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New Frontiers in Business Intelligence

Nari Kannan

Mobile Business Intelligence - Opportunities, Challenges & Solutions

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The promise of mobile business intelligence has been talked about for some time.

Many companies are beginning to implement BYOM policies: Bring Your Own Mobile.

There are a number of opportunities, challenges and also solutions.

The opportunities are plenty. CXO-level people on the road can use business intelligence with highly visualized formats that can enable them to digest information quickly, especially the latest ones. If anything, business intelligence in the hands of such users, if successful, can see widespread adoption very quickly.

However, the challenges are many also--primarily, security. What data is stored locally on the mobile device? What if a person leaves behind a mobile phone or a tablet computer with sensitive data in a coffee shop and it is stolen?

Or what happens in the case of data on an employee's mobile device when that person has left the company?

More than anything, the mobile and tablet-device market is going through rapid changes and market adjustments. Many new tablet operating systems, such as the HP WebOS and BlackBerry PlayBook, are joining the already popular Apple iPad and the new big kids on the block, Android tablets.

With this many devices would a company develop an app each for each of the platform? How do you guess which platforms your employees may have on their own mobile devices?

Luckily, there are some good solutions emerging for these challenges: HTML5 for example. If you can serve Web pages in the  "near-app-like" user interfaces possible with HTML5, you solve many issues in one sweep. There is nothing stored locally. Everything is served through HTML5 pages. You can change the user name or the password of an employee who is leaving and that person can no longer access sensitive data.

You may still face some pesky issues, such as local caches, but I am sure HTML5 either already has or will come up with some mechanisms to clear the cache before the browser window is shut down.

I think that the time for mobile BI is fast approaching and the opportunities and the technologies may just be beginning to jell.

The mobile Web initiative is important. Information must be made seamlessly available on any device. -- Tim Berners-Lee

Nari Kannan's blog explores how new approaches to business intelligence can help organizations improve the performance of business processes--whether these processes are creative or operational, internally-focused or customer-facing, intra-departmental or across functions.

Nari Kannan

Nari Kannan started and serves as the CEO of appsparq, a Mobile Applications development company based in Louisville, KY with offices in Singapore and India. Nari has over two decades of experience in computer systems development, translating product and service strategy into meaningful technology solutions, and both people and product development. Prior to this, he has served as both Chief Technology Officer and Vice President- Engineering in six successful startups, two of which he co-founded. He has proven experience in building companies, engineering teams, and software solutions from scratch in the United States and India. Prior to this, Nari started Ajira Technologies, Inc., in Pleasanton, CA, where he served as Chief Executive Officer for more than six years. While at Ajira, Nari was instrumental in developing service process management solutions that modeled, monitored, and analyzed business processes, initially targeting the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), Telecom, and Banking verticals in India, and Finance, Insurance, and Healthcare verticals in the United States. Prior to this, he served as VP-Engineering at Ensenda, an ASP for local delivery services. He also served variously as Chief Technology Officer or VP-Engineering at other Bay-Area venture funded startups such as Kadiri and Ensera. He began his career at Digital Equipment Corporation as a Senior Software Engineer. Nari has a long involvement with Customer Support and other customer facing processes. At Digital Equipment Corporation he was involved with their 1800 person customer support center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He was tasked with coming up with innovative tools to help customer support people do their jobs better. He holds a U.S patent for a software invention that automatically redirected email requests for customer support to the right group by digesting the contents of the request and guessing at which software or hardware support group is best equipped to handle it. At Ensera, he led a 45 person team in developing an internet based ASP service for handling auto insurance claims, coordinating information flow between end-customers, Insurance companies, Repair shops and Parts suppliers. Ensera was acquired by Mitchell Corporation in San Diego. Nari holds a B.S. degree in Physics from Loyola College, and an M.B.A degree from the University of Madras in Madras, India. He graduated with a M.S. degree in Computer Science from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1985. Contact Information: Nari Kannan. Email: nari@appsparq.com Mobile: 925 353 0197. Website: www.appsparq.com View more .

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