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MicroStrategy Announces General Availability Of Its Latest Business Intelligence Software Platform, MicroStrategy 9.3

TYSONS CORNER, Va., Sept. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- MicroStrategy ® Incorporated (Nasdaq: MSTR), a leading worldwide provider of business intelligence (BI) software, today announced the general availability of MicroStrategy 9.3, the new release of the Company's core platform.

A Sophisticated BI Platform that Makes Business Intelligence Easier and FasterMicroStrategy 9.3 includes dozens of powerful new capabilities and improvements to MicroStrategy's data discovery software, Visual Insight; increased support for advanced analytics from 'R' – an open source language for predictive analysis; and improved connectivity to Hadoop. In addition, MicroStrategy 9.3 delivers a high speed "Google-like" search experience and introduces an innovative, new administration product, MicroStrategy System Manager, for automating manual, multi-step processes.  Taken together, these enhancements ensure that business people receive critical business information at the right time for making better business decisions.

"The MicroStrategy 9.3 release is a big advancement for a firm already providing leadership in the analytics market," said Tony Cosentino, VP and Research Director of Ventana Research. "Given the firm's advantage of being an enterprise platform and moving into discovery tools with Visual Insight, it is likely in a better position to expand than many of the discovery players trying to move upstream into an enterprise role. The fact that the company has built the platform from the ground up also gives it an advantage over some of the larger players with less organic strategies."

Fast, Intuitive Data Visualization and ExplorationMicroStrategy Visual Insight 9.3 includes new features that make data exploration and dashboard-building simple and fast.  Three powerful new visualizations – density maps, image layouts, and network diagrams – combined with a repertoire of 300+ analytical functions allow for easy analysis of data stored in any type of data source: relational databases, multi-dimensional databases, Hadoop distributions, Web Services, and personal data stores, such as Excel files.

"MicroStrategy's new release (9.3) of Visual Insight provides self-service capabilities to add to this BI platform vendor's proven set of enterprise offerings," said Dr. Carsten Bange, Founder and CEO of Business Application Research Center (BARC), a leading European independent software industry analyst firm. "Providing business users the ability to explore their data and generate analyses on their own without IT involvement reduces the bottlenecks in report creation and increases user satisfaction and adoption."

Kendra Burgess, Product Manager at Dell, observes: "MicroStrategy 9.3 has great enhancements across the platform that will make MicroStrategy hard to beat. With improvements to overall usability, Visual Insight, Data Import, and automated administrative workflows, MicroStrategy 9.3 opens up more possibilities to deliver dashboards and data exploration."

Extraction of Business Insights Stored in Apache Hadoop and SAP HANARecognizing that Big Data is now a critical competitive asset for organizations, MicroStrategy 9.3 includes the ability to unlock business insights stored in Apache Hadoop and SAP HANA data sources. MicroStrategy 9.3 lets business users build reports, perform analysis and conduct visual exploration without requiring any expertise in either technology. The MicroStrategy 9.3 platform includes a Hive Thrift connector for Apache Hadoop as well as a new connector for SAP HANA. Using MicroStrategy's MultiSource Option and In-memory technology, organizations can easily merge Hadoop and SAP HANA data with other data sources, resulting in high-performance data analysis across multiple data sets.

"Data scalability with MicroStrategy's ROLAP engine and tightly integrated in-memory cubes has long been a differentiator, but in 9.3, the vendor adds support for SAP HANA, Hadoop and Hive. MicroStrategy is a company continuing to improve on an already solid product and innovating in multiple areas," said Cindi Howson, President of the BIScorecard, a leading resource for in-depth BI product reviews, based on exclusive hands-on testing.

Teradata Vice President for Global Alliances Rob Berman observes: "We've been partners since 1995, and during that time, MicroStrategy has had a history of exploiting the unique capabilities of the Teradata platform to its fullest. As such, it should be no surprise that the new 9.3 upgrade continues this history of highly optimized technical integration to Teradata's analytic platform for business intelligence and has expanded its world-class performance and scalability by also leveraging Teradata's columnar storage option. In addition, MicroStrategy has increased compatibility and optimization with Teradata Aster for Big Data analytics."

An Expanded Analytical Function Library with Computations Available in "R"MicroStrategy 9.3 expands its analytical function repertoire with an additional 5,000+ computations available within "R" open source project, the most widely used statistical computing language. Companies can create business KPI's using the full computational strength of "R" and then apply those computations on their Big Data using MicroStrategy's reports and dashboards.

A New "Google-like" Metadata Search Engine MicroStrategy 9.3 delivers a high speed "Google-like" search experience that lets business people find answers quickly. In enterprises with diverse deployments, there can be thousands of reports and dashboards that contain answers to innumerable business questions. The challenge is enabling any business user to find the report or dashboard that contains the answers he wants, without having to open countless reports. MicroStrategy's new search engine solves this problem by providing business people with an easy search capability that immediately identifies all reports and dashboards that contain the answers they need. MicroStrategy's new search feature also lets users create new reports by auto-completing search entries for the user, thus speeding up and simplifying the process.

"MicroStrategy's new Search interface, along with other improvements, will definitely appeal to our customers, facilitating user adoption and delivery of powerful dashboards and analytics across their organization," said Matt Cox, Lancet Care Team Lead at Lancet Software. 

Automated BI Administration with MicroStrategy System ManagerMicroStrategy 9.3 also introduces an innovative, new administration product, MicroStrategy System Manager, for automating the many manual, multi-step processes required to manage a BI ecosystem.  For instance, MicroStrategy System Manager is able to automate the migration of BI application changes from the development and testing environments into the production environment.  It can also automate the incremental refreshes of cached data, as well as execute large-scale scheduled report distributions as soon as new data is available. MicroStrategy System Manager, the first of its kind in the BI market space, saves BI administration teams thousands of hours of manual effort, provides better performance for users, and significantly reduces administrative costs. 

"MicroStrategy System Manager has greatly simplified our BI administrative processes by creating and automating workflows that integrate MicroStrategy and non-MicroStrategy processes," said Matthew Pitt, MicroStrategy Administrator at dunnhumby. "We see significant gains and cost savings by codifying standard processes, such as automatically configuring new environment builds and enabling LDAP, as well as automating change control across development, test and production environments."

Albert Sanchez Casals, MicroStrategy Service Owner at Swisscom AG, Business Intelligence Operations, notes: "MicroStrategy System Manager will allow Swisscom to automate workflows, such as the replication of MicroStrategy metadata objects from one environment to another, while developers will be able to manage development and test workflows on their own, thereby saving a lot of time."

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