DB: Where are you?
KK: In Miami, at the MicroStrategy World Conference. There are 2,000 people here at the Intercontinental Miami, mostly business intelligence experts from mid-market companies and Fortune 500 corporations.
DB: What’s the focus this year?
KK: Mobile dashboards, cloud services, and social media. A lot of companies are so large that they have multiple (computer) hardware and software systems, plus smart phones and tablets, and we help them better integrate all of those things so they better drive efficiency and productivity. It can be a challenge when accounting uses one system, management uses another, and the sales staff has a different system.
DB: In what areas are you most effective in cost savings?
KK: When you look at getting your business intelligence on the cloud, the cost of getting started is very low. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on infrastructure. Plus, there are robust security offerings. We see the largest demand for cloud services among retailers, financial services, manufacturing, and pharmaceutical. Retail is the strongest sector and includes merchandising, procurement, sales, marketing, and vendor management.
DB: What’s your customer base?
KK: For Walt Disney, for example, we help with business intelligence initiatives, sales and marketing campaigns, collecting customer intelligence data, and even online sales for DVDs and merchandise. They are obviously a fun company to work with, given their rich content and assets. It’s one of those companies where the spirit of the founder is very much alive today, and we want to add to that in any way we can.
DB: How about local clients?
KK: There’s Con-way Freight (in Ann Arbor). We’ve helped them implement new business intelligence programs from the ground up, sales and marketing, improve upon their fleet efficiency, and better pricing. In other cases, companies have their data spread all over the place. We help them get to a single platform and, once the staff is trained, we create a system where they can self-service themselves. db — R.J. King