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Information Builders Customers Embrace Mobile BI

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Following up on the launch of WebFOCUS Mobile BI last week, Information Builders, an independent leader in business intelligence (BI) solutions, today announced its broad penetration of the mobile BI market. As the long-time leader in mobile BI, Information Builders has hundreds of customers with mature installations of its mobile BI solutions and Active Technologies.

IDC estimates that the world's mobile worker population will pass the one billion mark this year and grow to nearly 1.2 billion people – more than a third of the world's workforce – by 2013. As many of these workers shed their laptops for smartphones and tablet computers, they are looking for ways to access, analyze, and display enterprise data via BI applications that take full advantage of the native capabilities of their chosen mobile devices.

Information Builders customers are demonstrating how to achieve this objective by using WebFOCUS Active Technology reports and WebFOCUS Mobile BI technology on smartphones, such as the iPhone, Android-based phones, BlackBerry devices, and tablets such as the iPad.

"Active Technology reports are ideal for organizations that wish to create reports, dashboards, and web applications that work across all mobile platforms and web browsers," said Gerald Cohen, president and CEO at Information Builders. "These highly portable, self-contained BI functions include an embedded analytics engine, yet they do not require an individual license or a separate mobile server, like many other mobile BI solutions do. These architectural advantages have fueled rapid adoption and broad penetration across a wide spectrum of enterprise applications."

Some organizations that have successfully used these capabilities include:

  • AJ Logistics, a premier provider of custom warehousing and logistics services, created a WebFOCUS application that lets clients track multiple projects, obtain status updates, and issue commands via iPhones, iPads, and other mobile devices. For example, a client that is opening a new retail store can use the BI app to schedule furniture, fixtures, and equipment deliveries and coordinate installation services. Simple requests issued through mobile devices trigger multi-step workflow processes that update inventory tables, schedule deliveries, notify project managers, and direct activities at company warehouses. "We see more and more customers using phones and tablets because it is quicker and more expedient than having to return to a desk to initiate these tasks," said Greg Johnston, CIO at AJ Logistics. "We like WebFOCUS because it lets mobile users both query and update a database via native browser apps." AJ Logistics also created a WebFOCUS operational reporting environment to automate bids, billing, collections, invoicing, and payments.
  • Dealer Services Corporation (DSC), America's largest independent inventory finance provider for used automobiles, serves 9,000 automotive dealers across the U.S. Thanks to WebFOCUS Active Technology reports, DSC's field staff is constantly apprised of financial metrics using reports that are consolidated into a unified dashboard for easy analysis via BlackBerry, iPhone, iPad, Android-based smartphones, and Windows mobile devices. The actionable BI system accesses DSC's cubes, data warehouses, transactional stores, and Excel spreadsheets to deliver relevant content every day to field representatives, operational managers, and executives. Authorized users can receive these dashboards as e-mail attachments, and even forward them to customers in the form of active PDF files that permit remote analysis. In addition, WebFOCUS predictive analytics technology helps managers forecast revenue from each dealer based on variables, such as when a dealer will pay off its vehicles, when it will incur new fees, and how many cars it will add to inventory.
  • The NASA Launch Vehicle Processing Directorate used WebFOCUS Active Technology to create reports for an emergency notification system, helping managers monitor the status on their employees after the center has been evacuated in the event of a disaster. "If a hurricane is coming, managers at the director, division, and branch levels receive Excel and Active Technology reports that list all pertinent employees, including their addresses and emergency contact numbers, so they can get a hold of each member," explained Ron Phelps, a project manager in the NASA directorate. "For example, if Cocoa Beach gets hit hard, they can instantly bring up a list of employees and filter on people in that area to make sure everybody is accounted for."
  • The City of Richardson, Texas used Information Builders WebFOCUS BI platform to create a mobile reporting environment that delivers crime data to police chiefs. Using their BlackBerrys, these officers can track active 911 calls including the status of involved patrol cars, fire trucks, and ambulances. Another mobile BI application lets them obtain information about the criminals held in the city's jail. "Access to data while in the field is very important to our city's public safety officials," said Eric Matthews, deputy CIO for the city. "Using Active Technologies for Mobile on their BlackBerry devices, officers can drill down to the details of each person's incarceration, and understand the crimes for which they are being held. Having this type of data not only on the police vehicle's computer, but also at the officer's side on his or her BlackBerry, is critical."

About Information Builders

Information Builders provides software and services that bring smarter decision-making and streamlined processes to leading organizations in business, government, and education worldwide. The company's software is installed in tens of thousands of locations, servicing millions of users. Its WebFOCUS business intelligence (BI) platform delivers massively scalable information applications, analytics, and customer-facing portals to the new generation of information users to deliver game-changing business results. Its iWay Software integration platform allows enterprises to leverage all of their information resources to streamline internal and business-to-business processes while escalating the overall accessibility and integrity of information regardless of environmental complexity. Headquartered in New York City with 60 offices worldwide, the company employs 1,350 people and has established significant industry partnerships. Visit Information Builders at informationbuilders.com. For ongoing news, go toinformationbuilders.com/new or follow Information Builders at @infobldrs.

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