Business intelligence hits the road

Johannesburg, 05 Apr 2002
Read time 2min 20sec

Driven by the myriad demands of the Internet Age, business intelligence (BI) deployments have been becoming steadily more pervasive in the business environment in the past few years. Now, thanks to the wireless revolution, BI is going real-time and just in time.

It`s called mobile BI, and it`s transforming the way road warriors work. Instead of driving into the office and printing a paper report before heading out into the field, sales or service personnel can now head directly to their first appointment, picking up the latest customer data just a few seconds prior to their meeting.

Until now, BI`s role has been to transform raw data into real information and present that information to end-users in a meaningful and usable manner, allowing them to take quick, educated decisions.

Mobile BI takes this a step further by using handheld devices like cellphones and PDAs to give users interactive, on-demand access to corporate information when out of the office.

"The Internet brings wireless BI the ability to make decisions and take action irrespective of geographic location, or office hours. With mobile BI, users can access and analyse information, anytime, anywhere," says Gary Lawrence, the country manager of BI solutions provider Business Objects South Africa. "Business decision-makers don`t need to be uninformed anymore simply because they`re out of the office."

The move to mobile BI has been made possible by the higher wireless data speeds provided by new mobile technologies like GPRS (general packet radio services), which gives subscribers "always-connected" access to the Mobile Internet without first having to dial up.

How far can wireless BI go? As networks become more powerful, the devices that access them are developing too. What seems certain is that by the time the more powerful third generation (3G) networks are in place, the devices that access them will be much more feature-rich than today`s phones and PDAs.

"This will open the way for the delivery of additional mobile BI functionality like comprehensive palm-sized BI applications, including powerful online analytics running behind a simplified user interface. The vast majority of BI functionality available with connected devices will become pervasive," predicts Lawrence.

What`s more, the value of voice interaction will soar as users find themselves increasingly conducting analysis far from their keyboards and mice. BI during the morning commute will become commonplace. At last, an intelligent alternative to Jeremy Mansfield ...

Business Objects

Business Objects is the world`s leading provider of business intelligence (BI) solutions. Business intelligence lets organizations access, analyse, and share information internally with employees and externally with customers, suppliers and partners. Business intelligence helps organisations improve operational efficiency, build profitable customer relationships, and develop differentiated product offerings.

The company`s products include BusinessObjects 2000, the industry`s leading integrated business intelligence toolset and platform, and BusinessObjects Analytics, an integrated suite of enterprise analytic applications.

Business Objects pioneered the modern BI industry in 1990 by inventing a patented "semantic layer" that insulates users from the complexity of databases. In 1995, the company was first to focus on enterprise-scale BI deployments and today supports customers with more than 20 000 users. The company moved aggressively to the Internet in 1997 by pioneering the market for BI extranets, a market that it continues to lead today. In 2000, the company delivered the industry`s first interactive wireless BI solution. Today, Business Objects continues to innovate, creating and delivering a unique vision for enterprise analytic applications.

Business Objects has more than 14 000 customers in over 80 countries. The company`s stock is publicly traded under the ticker symbols NASDAQ: BOBJ and Euronext Paris: code Euroclear France 12074, and included in the SBF 120 and IT CAC 50 French stock market indexes. Business Objects can be reached at 408 953 6000 and

Editorial contacts
eCommunications Ingrid Lotze (011) 781 0097
Business Objects Gary Lawrence 082 900 9989
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