database vendor to share its development plans with another database vendor for the purpose of optimizing their BI tools.

3. Independent Open Systems BI Software Vendors Can Innovate Quickly

As BI vendors are absorbed into conglomerate software companies, they must necessarily participate in many more decision loops with the many new stakeholders in the new parent company, with the result that innovation may slow down while decision-making cycles simultaneously increase.

Some industry observers have suggested that BI technology is now a commodity, making it ripe for acquisition and relaxing the requirements for innovation. MicroStrategy believes that many more years of hard technical innovation are required before the full vision of pervasive enterprise BI is realized, including:

* Delivering sub-second query performance for all common queries
* Instant access by thousands of users
* New visualization techniques that go beyond tables and graphs, helping business decision-makers to understand their data
* New user interface paradigms that allow users to freely explore the entire data warehouse, like surfing the Web
* New user interface paradigms that replace report design with Internet-style search
* Lights out operation providing 24-7 fault-tolerant operation
* Delivering information to all mobile and stationary user interfaces
* Delivering relevant alerts information automatically and proactively
* Embedding intelligence automatically in every operational application
* Making advanced analytics easily accessible by all business users

MicroStrategy believes that innovation comes from nimble independent vendors, whose singular focus and narrow mission drive clarity and purpose to technical and business decisions.

4. Independent Vendors of Open Systems Solutions Provide Superior Service and Predictable Stability to Their Customers

Finally, MicroStrategy believes that the independent vendors of open systems solutions deliver superior service to their customers because they only survive based on superior quality of technology and superiority of their customer service.

MicroStrategy understands that some instability and uncertainty will be created by the consolidation in the industry. In the case of the IBM acquisition of Cognos, Cognos’ customers and prospects should watch for:

* Changes in technical direction: IBM may focus Cognos’ engineers on integration with existing IBM products (WebSphere & DB2) rather than driving an innovation agenda
* Changes in product focus: Adaytum and Applix do not fit well with IBM’s historic focus on the software infrastructure business
* Changes in Cognos’ management and defections as the two companies merge their personnel
* Changes in Cognos’ relationships with other DBMS vendors with whom Cognos had been working as an independent vendor
* Changes in Cognos’ commercial policies, pricing, licensing, and terms and conditions
* Changes in account management and consulting relationships as the Cognos sales and consulting forces are merged with IBM’s
* Changes in industry alliances: Many of Cognos’ systems integration partners will likely alter allegiances as many compete directly with IBM Business Consulting Services (BCS). For example, large systems integrators might be reluctant to bring Cognos into accounts for fear that Cognos will introduce IBM BCS.

“At MicroStrategy, our goal is the relentless pursuit of the perfect BI platform and the realization of pervasive enterprise BI,” said Sanju Bansal, MicroStrategy COO. “We are fortunate to have many customers who have implemented very demanding and extensive BI solutions. They are teaching us what the perfect BI platform must do. We listen. Our leading BI platform has been developed entirely organically, without acquisition and without compromise, so we have the foundation needed to take our customers and their open systems solutions well into the future.”

About MicroStrategy
Founded in 1989, MicroStrategy is a global leader in business intelligence (BI) technology. MicroStrategy provides integrated reporting, analysis, and monitoring software that helps leading organizations worldwide make better business decisions every day. Companies choose MicroStrategy for its advanced technical capabilities, sophisticated analytics, and superior data and user scalability. More information about MicroStrategy (Nasdaq: MSTR) is available at www.microstrategy.com.

MicroStrategy, MicroStrategy Business Intelligence Platform 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.

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MicroStrategy, Incorporated

Source: MicroStrategy

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