InetSoft: Business Intelligence Suite Provider Joins a BI Podcast

A continuation of eBizQ's Business Intelligence in Action Podcast

Gold-Bernstein: OK. Excellent. My next question is for Maria. Maria, you mentioned that you were previously at Business Objects. Everyone is talking about operational BI and since you have a BPM product, what do you say is the difference between a BPM tool providing the operational business intelligence, because I know your solution has some business analytics in it, as opposed to the types of analytic tools and business intelligence that you can get from the pure BI vendors?

Ross: Well I think what we’ve seen with our customers is that they approach this from two different angles. They either have a BI strategy in place, and we’ve worked with many customers that use Cognos, Business Objects, Hyperion, etc. They have this business intelligence platform in place whereby they’re gathering the data across their enterprise and across their systems.

As Luke suggested, it spans applications and databases where all the information comes from. They are looking to, as I said before, put the processes in context. The second approach we find is that they are putting a BPM, a process strategy in place. The follow-on to that is sometimes the business intelligence strategy.

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So we find them coming from each side of the coin. Now the important thing that we have seen with our customers is that the reality for them is that the process improvement aspect – whether they are coming at it from the process improvement side to begin with, or they already have the BI solution in place, and now they’re trying to put them in context – is that a lot of those projects are stalled by the legacy of past failed projects, the lack of concrete requirements, especially from business owners. Someone mentioned before that lack of collaboration between IT and business to get accurate requirements in place in a quick manner to adjust to changing business conditions.

Now we’re seeing, as always, IT budgets aren’t getting bigger. They’re getting smaller, and folks are naturally defaulting to their existing systems and infrastructure for their new projects. So you look at existing systems they have in place, they don’t match the way their people are using them right now. And we all know that any system that has reached the capital expenditure committee has some sort of workflow, or at least they say they do.

So all of these projects have multiple workflows, multiple modeling tools, teams, applications, process improvement turns into its own chaos that you have built on top of the application. Database chaos you’ve already had.
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And so what we like to term this is business intelligence gone wild. And what a BPM suite can do in conjunction with a BI suite, or with the analytics that are included in the suite, it depends on the suite, you want that information. Business intelligence helps to fill some of that information gap for people.

The existing applications don’t have the ability to respond to people-driven process issues. And folks were trying to do these unnatural things with their existing systems. And many times some of our larger customers that are deploying hundreds of processes with thousands of users worldwide, they found that the solution wasn’t going to work for them. They were trying to retrofit something that was meant for something else.

With our suite, or similar BPM suites, you can get the data in a simplistic form from the actual process, maybe if it’s at a departmental level, but if you already have a business intelligence suite in place, you’re already gathering those valuable key metrics, and you already have BI dashboards set up.

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