INSIGHT: MicroStrategy World 2015 - A Kiwi customer's perspective

Desmond Lemmon-Warde, BI Consultant at Xero, looks back on MicroStrategy World, held in Las Vegas in January.

Business Intelligence software MicroStrategy is steadily increasing its presence in the New Zealand market, now boasting over twenty-five major companies as clients.

Desmond Lemmon-Warde, BI Consultant at Xero, looks back on their annual conference 'MicroStrategy World' held in Las Vegas in January.

It is the morning of the Internet of Things. There are sensors everywhere and people are broadcasting their every move and thought.

Businesses are sharing and on selling data to advertisers and governments are using technology to predict campaign outcomes and monitor public sentiment.

Unprecedented access to information brings opportunities to unlock business and market insights, predict inventory requirements, segment customers, optimise processes and effectively promote and recommend products based on correlational analysis.

What business, or government, would not want to surf the information wave we see coming?

However, to compete in a datafied world, organizations need the right tools and choosing the best Business Intelligence suite is a challenging task.

Given the broadness of capabilities required in a rapidly evolving technology landscape, software providers not only need to cater for today’s analytics requirements.

They must also show they can execute against projected future use cases and engage the development communities which will ultimately put their product features to use.

With these thoughts in mind I attended MicroStrategy World in Las Vegas to see what the provider had in store for its customers. I returned with mixed feelings...

The keynote presentation, delivered by CEO and Founder Michael Saylor, focused on security - or, more particularly, Usher.

Usher is Saylor's brainchild to solve the authentication and access control problems of the future. After announcing their new Cloud platform and MicroStrategy 9S, Saylor continued his talk by going into some detail about Usher, set against the backdrop of a business world plagued by data breaches and weak passwords.

While information security is a key concern for business, I question why enterprises would choose an analytics software provider for their end-to-end security platform, given the position of competitors like Microsoft, RSA and Verisign already in control of the directory services, VPNs and authentication gateways of so many businesses.

More engaging presentations included the announcement of a strategic alliance with cloud technology provider Amazon Web Services.

Brian Matsubara from AWS spoke about Amazon's continuing expansion around the globe and the perfect fit a partnership with MicroStrategy makes.

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