- Market Dynamics
- CIO Top Priorities part 1
CIO Top Priorities part 2
A Bright Future
Introducing IntelliFront BI
CIO Top Priorities part 2
Some of our clients have a reoccurring nightmare: the purchase of a great software product followed by a disastrous implementation or poor support. We find it interesting that they share this fear frequently, even though they reassure us that ChristianSteven Software has been outstanding in this regard.
We strive for intimate, long-term relationships with our customers to ensure that our products deliver their full value throughout their lifecycles. Superior planning, deployment, maintenance, and support have always been top priorities for us because they differentiate us clearly from larger, less focused competitors.
We'll do more to expose the value of our professional services. And we'll do a better job of making sure existing and prospective customers understand that ChristianSteven Software will be around for a long time and continue to be a reliable partner and advisor.
CIOs stress constantly that preserving and fully exploiting existing investments is an absolute requirement. For us, it's always been a foundational principle. We add incremental value by extending and strengthening existing tools and solutions. We never displace anything (except, perhaps, an unwieldy homegrown report distribution process that no one knows how to maintain).
We've been told repeatedly that maintaining this principle is critical as we evolve our offerings. We have no plans to change our approach.
The CIOs who run SQL Server or Crystal Reports in their companies are most vociferous on this point. They typically spend a king's ransom to purchase and run that software. No vendor can even begin a conversation with those folks if there is any hint that any piece of an existing architecture would be displaced.
Another twist on the notion of reuse: most enterprises recognize that employees and people outside the enterprise use personal mobile devices extensively to access company resources and information. Security managers everywhere shudder, but it's a fact of life in all but the most rigidly managed organizations. This means business Intelligence delivered by any ChristianSteven Software solution must render flawlessly on every mobile platform. Individuals and companies will not spend money to upgrade personal devices to meet any minimal technical standards required by our company (or any other company, for that matter).
Business processes obviously don't stop at the boundaries of a company. Over the years, we've been nothing short of amazed at the uses customers find for our solutions. One of them really stands out: the use of our products to deliver business intelligence and documents beyond the walls of the enterprise (e.g. customers, partners, suppliers) at a scale that cannot be matched by other solutions, including giants like Microsoft and SAP.
We received unambiguous feedback about the need to preserve existing capabilities and to augment them with additional features to increase efficiency across the borderless enterprise. And it goes without saying that these capabilities much be secure and guard privacy.
Action for Actionable Intelligence
Reliable delivery of business intelligence is great, but integrating that process with the rest of the enterprise is even better. ChristianSteven Software solutions have always supported threshold monitoring, process automation, workflows and embedded data update capabilities as a natural product extension.
Some customers worried that our commitment to these capabilities would wane as we introduce new business intelligence distribution solutions. Or they worried that we would not focus on enhancing these capabilities in the future.
Nothing could be farther from the truth. We recognize very clearly that business intelligence by itself is worthless unless a mechanism or a person responds to it (if required). We will always strive to incorporate superior features that promote task automation and enable users to take action from within business intelligence delivery solutions.
What we need to improve is our clarity about this topic. These features are core capabilities of our solutions, not afterthoughts.
A Bright Future
Our leadership team has a crisp strategic BI Product roadmap. We're incorporating what our customers told us, and we're using our own vision to establish these additional guiding principles.
We're borrowing a phrase from Scott McNealy ("all the wood behind one arrow") to take advantage of the burgeoning SQL Server and Crystal Repot markets. We want to seize a number of interesting opportunities in that space to enhance and extend that platform. We will build on the extraordinary legacy of SQL-RD and our other solutions that have augmented SQL Server for many years. At the same time, we have no intention of abandoning or otherwise ignoring our existing products, all of which provide significant revenue streams for us.
We've had a vision for some years about creating a single business intelligence solution that would service all needs on the Business Intelligence Continuum, a spectrum of distribution and format possibilities for specific needs across the borderless enterprise. It will be "galactic headquarters" for the management and distribution of actionable business intelligence while at the same time hiding complexity and offering end-users unmatched ease-of-use. We believe this engine will be nothing short of a revolution for business intelligence distribution.
It boils down to this: companies save money when people help themselves without assistance from others. We will help people build and schedule more reports and dashboards on their own. In effect, we want to manage the plumbing behind the wall while enabling users to turn on the business intelligence faucet without assistance.
We're evolving our thinking about how to best serve the borderless enterprise while minimizing risk, increasing security and playing nicely in a world where a hosted infrastructure can mean any number of things (some of which probably haven't been invented yet). This means we'll architect a solution that is coupled flexibly, agnostically and reliably to infrastructure services, data sources, and applications, regardless of where it lives or where they live.
One of our core solution values has always been unlimited horizontal scalability. We'll not only continue that, but we'll make it better and easier to manage on a more robust solution.
This is more about economics than technology. We want to make an obvious and compelling statement about the value of a future solution. CIOs and other IT executives should be able to look at our solution and know intuitively how and why it's going to improve business processes and save money.
We're very excited about the future. This is an important moment in our company's evolution and we are confident about continuing to deliver superior value to our clients.
Introducing IntelliFront BI™
Here are a few essentials of the product:
- Designed for SQL Server & Crystal Reports Business Intelligence.
- A single solution for the enterprise manages scheduled, on-demand, threshold-driven and triggered reports; and it has tools for non-technical users to create real-time dashboards.
- The product emphasizes self-help facilities for creating reports and dashboards while continuing to support centralized management and control over business intelligence assets.
- To ensure successful implementations, we are training our professional services organization team to be terrific business consultants as well as outstanding technologies. We feel strongly that the value of IntelliFront BI can be appreciated only in a full business context that takes into account its many positive impacts beyond ROI.
IntelliFront BI™ will deliver the following benefits for enterprise executives:
- A single, infinitely scalable solution for SQL Server & Crystal Reports implementations will manage all business intelligence distribution requirements for the enterprise as well as for customers, partners, and suppliers. Additional software tools and custom development work will never be needed.
- IntelliFront BI™ will drastically reduce the amount of manual labor required to administer enterprise reporting while offering unmatched reliability and delivery speed.
- Immediate cost savings and streamlined business processes mean the ROI payback period will be short.
- Advanced security features and a high availability architecture substantially mitigate corporate risk.
- IntelliFront BI™ doesn't replace existing investments. Instead, it amplifies and extends the power of SQL Server & Crystal Reports at a much lower cost than equivalent Microsoft alternatives.
How to advance your BI journey
How do you get started or advance your BI journey? Let me offer three options for you.
The first option is to Get Educated
We have created a set of eBooks that you may enjoy reading. For example: " CIOs Buyers Guide: How to Select the Right BI Tool for Your Company" Another one is "Operational Inefficiency: It's Everyone's BI Pain" in which we discuss the results of our market survey to over 100 CIOs.
The second is to Get Organized
For many CIOs, you may want to benchmark and assess where you are today and where you want to go. If this is your situation, we created our BI Strategy Assessment.
We will review your BI strategy, identify gaps that you may want to address and provide our recommendations and strategic counsel.
Just send an email to email@example.com and we will work with you to schedule your BI Strategy Assessment.
The third is to Get Started
We created our "Jump Start Program" so that you can achieve success in any one or all of these areas in 30-90 days. Our program includes our integrated BI solution, implementation services and best practices. Tell us about your current project here and we will contact you to discuss how we can help.
I have talked a lot about CIO's top priorities, market dynamics, the future of Business Intelligence, Business Intelligence reporting tools and IntelliFront BI™. I have also given you three ways to advance your BI journey.
Leave me a comment below. I can't wait to hear your thoughts!