I met yesterday night Michael Saylor, CEO of Microstrategy. And also a thought leader. Microstrategy is a software vendor from which we bought our brand new Business Intelligence server.
In a keynote, he talked a lot about how technology is reshaping economy, and, to be honnest, I'm impressed and frightened. Impressed by his analysis, frightened if he is true.
His bet : Social + Mobility + Cloud computing combined, alltogether, is a disruptive technology leading to a revolution for many industries : media, advertising, entertainment, retail, banking. At least.
Apps on facebook can reach at a unprecedent speed a large part of the (today's) 600 millions users, know them in depth, their likings, friends, friends likings, location, age, gender, ...
With more than 2/3 millions new facebook users a week, everybody who has got money will soon have a facebook account. The youngest because their social life is their, their grandparents because it's a way to see the kids pictures.
Knowing this data, media industry, entertainment, retail... would be able to push the right offers, sale, discount directly to target customers at target moments. When they marry, get kids, celebrate birthdays. According to what they already did. According to their likings, facebook, the most up-to-date customers database in the world, becomes a sort of worldwide cross industries giant loyalty programme.
Combined with smartphones, this happens anywhere and at anytime. Everywhere and all the time. Not only at home when you are in front of your computer, but also in a shop, when you scan a physical object and check its price on Amazon, or at a friend's home. And experience is enhanced : no queue, no pain, no hassle. Even payment may not require a credit card. A smartphone app can be the payment app.
As selling on the Internet is for sure the cheapest option : no store, no inventory, few employees, digital objects instead of physical ones, then it makes a difference for the consumers. This business model will for sure be successful.
Michael predicts that this will be quick. Scale and speed are the ingredients of a disruptive shift of business models. There will be the loosers and the winners.
And he wants to be part of the winners :-)
- That's why he invested massively in mobility. iPad, iPhone, Blackberry and soon Android can run reports, dashboards, business intelligence applications. I've tested it and am convinced that no other software vendor has designed an Enterprise application on tablets of this quality.
- That's why he soon will launch a cloud version of his software. I don't see competitors in the topones having an architecture that would allow them to do the same at a reasonable cost.
- That's why he is investing a lot in the social media arena. Terabytes of information on consumers require some business intelligence software to take advantage of it.
What's in for us ?
Let's imagine a sales representative with an iPad, interactive multimedia content on the products, analytics data on sales, history, budget, clients, products, and a CRM to organize and follow commercial plans. Online and offline.
We have got all the building blocks to achieve this :
- Quickbase for the Activities history
- Google Apps for the day to day organisation, the contacts, the activities planning
- Microstrategy for the sales analytics
- iPad multimedia capabilities for the rest
Quickbase on iPad, CevApps calendar and gmail on iPad, Microstrategy on iPad