Picked up from Dan Meyers and Peter Koller, it looks like Microsoft are working on some packaged BI solutions aimed at specific verticals which will be sold under the brand name ‘Enterprise Cube’. Apart from Mark Kromer’s blog, which Dan points to, the only other information I can find about it is this session abstract from the Australian BI summit, which describes the first of these solutions aimed at the telco industry:
Microsoft Enterprise Cube – BPM Solutions for Today’s Business Needs
Haresh Khatwani, Group Product Manager MEC, Microsoft & Daniel Yu, Product Manager, Industry Solutions Group, Microsoft
Microsoft Enterprise Cube is the only packaged end-to-end BI offering at Microsoft and provides the framework for pain-point-specific BI solutions for industry verticals. Using case studies form leading telecommunications companies in the USA and Korea this session will show you how the MEC framework enables modularity, quick installation, quick time-to-market and how your organisation can leverage the Microsoft BI product stack to report, analyze, trend and forecast business data without effecting live business support systems.
I’m always sceptical about the technical value of generalised industry solutions, except when the data involved varies so little in format that you can genuinely stick a pre-defined cube on top of anyone’s data with the minimum of customisation. For example, solutions on the Microsoft BI platform that I know about that can do this include Data Intelligence’s PharmaAnalytics solution for pharma market research data, and PrecisionPoint’s solution for Dynamics, and I’m sure there are hundreds of other similar ones out there. Perhaps they could be brought into the ‘Enterprise Cube’ fold too under some kind of partner programme?
From a marketing point of view, though, I think it makes a lot of sense – it will bring on board a lot of customers and partners who would otherwise not look at the Microsoft BI platform, and as Peter comments this is something the other BI vendors have been doing for a long time and makes Microsoft look more credible in this space.