MicroStrategy believes it is now the leading independent provider of open systems business intelligence (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.
"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 optimised 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.
"Only open systems solutions can be optimised for heterogeneous technology stacks.
"Independent open systems vendors have the advantage of being able to optimise their technology for interoperation with other component vendors’ technology, often through the synchronisation 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 optimising their BI tools.
"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 realised, including:
* Delivering sub-second query performance for all common queries;
* Instant access by thousands of users;
* New visualisation 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; and
* 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.
"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."