Mellmo tool expands BI views from iPad and iPhone

Roambi's new Blink template offers quick and detailed looks at five dimensions of raw data

Mellmo Inc. Monday will expand its Roambi line of online apps to allow iPad and iPhone users another way to present complex business intelligence via interactive charts and graphs.

The the new Roambi Blink feature lets executives and others select up to five dimensions of raw data from a database cube and quickly transform it into a graphic for delivery to an iPad or iPhone, said Mellmo CEO Santiago Becerra.

Once the graphic reaches the device, a user can explore and analyze the data even when disconnected from the network, a feature Becerra demonstrated on an iPad. He called the on-the-go analysis of sales over several quarters for several countries in full color bar charts and pie charts "lightning fast." During the demonstration, Becerra showed the tool's ability to switch quickly between views with a swipe or tap and even to drill down into a specific piece of a chart.

Blink, a pre-designed template that Mellmo calls a "view," joins five existing views, including Cardex (similar to a desktop Rolodex), CataList, PieView, SuperList and Trends. Mellmo also plans to announce on Monday another new view, Dashboards, which combines multiple charts and graphs into single dashboard.

The Blink template runs on Roambi ES3 for enterprises, which is initially priced at $795 per user. Mellmo also sells a hosted cloud service called Roambi Pro for $99 per year per user. It also offers a free version of the tool, dubbed Roambi Lite, that includes four views for use with Excel and Google spreadsheets. The Roambi client app is available without charge from the Apple App Store.

The Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics division of Novartis has licensed the Pro service for use for 20 executives who carry iPads.

The executives using Roambi Pro download sales data across a dozen product lines by region and country, said Santosh George, head of business intelligence for the Novartis division. "It's not meant for in-depth analysis, but it's graphically pretty and has great ease-of-use. There's always a wow factor when we show it."

George said the value of business intelligence data is easier to understand and appreciate when access to the data is quick and mobile. He said he hasn't yet encountered a competitive product in the market. "Honestly there is nothing else and this is by far the best product in terms of ease of use and visualization," he said.

He added that the product is worth the $99 a user cost.

The Roambi ES3 platform connects to both the cube and reporting layers of major business intelligence systems, with several new ones being added on Monday, Becerra said.

The new systems to be supported include IBM Cognos, Microsoft Analysis Services, Microsoft Reporting Services, Microsoft Sharepoint, Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition 11G, Oracle EssBase, Oracle Hyperion Workspace, SAP Business Objects, SAP BW, SAP BW Accelerator, SAP Crystal Reports, CA SiteMinder, Salesforce CRM, LifeRay, Google Docs and Microsoft Excel.

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Matt Hamblen

Computerworld (US)

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