New white paper explores mobile opportunities and presents practical achievable strategies for delivering business intelligence to mobile devices
London, UK – 11 June 2002 – The number of businesses that rely on a mobile workforce is growing. According to Gartner, roughly one fifth of people in the domestic workforce has a mobile job requirement. This means an increasing demand for access to real-time business information via mobile devices, whether it’s a Palm Pilot, a Pocket PC or a RIM email device. Information Builders, the leader in business intelligence solutions for real-time information delivery over the Web, has issued a white paper outlining strategies for the efficient delivery of business intelligence information to any mobile device.
The white paper highlights the challenges that businesses can encounter when using mobile devices. These include issues of device standardisation, bandwidth speed, viewing limitations and wireless connectivity. The white paper also addresses the business challenges such as making use of existing IT assets without compromising security.
Mobile devices have no application standard and most organisations cannot standardise on one device. In addition a company probably cannot control which device type everyone in its workforce will use. The bottom line is that, in this no-standards application environment, there is one noticeable exception; all devices support email, and email adheres to standards.
Bandwidth, speed and viewing
A mobile business intelligence solution must be able to “tweeze” the required information from a vast array of available data. It should then present this to the user’s small screen quickly and in an easily read format. Most mobile devices cannot accept email attachments, but it is possible to deliver a report as an email message tailored for small screen presentation minimising performance and bandwidth issues.
Many wireless connections are not one hundred per cent dependable, and interrupted connections can
result in lost data. One way to avoid data loss is by using messaging. For instance, when using email, the system waits for the user to connect and if it cannot deliver it waits until it can. This is the closest thing to guaranteed delivery.
Leveraging existing IT assets
The big business challenge for an organisation investing in the latest technology is to enable users to
access and integrate data from diverse sources, and cross-reference new data, external and legacy data wherever they exist, without having to constantly reengineer existing IT and networking infrastructures.
Organisations are understandably cautious about adopting new technologies that they do not yet fully understand. The recent explosion of mobile devices has highlighted new areas of concern for the security of data.
To build a completely integrated mobile business intelligence solution, Information Builders’ white paper outlines three key technologies - synchronisation, push and pull - which should be incorporated. Through strategic partnerships, Information Builders enable organisations to use the mobile technologies and data/communication infrastructures they already have in place to deliver useful business information whenever, wherever and however mobile users need it. The technologies are PDA synchronisation, event driven report distribution and the ability to query information systems (push and pull) via email.
Not every mobile communication needs to be immediate. Synchronisation technology with a PC or network server can be used for bulk downloads, gathering additional information or for storing updated information on a handheld for later processing.
The ability to synchronise WebFOCUS business intelligence with PDA devices allows organisations to provide large amounts of information, cost efficiently and in an almost real-time manner. Information Builders WebFOCUS and AvantGo Enterprise Server work together to deliver real-time, web-based reports and information from enterprise data sources and applications directly to mobile users through a wide variety of mobile computing devices. The AvantGo Enterprise Server delivers reports containing styled, dynamic information, reformatted for small screen display.
Push technology automates the scheduled delivery of information and alerts to key employees as they occur without effort by the user. Information Builders’ WebFOCUS software incorporates a unique broadcast facility that pushes critical information to a wireless, modem-attached or synchronisable device on an alert, event-driven or scheduled basis.
Information Builders’ WebFOCUS ReportCaster is a flexible solution for scheduling and distributing reports generated with WebFOCUS. Reports can be generated and distributed in a wide range of formats, including HTML, PDF and Excel 2000. They can be sent according to a schedule or when specified conditions are met, triggering an alert. These reports can be pushed via email, the web or network printers to any wireless, modem-attached of synchronisable device.
Pull technology allows users to request information on demand, making public applications and general consumption reports available to users on a self-service basis, either by using a simple ‘launch form’ such as Palm PQAs (Palm Query Applications) or by the device accessing a Web site powered by a reporting engine like WebFOCUS.
Information Builders’ WebFOCUS Two-Way Email allows organisations to exchange messages and information across dissimilar mobile devices and networks via an email based business intelligence solution. Users have secure, cost-effective and reliable access to existing enterprise information without the need to build custom interfaces or change existing communication infrastructures.
In order to provide users with informational interactivity, Information Builders devised “robotic” functionality. The email “robot” pushes information or scheduled reports to a users’ handheld device in the form of an email message. The user can then request further information via an email information request template, which is sent back to the “robot” which then locates and returns the relevant information.
“Information Builders’ WebFOCUS meets the increasing demand for mobile business information,” said Jim Irving UK Managing Director of Information Builders. “The technology can be deployed now to provide companies with a completely integrated mobile business intelligence solution which is powerful and flexible enough to accommodate changing market conditions.”
To download a full version of the white paper please visit:
About Information Builders
Information Builders provides its customers with robust business intelligence, specialising in real-time information delivery over the Web. Headquartered in New York, Information Builders helps companies and government organisations improve their mission-critical operations by transforming data into usable information and delivering it to employees, managers, partners, and customers through the Internet. With the award-winning WebFOCUS solution, Information Builders delivers information for more than 11,000 global customer sites, including most of the Fortune 100 and all U.S. federal government agencies. The company employs 1,900 people worldwide and generated revenues exceeding 0 million in 2001.
Sonia Panchal/Magdalen Bush
Tel: 020 7535 9954/55
Fax: 020 7535 9998
Tel: 020 8982 4700
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