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Colin White

I like the various blogs associated with my many hobbies and even those to do with work. I find them very useful and I was excited when the Business Intelligence Network invited me to write my very own blog. At last I now have somewhere to park all the various tidbits that I know are useful, but I am not sure what to do with. I am interested in a wide range of information technologies and so you might find my thoughts will bounce around a bit. I hope these thoughts will provoke some interesting discussions.

About the author >

Colin White is the founder of BI Research and president of DataBase Associates Inc. As an analyst, educator and writer, he is well known for his in-depth knowledge of data management, information integration, and business intelligence technologies and how they can be used for building the smart and agile business. With many years of IT experience, he has consulted for dozens of companies throughout the world and is a frequent speaker at leading IT events. Colin has written numerous articles and papers on deploying new and evolving information technologies for business benefit and is a regular contributor to several leading print- and web-based industry journals. For ten years he was the conference chair of the Shared Insights Portals, Content Management, and Collaboration conference. He was also the conference director of the DB/EXPO trade show and conference.

Editor's Note: More articles and resourcesare available in Colin's BeyeNETWORK Expert Channel. Be sure to visit today!

The Apple iPhone has had a dramatic impact on the mobile phone industry, and the new Google G1 is also aiming to take a slice of this market. So far, however, these devices are targeted primarily at personal users, but the question is, “What role, if any, will these gadgets have in the business environment for applications such as mobile BI?

At the recent SAP TechEd, I had the opportunity to address this topic with John Schwartz, CEO of Business Objects. I made the point that mobile computing was enjoying more success in Europe than the US, and asked him if he thought the Apple iPhone would change this. He agreed that mobile computing use was higher in Europe, but felt the majority of this was still for personal purposes. He noted that mobile BI was seeing growth in both the US and Europe. However, he said the device of choice for mobile BI was still the Blackberry, because its architecture was more suited to this type of processing. So far, he said, Business Objects has seen little demand for iPhone support.

Donald Cambell, CTO of Cognos, took the same position when I asked him this question at a recent IBM Cognos analyst meeting. He said IT is still primarily supplying Backberry’s for business use, but in some cases IT will support personally purchased iPhones. He said the iPhone still doesn’t have the promised capability to run processes in the background, which limits its use for BI. He noted that the new Google G1 has an excellent development platform, and if the device is successful it could have a major impact on mobile business applications. He also made the interesting point that Windows Mobile was the preferred mobile platform for packaged embedded solutions used in locations such as hospitals, for example.

I would be interested to hear from other people about how their organization is deploying mobile BI solutions.

Posted September 30, 2008 5:41 PM
Permalink | 1 Comment |

1 Comment

Hi Colin,

Thanks for the interesting post. I'm curious though how not running background applications limits the use of iPhones for mobile BI? It seems to me as though Oracle was able to work around this with limitation with their iPhone app? (full disclosure; I haven't used Oracle Business Indicators and work for a competitor to both Oracle and Cognos even though we don't do anything iPhone-related).



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