Micro Strategy will put the Web version of its decision support product on an equal footing with the Windows release this year, giving users "no good reason to stick with Windows any more", according to chief executive Mike Sailor.
The changes will come with the release of DSS Web 5.0 in the fourth quarter, the fourth major product release this year, Sailor told 'VNU Newswire'. This quarter, MSS will ship DSS Server 5.0, which will provide data mining capabilities for non-IT specialists, allowing them to build their own local datamarts.
Both products will be aimed at heavy users of information, such as database marketing staff, not at developers or IT professionals. They will make the concept of 'querytone' - deploying decision support to partners or the general public via the Web - a reality, claims Sailor.
DSS Web 5.0, which will go into beta this month, incorporates Java applets and ActiveX controls. It claims to give a spreadsheet-style interface and reports of the same quality as PC packages. "The quality will be as good as Excel," insisted Sailor. "Early tools were HTML-based, which was good enough for raw data but not analysis."
Coupled with the products released in the first two quarters of 1997, the new releases will provide "a product platform for the querytone message", said Sailor. In the first quarter, MSS announced DSS Administrator to simplify the creation of a wide range of queries, and this was followed in the second quarter by DSS Agent 5.0, which automatically configures the DSS Server for different databases and other connectivity.
Sailor said customers are starting to request querytone applications. Most recently, a South African electrical utility has bought MSS tools to enable customers to analyse their billing patterns and optimise their power usage.
Sailor reckons MSS now gets 35-40 per cent of its business from its Web products and believes the new interface will accelerate this further. The last quarter of this year will also see MSS moving further into Europe. It plans to open directly in Italy then, or in the first quarter of 1998 at the latest. In the current quarter, it has opened offices in the Netherlands, Switzerland and Austria to add to its existing presence in the UK, France, Spain and Germany. It will also open up in Japan and Australia early next year.
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