MUFI Rating & Risk – MicroStrategy
MUFI: Maintainability, Usability, Functionality, Implement ability
Vendor: MicroStrategy (Select For Vendor Profile)
Microstrategy has been historically an innovator in the BI space. MicroStrategy is one of the BI Heavy vendors that offers a full BI solution. However, as is discussed in our introduction to the BI software category, even if MicroStrategy is selected, an analysis of the history of the BI software market indicates that it is a losing strategy to try to get all BI functionality from a single software vendor. MicroStrategy has a moderate buyer satisfaction level but has quite a poor user adoption.
MicroStrategy has impressive technology in some areas. It is known for its speed. In an evaluation of the reports that are created, they are on the upper end in the BI space, although quite a ways behind Tableau and Brist. MicroStrategy also has excellent mobile functionality, which is a rarity.
MicroStrategy offers a heavy-duty application for those companies wishing to invest. Although it offers some BI applications, and if one wishes, one can buy just MicroStrategy Desktop which is a direct competitor to Tableau. However, for the rest of MicroStrategy’s applications, they require a certain number of resources to be using the application before it can be efficiently used and has a much higher maintenance burden than lightweight applications like Tableau.
MicroStrategy applications which are inappropriate for companies unless they have at least somewhere between 15 to 20 people who are performing intensive report generation. MicroStrategy is a challenging application to learn. It is designed for people who specialize in reporting, not for business users who occasionally need to create reports. And this is why we believe the user adoption is such a standard issue on MicroStrategy projects. This comes down in part to the quality of information that comes from MicroStrategy sales, which is covered in our MicroStrategy vendor profile. MicroStrategy presents itself as much easier to use than it is, and so many companies underfund MicroStrategy implementations and support, and this leads to issues in user adoption. We find some MicroStrategy implementations that have fallen into disrepair. This lesson is frequently repeated in BI purchases in that buyers buy systems with a significant number deal of functionality, which is just too much them to maintain.
MicroStrategy no doubt has some good BI technologies, however, they are oversold and end up with clients that are not as dedicated to building their BI infrastructure as MicroStrategy would like them to be. We have interacted with MicroStrategy, and they don’t get this fact. Obviously, the will want to sell their application to anyone that will buy their applications, but buyers need to learn from the history of MicroStrategy projects and fit the BI applications they purchase with their implementation budget and appetite for complexity.
All scores out of a possible 10.
Vendor and Application Risk
MicroStrategy has a very capable set of BI applications, and MicroStrategy is one of our best-rated BI Heavy software vendors. However, the trick in a MicroStrategy implementation is dealing with the inherent complexity of the MicroStrategy product which means getting the best possible consulting resources. MicroStrategy has partnerships/relationships with the major consulting companies. But they are not tied to hip with them as are many other alternatives (unless the consulting company “brings them in,” which at that point the software vendor becomes subordinate to the major consulting company – which is why one ever wants to hire a major consulting company to perform a software selection). If the buyer researches out to MicroStrategy without a major consulting company intermediating, the price of the implementation immediately declines, and the buyer immediately has many more implementation options. MicroStrategy can easily provide all the support that is required without any assistance from a major consulting company billing any hours.
Likelihood of Implementation Success
This accounts for both the application and vendor-specific risk. In our formula, the total implementation risk is application + vendor + buyer risk. The buyer specific risk could increase or decrease this overall likelihood and adjust the values that you see below.
Risk Management Approach
MicroStrategy implementations are similar to SAS and Teradata (although this is not to say that each software vendor does not have different strengths and weaknesses) implementations in that the buyer simply must be prepared to deal with the inherent complexity of these powerful BI platforms. Each of these software vendors offers serious products without a lot the fluff and expense of some of the more prominent brand names.