|Africa ready for iPad|
Tuesday, 13 July 2010 02:00
The continent`s high mobile penetration creates an ideal environment for accessing BI on the iPad, says MicroStrategy.
Africa is a market that`s now ripe for rolling out business intelligence (BI) platforms on the iPad.
So said MicroStrategy SA MD, Merlin Knott, who claimed pervasive wireless technologies such as 3G and WiFi will drive BI demand on the iPad.
SA has one of the highest mobile penetration rates in the world, and as the price of the iPad and Internet drop, MicroStrategy forecasts more local business users will adopt the WiFi-dependent technology.
Knott told ITWeb during the MicroStrategy World 2010 conference, being held in Cannes, France, that wireless 3G technology has enabled business users to view their BI on the go, allowing them to make immediate decisions based on the analytics viewed on the iPad.
Mark LaRow, MicroStrategy senior VP of marketing, said: “SMS is still the most pervasive medium for passing information in developing regions such as Africa.
“But in a five-billion-strong global mobile market, we expect that supply and demand will drive the demand for these devices as the price point comes down. In Africa, mobile networks have leap-frogged fixed-line and this is driving the demand for mobile devices.”
LaRow added: “The biggest markets to benefit from this technology will be regions with a large mobile workforce, and sectors that we primarily target is retail, hospitality, healthcare, telecommunications and financial services.”
”The iPad is going to be a natural progression of how we do business in the future,” said Knott.
Knott explained that geo-location on the iPad enables shoppers to download a shopping list onto their device and receive a comparative price list of the retail stores in the area.
The consumer BI application on the iPad can advise the shopper where to go to purchase goods at the cheapest price, and also provide directions on the fastest route to get to the shops.
He explained it is a matter of time before banks deploy iPad applications for the unbanked, and that the device will drive self-service applications to people living in areas that don`t have access to banks.
”In my opinion, the biggest opportunities will lie in the channel as a significant opportunity for innovation around consuming information and services.”
According to Knott, MicroStrategy Mobile is a mission-critical application. “If there`s a break in the supply chain, the manager doesn`t just want to get the alert but wants to be able to see where the breakdown occurred and from the iPad or iPhone take action immediately.”
Knott said that BI on the iPad gives business users the ability to get answers to information when they want it.
MicroStrategy claims its competitors will also be jumping the iPad BI bandwagon. Last month, open source BI provider Pentaho unveiled a plug-in that delivers interactive analytics for iPad business users
Knott pointed out: “The BI industry as a whole is starting to understand the value of this asset and we are working hard to stay ahead of our competitors.”
Apple has sold three million iPads in less than three months, a faster-than-expected pace that boosted its stock days before the company`s newest iPhone hit store shelves.
Research by World Wide Worx found the number of mobile broadband Internet subscribers in SA has grown by 88% in the past year; while ADSL connections have increased by 21%. This means there are currently 930 000 wireless broadband subscribers versus 630 000 ADSL users.
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