MicroStrategy Inc. will announce tomorrow the general availability of MicroStrategy 7, a completely rearchitected version of its flagship business-intelligence platform. The vendor is counting on the new release to accelerate its move into E-business analytics, including Web-traffic analysis, supply-chain management, and online customer-relationship management.
The upgrade is also significant because it demonstrates that MicroStrategy is back on track. The company ran into financial problems in March when it had to restate sales and earnings for 1998 and 1999--resulting in a $33.7 million loss for last year--because of errors in how it accounted for revenue from long-term contracts. "This might get the industry's mind off the financial issues and back onto the technical issues," says Mike Schiff, an analyst with Current Analysis.
The new release provides what MicroStrategy calls "collaborative analytics," using a built-in analytical engine working with a data warehouse's processing capability to speed up queries and get more accurate answers. The software also performs advanced data set analysis within its core analytical engine for such applications as customer segmentation.
Improvements to MicroStrategy 7's development tools are particularly important because they'll make it easier to link the analysis tool to other applications, Schiff says. The new version is also more scalable--it's able to work with multiterabyte data warehouses--and provides new caching, personalization, and security features. Pricing will begin at $30,000 per server CPU and $15,000 per Web server CPU.