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MicroStrategy Announces General Availability of MicroStrategy 9.3.1

-- Release Combines Effortless Self-Service Analytics with the Power of an Enterprise-Grade BI Platform

-- Delivers Enhanced Visual Data Discovery, New Innovations in Advanced Big Data Analytics, and Powerful Mobile App Upgrades

TYSONS CORNER, Virginia, April 24, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- MicroStrategy® Incorporated (Nasdaq: MSTR), a leading worldwide provider of business intelligence (BI) and mobile software, today unveiled MicroStrategy 9.3.1™, the latest version of the Company's core enterprise analytics platform.

MicroStrategy 9.3.1 breaks new ground by combining innovative, industry-leading visual data discovery with enterprise-grade, system-of-record BI. With significant user interface innovations and major feature enhancements, MicroStrategy 9.3.1 takes agile visual analytics to a new level, delivering:

  • Superior Productivity for Business Users. A streamlined user experience, more powerful data exploration features, and new capabilities to securely share visual analytics and insight make MicroStrategy 9.3.1 more productive for every business user.
  • Better Access to Big Data.  Optimized data source connections make it easier to access and analyze the entire ecosystem of enterprise data, including Hadoop-based data.
  • More Expansive Advanced and Predictive Analytics. MicroStrategy 9.3.1 enables business users to quickly and easily leverage advanced analytics to improve decision-making.
  • Innovative Mobile Applications. Native mobile apps for an immersive analytical experience and improved app platform capabilities for code-free development of any mobile business app.
  • More Flexible Deployment Options. MicroStrategy 9.3.1 can be installed and deployed on premises, and is also available as a subscription-based service with MicroStrategy Cloud™.

"MicroStrategy 9.3.1 delivers on the promise of agile visual data discovery -- fast, easy-to-use, self-service analytics for business, with all the security, performance, scale, and reliability of an enterprise-grade BI platform," said Michael Saylor, Chairman and CEO, MicroStrategy Incorporated.

Agile Visual Data Discovery Without Compromise

Visual data discovery has become popular because it enables business users to quickly analyze their data with intuitive, interactive visual tools and then build and publish their own analytical dashboards. Unlike other business intelligence approaches, visual data discovery delivers a self-service experience that does not require IT support, resulting in strong gains in productivity, as analytics that previously involved IT and took weeks to deliver can now be created and published in a matter of hours.

Unfortunately, the proliferation of standalone visual data discovery tools creates serious security and governance concerns, especially as usage grows. Because data storage is often local for each client, there is no single version of the truth across multi-user environments, so they are unsuitable for critical, system-of-record applications where data security and trustworthiness is of paramount importance. Beyond this, standalone visual data discovery tools do not scale gracefully and lack enterprise features like production reporting, sophisticated security and access controls, and native mobile app support. That is why most implementations of standalone agile tools remain limited to teams or departments and are employed for ad hoc analysis rather than operational applications.

MicroStrategy 9.3.1 delivers visual data discovery within a comprehensive enterprise BI platform, combining the self-service productivity with the security, scalability, and governance of a system-of-record business intelligence solution. With MicroStrategy 9.3.1, there is no need to compromise between agility and governance. The release empowers business users with the best of both worlds – beautiful, interactive visual analytics, together with data that companies can trust.

Superior Productivity for Business Users

MicroStrategy 9.3.1 includes important new user interface enhancements:

1)     Powerful Connect-Discover-Dashboard-Share (CDDS) Workflow for Business Users. MicroStrategy 9.3.1 introduces a new, streamlined workflow to support business user self-service analytics. Users simply click "New Dashboard" on the MicroStrategy home page to initiate the workflow.

  • Connect. Users begin by choosing their data source. They can quickly tap into existing datasets in MicroStrategy, access personal data sources like Excel files, and connect to SaaS-based data like Salesforce.com, relational databases, multi-dimensional databases, or Hadoop-based data. MicroStrategy's 9.3.1 streamlined data import process can augment and enrich time and geographic data.
  • Discover. MicroStrategy 9.3.1 enables any user to explore and understand their data quickly and easily through a wide variety of stunning visualizations and drag-and-drop interactive filtering, powered by speed-of-thought in-memory database technology. MicroStrategy 9.3.1 delivers significant usability enhancements, including:
    • Improved features for metric manipulation within reports, and enhancements to improve user experience for iterative data discovery interactions.
    • Enhanced search features to enable business people to quickly find relevant business elements among long lists of data items.
    • New presentation mode to maximize usable space for boardroom-style analytics.
    • Undo/redo function to quickly make changes
  • Dashboard. Building stunning, self-service dashboards has never been faster or easier. Users can quickly add multiple visualizations in a single dashboard from multiple data sources. Dashboard views can be quickly customized with drag-and-drop positioning for each visualization. MicroStrategy 9.3.1 also supports guided dashboard navigation for users with targeted, selection-based filtering. This synchronizes filtering across multiple views on a single dashboard, so a user selection of a data element on one visualization may act as a filter to update corresponding visualizations on the same dashboard.
  • Share. MicroStrategy 9.3.1 enhances data sharing with new, one-click secure publishing that makes sharing dashboards and analytics effortless. Directly from the interface, users can generate and send links to their dashboards, or create code to embed their dashboard in any web page, portal, or blog. Users can quickly specify who has access to their dashboard, as well as their customized permission level (full control, read-only, modify, etc.). The secure nature of this fast, easy sharing functionality stands in sharp contrast to agile analytics point solutions. Dashboards can be shared on the web or via mobile devices.

2)     New Web Interface. MicroStrategy 9.3.1 features a redesigned web interface with a clean, modern look-and-feel. Navigation is faster and easier with improved folder view functionality that enables users to track their location and customize views, and a new collapsible toolbar that makes it easy to take quick action without compromising usability.

3)     KPI Publishing for Business Users. MicroStrategy 9.3.1 includes a powerful new web-based metric editor, which makes it easy for any user to define, save, and share metric or key performance indicator (KPI) definitions.  Any changes made to a shared KPI permeate to all dashboards, reports, and analytics that use that KPI, enabling a single version of the truth for that metric definition.

"We are excited about the significant enhancements to the user interface and user experience in MicroStrategy 9.3.1," said Alberto Laudadio, Project Manager and Business Intelligence Architect for LATAM Cargo. "MicroStrategy has smartly given its Visual Insight data discovery tool the position of prominence in the interface, making it readily accessible to business users and signaling its importance as a dominant analytical paradigm. We anticipate these improvements will significantly increase our user productivity."

Better Access to Big Data

MicroStrategy 9.3.1 delivers seamless, optimized access to the entire ecosystem of enterprise data, ranging from personal data sources like Excel files, to multidimensional databases, relational databases and data warehouses, columnar databases, SaaS-based application data, and even the most massive Hadoop-based data sources.

MicroStrategy is consistently recognized as a leader in large-scale analytical applications. For five consecutive years, an independent report, The BI Survey, published by BARC, has found that MicroStrategy customers consistently analyze the highest median data volumes compared to customers of other vendors.

MicroStrategy 9.3.1 supports growing customer demand for large-scale data analytics that address increasing volume, variety, and velocity of data with a range of new, optimized data source connectors:

  • Hadoop. Enables a broad range of users, including business analysts and non-technical users, to access, analyze, and extract actionable insight from Hadoop Distributed File Systems (HDFS) without the need to develop HiveQL scripts or MapReduce jobs. In addition, MicroStrategy 9.3.1 supports new technologies that accelerate the analytical performance of Hadoop, including Cloudera's Impala project and IBM's BigSQL solution.
  • Relational Databases and Warehouses. The new release adds certified integrations to a variety of new relational database technologies. These include:
    • Google BigQuery, a Cloud-based columnar database-as-a-service.
    • Amazon Redshift, a high performance, cloud-based analytical data warehouse service.
    • Calpont InfiniDB, a high performance, MPP columnar database.
  • SaaS-based Data Sources. MicroStrategy 9.3.1 delivers real-time integration to a variety of the most common cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications, such as Facebook, NetSuite, SugarCRM, Eloqua, and Zendesk. MicroStrategy leverages a certified integration with its Elastic Intelligence's Connection Cloud service to support this connectivity.

More Expansive Advanced and Predictive Analytics

With MicroStrategy 9.3.1, no additional third-party analytics products are necessary to deliver the vast majority of analytics required by business users.  MicroStrategy 9.3.1 natively incorporates over 300 of the most commonly used business analytical functions, ranging from data summarization and trending, to relationship analysis and projections. These functions are designed to support the vast majority of business analytics use cases. For situations that require non-native, advanced predictive or prescriptive analytics, MicroStrategy 9.3.1 can expand its functional range to include the more than 5,000 analytical computations available within the "R" open source project, the world's most widely used statistical computing language. As a result, MicroStrategy can deliver the broadest range of analytical functions in the industry directly into any report, dashboard, or interactive visualization.

The new release expands on previous MicroStrategy support for "R" with a new MicroStrategy "R" Integration Pack that streamlines the process of creating "R"-based metrics in the platform. Now, customers that have created predictive and data mining models developed using Predictive Model Markup Language (PMML) in "R" can use the new Integration Pack to create new "R"-based metrics directly in MicroStrategy with just a single click. Like other MicroStrategy metrics, "R"-based metrics are fully governed and reusable.

To see a video demonstration of how "R" analytics can be used within MicroStrategy's Visual Insight product by any business user, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vvrhXlYSvYQ.

Innovative Mobile App Platform

MicroStrategy's consistently highly-rated Mobile offering extends beyond basic mobile analytics to deliver an innovative Mobile App Platform that makes building mobile business apps easier and faster—and code free. MicroStrategy 9.3.1 includes dozens of powerful new capabilities and improvements to the company's Mobile App Platform. Developers now can build more compelling, high-performing, information-driven Mobile apps to help businesses mobilize information and take business action on tablets and smartphones. The new improvements include:

1)     Best Mobile Performance.  The latest release boasts huge performance improvements for all apps built and powered by MicroStrategy Mobile 9.3.1. Performance optimizations have been realized across the platform and throughout apps themselves, resulting in a much faster end-user experience for every user of MicroStrategy Mobile™.

2)     Alerting Capabilities for Every MicroStrategy Mobile-Powered App. MicroStrategy 9.3.1 Mobile Apps utilize App badges directly on the App icon to notify users of new important information.

3)     Business Apps that Empower and Amaze.  In MicroStrategy 9.3.1, app developers can take advantage of a set of new animation controls when linking to, or from, Information Windows. Information Windows can be configured to fade in, scale up, or slide in with a drawer effect, from any side of the app.

4)     Customized Animated Splash Screen Experience for any Mobile App. This exciting animation is dynamically custom built out of any image provided by the app developer. As the animation plays and sets a high-quality, professional tone, the custom interactive app loads in the background for a seamless app start, thus optimizing user experience.

5)     Intuitive and Inexpensive Command Centers. MicroStrategy 9.3.1 includes new capabilities to support using multiple iPads to drive an interactive connected set of HDTV displays—via mirrored Apple TVs. Users touch any iPad in the cluster to control what is displayed; any single selection passes to each iPad. All iPads instantly update to reflect the selections—on the device and on the wall. With the powerful Intelligence Mobile Platform hosted in the cloud, businesses only need a few Apple iPads, Apple TVs, and HDTV screens to deliver a dynamic touch-enabled command center. To see a brief demonstration, view this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dCjTFa2S7fI.

6)     Powerful Enhancements for Mobile Analytics Apps. MicroStrategy 9.3.1 includes a large number of enhancements that improve and extend analytics apps built by MicroStrategy customers for their employees, partners, and customers. Users can take advantage of the multi-thread capability of every MicroStrategy Mobile App by sending any long-running documents to the background for continued execution, while simultaneously interacting live with other parts of the app.  App elements can be set to refresh automatically, perfect for rendering live data streams like stock or currency prices, or to refresh regularly, for information like customer service center KPIs. Additionally, MicroStrategy further enhanced its Mobile Library of Graphs and Advanced Data Visualizations.

"With the enhancements to MicroStrategy Mobile in 9.3.1, we are offering an optimal solution to build business apps that are equal parts compelling, impactful, exciting, and enterprise-class," said Saylor. "These are apps that business users want to use."

Flexible Deployment Options

MicroStrategy offers the flexibility of taking advantage of all this new functionality in two ways: the traditional, on-premises license software model, or a full turnkey platform Cloud offering to get up and running quickly.  

A focused Cloud SaaS application, called MicroStrategy Express™, also gives users the ability to experience MicroStrategy's visual data discovery capability instantly.  Express is free to try at http://www.microstrategy.com/express.

Join Us for the MicroStrategy 9.3.1 Webcasts

For more details on MicroStrategy 9.3.1, please join our two-part webcast on Wednesday, April 24 and Friday, April 26, 2013. The webcasts provide overviews and demonstrations of the highlights in this innovative core platform release.

About MicroStrategy Incorporated

Founded in 1989, MicroStrategy (Nasdaq: MSTR) is a leading worldwide provider of enterprise software, including the MicroStrategy Business Intelligence (BI) Platform™, the MicroStrategy Mobile Platform™, and MicroStrategy Applications™. The Company offers its technologies for deployment in customer data centers and as proprietary cloud services.  The MicroStrategy BI Platform enables leading organizations to analyze vast amounts of data and distribute business insight throughout the enterprise. The MicroStrategy Mobile Platform lets organizations rapidly build enterprise-caliber mobile applications needed to mobilize business processes and information. MicroStrategy Applications are a set of application services designed to help enterprises deploy mobile commerce and loyalty services, build mobile identity and cyber security services, as well as generate real-time insights into consumer preferences.  MicroStrategy Cloud™ allows enterprises to deploy MicroStrategy BI apps and mobile apps more quickly and with lower financial risk than with traditional on-premises solutions. To learn more about MicroStrategy, visit www.microstrategy.com and follow us on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/microstrategy) and Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/microstrategy).

MicroStrategy, MicroStrategy Business Intelligence Platform, MicroStrategy Mobile, MicroStrategy Mobile Platform, MicroStrategy Applications, MicroStrategy Express and MicroStrategy Cloud are either trademarks or registered trademarks of MicroStrategy Incorporated in the United States and certain other countries. Other product and company names mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

MSTR-G

Contact:
Warren Getler
MicroStrategy Incorporated
+1-703-744-6258
wgetler@microstrategy.com

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