Mark Flaherty (MF): With the self-service capabilities of Style Intelligence, you can use to create dashboards and reports on your data warehouse or analytics environment, and you can do this very fast, and you can do it with new set of users such as salesforces or people in the C level. But also the analysts in the enterprise can meet all their needs, even if it’s in a more complex business environment where it makes sense. You have really the BI systems drive a different way of doing business in the marketplace.
So what we hear is great response on the whole about usability, great response about implementation time because you can really do something up and running very fast. The next thing is we also hear a lot of things that a lot of customers need to now rethink their business strategies to take advantage of this new kind of analytic solution. They are not used to having all this information at their fingertips.
So, there are also some changes in organizational models that are happening right now. There are some changes in BI competency centers and data governance because people w ant to have access to this kind of solution. This is something that IT departments have to cope with in the long run.
The shift to self-service BI brings up an interesting point connected to the relationship between a CIO to the CFO or COO. Are there pain-points for the CFO in relation to BI, are they relying on the CIO for the reports, or do they want to create their own reports in dashboards moving away from depending on IT; what are you seeing along these lines?
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That’s precisely the trend that we started noticing a few years ago. And I think the reason for that is that business intelligence, unlike any other software segment and unlike any other application, the environment, the requirements for business intelligence are changing the paradigm. There is a new competitive strategy, there is a new M&A activity, there is a new product on the market, or your competitor just changed the pricing of their product.
So, the business people across all offices, front and back offices, really need to react on a dime. They need to react very quickly. They need to analyze these new situations. And every time a new question or a new requirement to analyze something comes up, if they have to pick up the phone and call their information technology professional counterpart, well unfortunately that model doesn’t work anymore.
So we indeed do see people across front, middle and back offices from the CFO, CMO, and COO relying more and more on their own staff to solve their analytical challenges. They are indeed picking up the budgets for analytics and not leaving those budgets in the hands of their IT counterparts. So that’s definitely a very significant trend that I am expecting to continue to grow.
What is great is that we can bring a solution in to the client that really has a really fast implementation time in terms of getting something productive up and running in weeks. Not having a project last a year or two years is a very, very important thing. If you look back to the old times of business intelligence, it took people sometimes years to consolidate data and to draw relevant data out of systems.