MicroStrategy tackles reporting with new BI tool

FRAMINGHAM (11/21/2003) - Business intelligence software maker MicroStrategy Inc. this week edged into the field of reporting by introducing a new tool it claims can be easily deployed throughout an enterprise -- and even beyond it to partners and customers.

On Monday, the McLean, Va.-based company announced the rollout of MicroStrategy Report Services, an analysis product that can generate a wide variety of reports, executive scorecards, line-of-business metrics reports and operational reports to rank-and-file personnel.

"The bottom line," said MicroStrategy Chief Operating Officer Sanju Bansal in a statement, "is that MicroStrategy Report Services brings the best of business intelligence to the masses. Historically, detailed analysis combined with compelling report formatting has been reserved for a relatively few business analysts."

MicroStrategy boasted that its Web-based reporting technology can offer personalized features, such as allowing users to drill down into the content of a report using a menu. It also comes with an intuitive design kit that will let users craft reports without relying on IT personnel or other specialists. The Web interface supports English, Spanish, German, French, Italian, Portuguese, Korean, Japanese, Chinese and Swedish out of the box.

The reports can be distributed over the Web, via e-mail or through a portal or file server, the company said. It's also integrated with the MicroStrategy Business Intelligence Platform, which will allow users to toggle easily between reporting and analysis tasks.

The move to expand core analysis software to include reporting capabilities isn't new for the industry, said analyst Keith Gile at Cambridge, Mass.-based Forrester Research Inc. For instance, he wrote in a recent report, business intelligence software maker Business Objects SA acquired report software vendor Crystal Decisions Inc. for that very reason.

Because the new offering is integrated with other MicroStrategy products and bundled with its services and security and metadata features, customers might want to consider using it to standardize their business intelligence and reporting needs, he said.

While MicroStrategy has yet to prove itself as a reporting vendor, it has already established the reliability of its underlying business intelligence architecture, said Gile.

MicroStrategy Report Services is available now; prices are based on configuration.

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