The recently-launched MicroStrategy division in South Africa is building a reseller and implementation channel based on business partners who are already steeped in business intelligence (BI).

Sandy Redgate, partner manager at MicroStrategy, comments: “In general, enterprise class BI is new territory for most chief information officers (CIOs). Although the principles and technology have been around for a while, BI has become top of mind in the boardroom as a business discipline only in the past 18 months or so.

“So there’s a need for CIOs to get up to speed on BI very quickly  – and that’s not all that easy because BI reaches so deep into the organisation. It affects and is affected by so many other aspects of operations.

“Organisations therefore need implementation partners who not only have a theoretical and business understanding of the operational and strategic ramifications of BI but have actually helped organisations manage those ramifications through to profitability.

“Also, MicroStrategy is an enterprise product and, therefore, very advanced. It takes a highly specialised business partner to sell it appropriately and implement it relevantly to show the value that the product offers. Accordingly, we’ve been extremely selective in our recruitment of business partners, choosing only those who have been involved in BI for many years – even when BI was not top of mind.”

MicroStrategy SA will go to market with its business partners and will make available its consulting team to ensure that each implementation undertaken is a successful and reference able one.

“In these early days of creating awareness of MicroStrategy and its capabilities in the South African market, we’re focusing on brand protection,” Redgate says.

To date, MicroStrategy has partnered with Knowledge Integration Dynamics (KID), Letsema Consulting, Reverside Software Solutions, iCentric Consulting (a member of the Simeka group) and iFactory Consulting.  Microstrategy also has strategic global partnerships with HP, IBM, MapInfo, Accenture and SPSS which will be leveraged in SA.

Formerly responsible for channel management at Oracle, managing resellers and alliances and bringing start-up BEE companies into the channel, Redgate says that her focus at MicroStrategy is on ensuring that the channel delivers tangible value for customers rather than on pushing sales volumes.

“MicroStrategy is not just another product. There isn’t another single platform that can handle as much data and as many users as ours. Also the open, flexible nature of our technologies enables us to be all things to all people without compromising our insight into particular industry segments.

“As a result, our solutions are change management and performance management enablers of unparalleled power. So we require our business partners to ensure that the system they implement delivers the business insights customers need to allow them to rapidly drive efficiencies and innovation.

“That calls for a level of focus on and commitment to customer success from our business partners that would be impossible to guarantee through multiple partners focused only on reselling.”