Gold-Bernstein: Now I am going to ask a few follow-up questions for each of our panelists, and we’ll keep that short, maybe to one minute, because we don’t want to make this too long, so the first question goes to Luke Liang, CEO and co-founder of InetSoft, a business intelligence vendor who has been making waves among the entrenched, slow-to-change, big BI companies.
Now Luke, Maria was talking, I thought it was very interesting, she said that BI is about content, and BPM is the context. Now you’re all talking about operational BI and how you bring that to the people in real-time so as a pure play business intelligence vendor, how do you bring this information in real-time without having a BPM solution as well?
Liang: Yes, Beth, that is a very good question. We have observed how our customers approach BPM needs in general. They typically have two approaches to address this. One is they get a BPM suite. That is software that they would deploy into the different departments.
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Customize Enterprise Business Intelligence
Then the second way that they do that is to customize the different components that go into an enterprise business intelligence solution. And a lot of those components are coming from their existing business applications. Those are either transactional or more strategic.
Then they need something to string all those components together. Many times, the suite product they use still addresses only some requirements of a particular department or process, but does not usually fulfill all of the requirements across an enterprise.
In terms of operational business intelligence, then this really becomes a huge win, to pull all of these components together. The key capabilities we have seen customers demand, having to do with accessing multiple data sources, calls for a solution termed data mashup. In our particular BI technology architecture, our solution is based on Data Block technology.
“Flexible product with great training and support. The product has been very useful for quickly creating dashboards and data views. Support and training has always been available to us and quick to respond.
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Answer Dynamic Questions
This Data Block data mashup capability allows users, in a very dynamic way, to pull data together from different data sources. And right in the middle of their application or business process, they can utilize that information to answer dynamic questions that arise in day to day work.
Why this enterprise mashup capability is so critical is because we have learned the business processes are all very dynamic. You have most of them set up so you can have a consistency. But nonetheless, problems arise when you have exceptions – a new product is added, a new supplier comes on line, et cetera. Those things happen all the time.
But in this scenario, you still would like to get that consistent execution. You probably need to bring additional information into the picture, or have more than one business process come together to address the problem. So we have observed our users to use this capability of data mashup to really utilize all of their data sources and dynamically manipulate them and transform them to address new needs. They can answer the business questions they have on hand to keep their business process consistent, executing the way they envisioned.
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Where Operational Business Intelligence Lives
You are totally right, and Maria’s point about the context provided by the business process is right. It’s where operational business intelligence lives. It’s just that this context can be quite different for different customers. We are talking about very formal BPM deployment supported by particular technologies. Some of them really mashup a set of existing applications, and they are reinventing them for new purposes.
Gold-Bernstein: And you can integrate with any of them? Is that what you are saying? You’re sort of a best of breed. You can give the business intelligence to any of those solutions.
Liang: Yes, exactly.