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MicroStrategy World 2011

By on January 24, 2011 in Conference Highlights with 0 Comments

MicroStrategy World 2011 Highlights

Each day of the conference we’ll be blogging the highlights on this page.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Welcome Reception really demonstrated the large number of attendees at this year’s conference, as people filled the exhibit hall, spilled out into the hallway and even the onto the patio.  The MicroStrategy Mobile demonstration area in the exhibit hall is very impressive, with multiple large screen televisions and lots of room for interested attendees to learn and ask questions.  The real estate given to this display highlights the importance to this year’s conference.  Look for mobile apps and social integration to be key points of the conference.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Walking into the keynote auditorium on Tuesday morning, the most striking fact was the number of chairs and size of the room.  Word has it that there are over 1700 non-MicroStrategy attendees, and it feels like there are an additional thousand of those.  The day started with a song and dance number trying to pump up the crowd, and in typical fashion the conference attendees really made the crew work hard.  Then it was on to the first keynote by Michael Saylor.  He spoke about MicroStrategy Mobile, MicroStrategy Transaction Services and MicroStrategy Cloud Intelligence, three offerings that will be the focus of Q1.  If you’ve ever heard him speak, he relates the vision and drivers for these products and services to what’s going on in the business and IT world at the time.  This speech was no different, and the key theme was how the iPad, tablet and mobile computing has changed the landscape more in the past 12 months than the web did in the prior decade.  He went as far as to say that every application built in the last decade is now obsolete in the face of the mobile computing.  Dan Kerzner then demonstrated some of the Q1 offerings for the packed auditorium.

The afternoon was filled with technical sessions, and the general feedback was that the sessions were excellent this year.  I had the opportunity to be a part of some information sharing that I’m normally not involved in thanks to a special invitation.  Details are being kept private, but I left for dinner about as excited for what the future holds as ever.

After dinner was the conference party, this year held at Tryst in the Wynn.  The club was very nice, with a beautiful outdoor patio overlooking several waterfalls.  The patio gave opportunity to escape the overly crowded and loud main lounge, and to enjoy some fresh air.  Things went late into the night, so I’m expecting to see less people in tomorrow’s general session.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Sanju started out the keynote with the MicroStrategy Awards presentation.  The winners were as follows:

  • Advanced Analytics: LinkedIn
  • High Performance: Starbucks
  • Extranet: CVS/Caremark
  • Mobile Deployment: Novation
  • Enterprise Deployment: Societe Generale
  • Excellence in BI: Sears

Kurt Schlegel from Gartner spoke on some of Gartner’s Strategic Planning Assumptions.  He outlined them as:

  • In memory BI
  • Interactive Visualization
  • Mobile Business Intelligence
  • Customer Facing BI

It’s not surprising that these align nicely with the features MicroStrategy is highlighting at the conference.

Next up was Mark LaRow from MicroStrategy, who spoke about three trends he sees in BI.  Trend 1 was BI apps, specifically on tablets and handheld devices.  He turned over to Tony Van der Hoek from Coca Cola who talked about their business approach to mobile deployment.  Then came Bruce Yen from Guess? who demonstrated the iPad app they built and deployed to their organization.  Mark returned to the stage with Trend 2 – High Scale, High Performance.  Nothing surprising there.  Trend 3 is Self Service BI via Visual Exploration.  Mark demos a completely new feature called Visual Exploration that will be available in the 9.2 release.  It’s completely flash based, and when used with the just released Import Data feature makes for easy business analysis of their own data without IT intervention.  That seems like a double edged sword to me.

The afternoon was filled with technical sessions.  Again, feedback was positive and the attendees seem generally excited.  The day ended with Regional Receptions and these were some of the most highly attended I’ve ever experienced at MicroStrategy World conferences.  I attribute it to customers eagerness to talk about the features and products already announced, even before tomorrow’s Futures presentation.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Thursday morning started out with a sit down continental breakfast.  Having the tables set up in the large room gave a much greater opportunity to sit, talk and interact with other conference attendees than the usual “find any place in the hallway to stand against” breakfast routine.  Most people took advantage of the opportunity, as the room was full of  people the entire hour.  Having a room set up for breakfast like this is a must for future conferences.

The morning saw two final sessions for technical and customer presentations, or an option to attend the “Intro to Mobile BI” class that is currently traveling the country.  I chose the latter, and it was an excellent experience.  Because the normally full-day class had to be compressed into 3 hours, all of the background and preparation that normally takes a full morning was skipped over.  Instead we moved right to the exercises.  Everything else was exactly the same as the roadshow.  We had opportunity to complete 6 exercises in creating mobile BI for both the iPhone and the iPad.  There were 6 instructors covering two full classrooms to provide guidance.  If you are considering mobile BI using MicroStrategy, I would definitely recommend finding one of the roadshow locations listed on their website.

After a sitdown boxed lunch, it was time for the Technology Futures Presentation.  As always, the session required a signed non-disclosure agreement, so you won’t find any details here.

Final Thoughts

All in all, having been to many of these conferences over the past 12 years, this was one of the best.  If you didn’t make it this year, next years event will be in Miami.  With another record turnout like this, that’s going to be a tight squeeze.

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About the Author

About the Author: John Frank is the Pricipal Consultant and Founder of DataFusion Technologies. John holds a Master of Science in Computer Science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from The Pennsylvania State University. .

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