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10/8/2008
09:13 AM
Cindi Howson
Cindi Howson
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Support Tops Priorities for Czech BI Market

While many of my peers headed to Seattle for Microsoft's BI Conference this week, I headed in the opposite direction to Prague, Czech Republic, to speak at IDC's annual BI Roadshow... Interesting to me is how highly BI expertise, support, and pricing are rated here. In part, this is because not all the BI vendors have an equal presence in the Czech Republic.

While many of my peers headed to Seattle for Microsoft's BI conference this week, I headed in the opposite direction to Prague, Czech Republic, to speak at IDC's annual BI road show.

I had never been here before, and I confess I had a degree of trepidation. While Prague today is a top business and tourist destination, the fall of communism was only 20 years ago. In fact, I was living nearby in Switzerland during that profound time so the memory is not too distant as my Czech friends then wondered if it was really safe to return. Some people I spoke with lament the modernization of the country, whereas others said the changes have been too slow, particularly outside of Prague. But back to BI.But back to BI. The Czech market and the U.S. market share similarities and differences. Whereas the BI tools market is growing at about 10% overall, here it's growing at 18% per year, according to IDC. If you read my blog regularly or read the BIScorecard Strategic Summary, you know I consider quality of support important. Interesting to me is how highly BI expertise, support, and pricing are rated here (check back later for a graphic on this). In part, this is because not all the BI vendors have an equal presence in the Czech Republic, so getting help during and post implementation can be more important than specific product features. A positive effect of last year's BI industry consolidation is that some BI vendors now have an improved presence in Central and Eastern Europe through the acquiring companies.

QlikTech gave an interesting presentation. While my vision for BI is for it to be a killer application, contributing to business success in multiple ways, QlikTech spoke of making BI more than "strategic" but also "addictive." It's a subtle but interesting point and made me think of this video a colleague from the Axis Group recently told me about.

It is amusing, but let's be clear - it was posted by the vendor. So while we have no way of knowing if it was a real user, I give them credit for creative marketing.

An interesting customer I spoke with is from telecommunication start up MobilKom. Its competitors are huge, with the likes of T-Mobile and Vodafon. They caught my attention as being one of the few attendees who described their deployment as very successful and on the road to being a killer app. They are using Oracle BI EE, but they acknowledged that while technology plays a role, what is more important is what they do with BI… the information they analyze and how it can help them beat the competition.

In that regard, the view of BI tools from Czech Republic is universally similar to the view from the U.S.! Regards, Cindi Howson Founder, BIScorecard, a resource for in-depth BI product reviews Author: Successful Business Intelligence: Secrets to Making BI a Killer AppWhile many of my peers headed to Seattle for Microsoft's BI Conference this week, I headed in the opposite direction to Prague, Czech Republic, to speak at IDC's annual BI Roadshow... Interesting to me is how highly BI expertise, support, and pricing are rated here. In part, this is because not all the BI vendors have an equal presence in the Czech Republic.

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