MicroStrategy

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MicroStrategy
Type Public
Traded as NASDAQMSTR
Industry Business intelligence and mobile software
Founded 1989
Headquarters Tysons Corner, Virginia, USA
Key people

Michael J. Saylor (Co-founder, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer)
Jonathan Klein (President and Chief Legal Officer)

Paul Zolfaghari (President)
Products MicroStrategy Analytics Platform, MicroStrategy Mobile, MicroStrategy Cloud, Express, Wisdom, Alert, Usher
Revenue $594.61 million USD (2012)[1]
Employees 3,200+ worldwide[2]
Website www.microstrategy.com

MicroStrategy, Inc. is a provider of business intelligence (BI), mobile software, and cloud-based services. The company is based in the Washington, D.C. area and serves companies and organizations worldwide. Founded in 1989 by Michael J. Saylor and Sanju K. Bansal, MicroStrategy develops software that enables organizations to analyze internal and external data in order to make business decisions and to develop mobile apps. Its proprietary software can be deployed in companies' data centers, or as cloud services. Notable clients include Facebook,[3][4] Starbucks,[5] and Lowe's Companies.[6]

Overview[edit]

MicroStrategy develops and sells business intelligence, mobile software, and cloud-based services. The company’s software performs analytics on a variety of data, such as sales figures,[7] payroll data,[8] and inventory[9][10] in order to inform users' business decisions.[11]

MicroStrategy remains one of the few independent, publicly traded BI software providers[12] in the business intelligence (BI) market. Its primary business analytics competitors include SAP Business Objects, IBM Cognos, and Oracle's BI Platform.[13][14]

MicroStrategy is headquartered in the Washington, D.C. metro area and has worldwide operations across 26 countries, in cities including New York, San Francisco, Paris, Warsaw, Madrid, London, Milan, Dubai, Tokyo, Sydney, and São Paulo.[2][15] The CEO and chairman of the board of MicroStrategy is Michael J. Saylor, the company's co-founder.[16][17]

History[edit]

Michael J. Saylor started MicroStrategy in 1989 with a consulting contract from DuPont, which provided Saylor with $250,000 in start-up capital and office space in Wilmington, Delaware. Saylor was soon joined by company co-founder Sanju K. Bansal, whom he had met while the two were students at MIT.[18] The company produced software for data mining and business intelligence using nonlinear mathematics,[16] an idea inspired by a course that Saylor and Bansal took at MIT.[19] During this time period, MicroStrategy experienced rapid growth. In 1992, the company gained its first major client when it signed a $10 million contract with McDonald's, and increased revenues by 100% every year between 1990 and 1996.[18] In 1994, Saylor and Bansal moved the company's offices and its 50 employees from Delaware to Tysons Corner, Virginia.[20] MicroStrategy had its initial public offering in June 1998.[21] On its first day of trading, the stock price doubled.[22]

In 2000 MicroStrategy founded Angel an IVR and Voice Application company. In March 2000, after a review of its accounting practices, MicroStrategy announced that it would restate its financial results for the preceding two years,[23] which resulted in an investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.[24] A lawsuit was subsequently filed against MicroStrategy and certain of its officials over fraud.[25] In December 2000, Saylor, Bansal, and the company's former CFO settled with the SEC without admitting wrongdoing by each paying $350,000 in fines. The officers also paid a combined total of $10 million in disgorgement. MicroStrategy itself was charged with a number of violations and settled with the SEC by hiring an independent director to ensure regulatory compliance.[26][27]

By the fourth quarter of 2003, the company added over 200 new corporate customers based on the strength of its business intelligence platform[28] and grew sales steadily, posting increased revenue for every quarter through the end of 2007.[29] New clients during this period included the United States Postal Service, DHL Express, and Priceline.com.[30][31] In 2007 and 2008, the company was named one of the 200 Best Small Companies in America by Forbes.[32]

In 2009, the company introduced OLAP Services with a shared data set cache, to accelerate reports and ad hoc queries.[33] The relational nature of the OLAP services allowed users to drill down through the database to the transaction-level detail.[34]

In 2010, MicroStrategy began developing and deploying business intelligence software for mobile platforms, such as the iPhone and iPad.[35] Also in 2011, the company expanded its offerings to include a cloud-based service called MicroStrategy Cloud.[36]

In 2012, MicroStrategy expanded beyond its BI and mobile products with the release of Wisdom, a market research tool which allows for a demographic analysis of social media platforms such as Facebook.[37]

In Fall 2013, MicroStrategy introduced the Analytics visual data discovery engine, which allowed users to import data from flat files and connect to enterprise databases. The product came in two versions: a free version called Analytics Desktop, and a version with more advanced features called Analytics Enterprise. The company also announced Analytics Express, a free for one year cloud version of their software, allowing the sharing of dashboards and datasets created in Analytics Desktop.[33] In 2013, MicroStrategy sold Angel to Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories for $110 Million USD.[38]

In November 2013, Sanju Bansal stepped down from his position as vice chairman of the board and executive vice president, in order to pursue new opportunities.[39]

In January 2014, the company announced a series of new products including PRIME, a massively parallel, in-memory analytics service, enhanced mobile features including Analytics Express for iPad, and a greater emphasis on mobile and cloud computing, and security, as part of the product strategy.[40]

The company slashed Saylor's salary from $875,000 to $1 in September 2014 at Saylor's request.[41]

Products[edit]

MicroStrategy develops software products focused on four platforms it calls Analytics, Mobile, Identity and Loyalty. The products offered for each platform are, in order, MicroStrategy Analytics, MicroStrategy Mobile, Usher and Alert. Each of the products can be delivered as on-demand software, using a platform called MicroStrategy Cloud.[42]

  • MicroStrategy Analytics - MicroStrategy Analytics is business intelligence and predictive analytics software that allows users to search through and perform analytics on big data from a variety of sources, including data warehouses, Excel files, and Hadoop distributions.[43] The software comes in three versions: Analytics Desktop, a free version for on-premises installation, Analytics Express, a cloud-based software-as-a service version, designed for small groups and free for one year, and Analytics Enterprise, a version with additional features available as a desktop version or as a cloud service, in conjunction with the MicroStrategy or Amazon Cloud.[44] Each version comes with MicroStrategy Visual Insight, a data visualization tool. The most recent major release of the software is 9.4.1, which was released in May 2013.[45] In January 2014, the company announced a new feature of the Analytics platform called PRIME, which stands for Parallel Relational In-Memory Engine. PRIME, co-developed with Facebook, is a massively parallel processing engine that the company said can support a data volume of 4.6TB and 200 billion rows.[33] PRIME is available on the MicroStrategy Cloud.[46]
  • MicroStrategy Mobile - MicroStrategy Mobile is a software platform that allows customers to build and deploy mobile business apps for the iPhone, iPad, Android, and BlackBerry that allow improved transactional efficiencies and easier access to intelligence data without needing to reformat the data for different platforms.[47][48] MicroStrategy Mobile apps allow companies to deliver business intelligence and transactional data derived from their existing data sources, including data warehouses, ERP, CRM and other information systems.[49]
  • Usher - Usher is a mobile identity software application, which provides an always-on electronic alternative to traditional employee IDs, keys, and proximity cards.[50][51] Usher's technology architecture incorporates the use of three-factor authentication, out-of-band channels, time-limited codes, and bidirectional public key infrastructure encryption.[52]
  • Alert - Alert is a mobile commerce application platform that offers retailers and other merchants the ability to create branded mobile apps for marketing, commerce, and loyalty.[53] Mobile applications built using the Alert platform can deliver personalized promotions and brand messages, including offering geo-fencing related features such as pop-up coupons and event announcements based on customer proximity.[54]
  • MicroStrategy Cloud - MicroStrategy Cloud is a cloud-based platform-as-a-service offering that allows businesses to build and deploy their own MicroStrategy Analytics-based business intelligence applications, without investing in infrastructure.[55] Analytics Express runs on the MicroStrategy Cloud, which also supports deployment of the company's Usher, Alert and Mobile products.[55]

Domain name purchase strategy[edit]

Foreseeing the value of owning popular domain names, MicroStrategy embarked on a strategy of buying hundreds of domain names from 1995 to 2000.[56] Some of the names include Strategy.com, Usher.com and Alert.com, names which were used to promote MicroStrategy products.[57][58] Other names purchased include Frank.com, Mike.com and William.com, which the company is making available for sale.[59]

Awards and recognition[edit]

In 2011, Apple recognized MicroStrategy's iOS app as one of the best business apps of the year.[60] In 2012, the Business Application Research Center (BARC) ranked MicroStrategy first overall in Mobile BI in the BI Survey 12.[61] Also in 2012, Information Management named MicroStrategy one of the “Forty Vendors We’re Watching” for its ability to understand new business trends.[62]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]