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Nils Rasmussen: How the Business Intelligence (BI) Market is evolving

Solver is headquartered in Los Angeles, California with regional offices in Europe, Canada and Asia. Solver is the leading provider of complete BI solutions for today’s mid-market enterprise and the company is at the forefront of Business Intelligence (BI) technology for cloud and on-premise use. Solver’s BI360 solution is a powerful and intuitive suite of modules for reporting, consolidations, budgeting, dashboards, collaboration and data warehousing.

Solver has received several national and global awards, including Business Intelligence Partner of the Year from Microsoft, Red Herring Global 100, INC 5000 and the Stevie award.

Rake Narang: Where do you see the Business Intelligence (BI) market going in the next 5 years?

Nils Rasmussen: Right now, Business Intelligence, or “BI”, is red hot and Gartner Group has ranked it as the fastest growing of all enterprise software categories. The first BI vendors started to enter the market in the early 1990’s, so what we see today is a result of 20+ years of evolution of solutions for reporting, budgeting & forecasting, dashboards and in the last decade, data warehousing. Because of the more recent growth in popularity of cloud-based and mobile solutions, as well as big data and enterprise social collaboration, BI vendors are busy re-inventing themselves to take advantage of these technology innovations. On top of that, one thing that Facebook, LinkedIn and mobile apps in general have taught users is that technology can be easy and you should not have to “read the manual” to get up and running.

So, over the next 5 years, you can expect to see BI software become much quicker to install and configure, much easier to learn and it will be able to assemble and analyze a wide variety of internal data sources as well as external data, such as Big Data, web site statistics, economic indicators. Any person with a smartphone or other computer device will be able to find information faster and take action sooner and with less human interaction, based on BI indicators and collaborative functionality. The result will be lowered costs and more efficiently running organizations.

About Nils Rasmussen

Rake Narang: What are the advantages and risks of Business Intelligence (BI) solutions?

Nils Rasmussen: Before BI solutions there were spreadsheets, and before spreadsheets there were paper. This evolution has first of all helped automate tasks in departments like accounting and finance, but with newer visualization technologies it has become much easier for managers to spot trends in their data and to quickly zoom in on exceptions and variances in their metrics. With web, mobile devices and cloud-based solutions it has also become much easier for any information worker to get the answers they need anywhere, any time.

On the flip side, some of the risks of BI solutions, being the fastest growing business software category, is that companies make hasty decisions to implement a new solution without first getting their own “ducks in a row”. With this I mean that some managers are so eager to get a new BI solution in place that they forget to take the opportunity to first review their internal requirements and make the right changes BEFORE the BI solution is put in place, rather than copy a many year old structure into a brand new solution.

Rake Narang: What led to your building of a Business Intelligence (BI) product with Social Collaboration functionality?

Nils Rasmussen: Our team at Solver has evolved with the BI market over the past 17 years. In 2007 we took the chance to bring all our past knowledge to the table and use it to build a brand new BI solution fit for the demands of the coming decades. Beyond just having a modern interface and deep functionality in the core areas of BI such as reporting, consolidations, budgeting, forecasting, visualization and data warehousing, we saw that a new technology was needed to help enterprises share performance information with all their information workers at the head office, their mobile workers, home office workers and regional offices. By incorporating deep social collaborative features within our BI solution, employees can now interact with data and with their co-workers by posting comments, taking polls, attaching supporting documentation, explain performance issues and propose ideas, without ever having to leave the BI solution that provided them with all the data to begin with.

Rake Narang: How does your product BI360 deliver insight into company performance?

Nils Rasmussen: BI360 is the culmination of 17 years of work with Business Intelligence (BI) solutions at Solver. We had built BI products in the past that we sold to SAP and Microsoft, and I guess you can say that we believe that “third time's the charm”. With the mix of our experience in delivering successful BI solutions and the exciting technology trends taking place these days as discussed earlier, we feel that BI360 has become the type of modern, easy to use performance management solution that companies can rely on to help them run their businesses better in a very fast pace marketplace where managers need to closely monitor trends and performance metrics.

At the heart of BI360 is an exceptionally easy and configurable data warehouse that in many cases can be set up in a few days as compared to an industry average of 9 months for a home-grown data warehouse project. This data warehouse brings all of a customer’s key data into a single location where they also can manage their budgets and forecasts, and using our end-user tools, it now becomes as easy task to deploy management reports and dashboards. With our new social collaboration features, users anywhere can then seamlessly interact with each other to comment to reports, explain variances, share ideas, find experts to help them resolve issues and more. In other words, BI isn’t just “information at your fingertips” anymore, but it has become an ACTIONABLE environment where decisions are being made and solutions put in place to help companies grow and prosper.

Company: Solver Inc.
10780 Santa Monica Blvd, Ste 370, Los Angeles, CA 90025 U.S.A.

Founded in: 1996
CEO: Nils Rasmussen
Public or Private: Private
Head Office in Country: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Products and Services: Business Intelligence Software

Company’s Goals: Become the global leader in Business Intelligence (BI) solutions for the mid-market by providing our customers with an easy to use, comprehensive BI suite that speeds up and improves their decision-making processes.
Key Words: Business Intelligence, BI, Corporate Performance Management, CPM, budgeting, reporting, consolidations, dashboards, data warehouse, enterprise collaboration.
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