Apple's iPad and iPhone are increasingly popular among workers who want to filter business intelligence through those devices, leading to the creation of new solutions.
Most purchasers of Apple's iPad and iPad 2 probably intend
to use the tablet as a consumption device, an ideal way for watching movies or
cruising the Web. That being said, with more and more Apple products finding
their way into the enterprise (largely through executives and other workers
insisting that IT integrate their personal devices into the network), the
pressure is rising for solutions that allow mobile devices to better leverage
businesses' software and analysis.
To that end, SAS and MeLLmo have partnered to integrate the
latter's Roambi ES3 mobile solution with SAS Enterprise BI Server, which in
turn will allow the porting of SAS business intelligence data onto the iPhone
and iPad. The two companies are working to have the solution released to the
ecosystem by early April.
"Our research found that employees in top performing
organizations - the best-in-class - were more than twice as likely as others to
be able to find needed information using mobile business intelligence," David
White, an analyst with the Aberdeen Group, wrote in a March 8 statement
accompanying the SAS-MeLLmo announcement.
"One of the reasons for this higher level of performance,"
White added, "is that they are more likely to have a richer presentation of
information that they can interact with. For example, the best-in-class are
more likely to use charts and dashboards, and three times more likely to have
the ability to drill down to access detailed information."
In that mode, the Roambi mobile assets will apparently
convert SAS business-intelligence reports and data into a dashboard format more
optimized for the iPhone and iPad's touch-screens.
Whether or not you agree with the assertion that "best in
class" organizations have already embraced mobile business intelligence-the
sheer amount of marketing dollars targeted at that particular segment, at the
moment, hints at a largely untapped market-many tech companies are working to
put solutions in place that allow workers to retrieve a variety of information
from remote locations.
Salesforce.com, Oracle, Microsoft and SAP have all recently
begun significant pushes to buttress out their CRM and BI products with a
variety of new features and functionality, including mobile, in a bid to edge
out their rivals.
In addition, the
rise of remote workers has increased the pressure on organizations to introduce
that allow for interaction with a company network, even
while on the road. With more employees clamoring for tablets and
smartphones-and wanting their IT departments to integrate their personal
devices into the network-the task of offering secure, simple remote access has
become a monumental challenge for IT pros at every level.
For IT administrators, the remote-access model threatens to
introduce an additional tangle of complexity, with four or five different
applications or platforms needed to enact a single remote solution. Hence the
companies moving into the space, including SAS and MeLLmo, that aim to offer
workers powerful remote tools for BI, with hopefully the sort of streamlined
implementation and maintenance that eases IT administrators' blood-pressure