On-demand model makes gains in the state and local marketplace

There is an ever-increasing need for public CIOs and CTOs to do more with less. Companies involved with business intelligence and analytics know the market is getting tougher for traditional vendors who require up-front costs, ongoing maintenance and multi-year commitments.

The new modus operandi is much simpler: No hardware, no software, and subscription-based contracts, which are scalable or even rescindable. Customer-centric flexibility is the norm.

A new study by research firm Gartner confirms this, finding that worldwide revenue for Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is forecast to reach $7.5 billion in 2009 – nearly an eighteen percent increase from last year. And growth is predicted to continue that rate through 2013. “The adoption of SaaS continues to grow and evolve within the enterprise application markets,” Gartner Research Director Sharon Mertz said in a statement accompanying the report. “Adoption of the on-demand deployment model has continued to grow as on-demand vendors have extended their services through alliances, partner offerings, and more recently, by offering and promoting user application development through platform as a service (PaaS) capabilities.”

One company positioned to grab some of that eighteen percent is California-based mLogica – and they are bringing their database management and business intelligence expertise to the public sector.

In past years, business intelligence (BI) has not been a standard expenditure for state and local government. But industry observers and users of BI in the private sector can attest to the tremendous savings that can be wrung from a tightly monitored budget. mLogica Vice President, Peter Burney, says there is a huge potential for state and local government to utilize business intelligence, especially given his company’s platform, delivery and pricing models.

“If you look at the way counties are organized, you have a lot of separate technology silos,” Mr. Burney said in an interview last week with CivSource. Each agency runs their own servers, monitors their own transactional data and produces reports from a host of disparate systems – all of which means a longer wait for information to reach key decision makers and accelerating costs to support this disparate environment, Burney said.

This was the case with one large county in California, who is tapping mLogica to consolidate several databases and help them integrate an enterprise-class BI solution into their operations. But having the ability to consolidate the county’s various data systems was only half of the requirement: it had to be done with very limited, or no, budget for capital expenditures.

“We understand that most counties, because of the economy, are resource and budget constrained. One of the benefits of our solution is that we manage the whole environment; the agency does not have to worry about resources,” Burney said. “In addition, with our on-demand delivery model, we can provide each agency with an enterprise-level solution, eliminate the capital expenditure needed for a traditional purchase and implementation, and price it on a monthly basis, utilizing their operational budget.”

Mr. Burney said mLogica can provide public sector customers with a shared, public cloud; a public cloud with dedicated servers and shared bandwidth; or a specialized, private cloud, where the solution is behind the customer’s firewall.

“We are entirely customizable, based upon an organization’s specific requirements. And our solution is reporting tool agnostic – it can tie into whatever reporting environment the customer already has – IBM/Cognos, SAP/Business Objects, MicroStrategy, Actuate and others.”

Beyond BI

mLogica is also adding various analytic solutions into its business intelligence platform, which can perform a range of functions, including in-database advanced analytics and predictive algorithms, lifecycle data management, multi-channel marketing analytics and financial management analytics that can tie into an agency’s ERP systems.

Of note for the public sector, Mr. Burney acknowledged the increasing problem of exploding historical data, needed for regulatory compliance. “Our e-discovery and regulatory compliance software enables organizations to manage fraud and litigation response against structured and unstructured data – including documents, email, text messaging, video or audio, as well as transactional data,” he said. “And because our solution has incredible compression, we’re able to store a lot more than the competition, for less.” According to Mr. Burney, the solution has the ability to scale up to a Petabyte of data, if a company or agency would need it.

The technology industry is constantly changing, and for perhaps the first time, the public sector technology environment is changing just as rapidly. But what will separate the winners from the losers in the state and local marketplace is an understanding that solutions must be simple to use, simple to implement and easy to pay for. And mLogica’s Peter Burney thinks he’s got just the ticket.

“Our Analytics on Demand platform allows organizations to more easily drive risk management, fraud detection, business process management and investment strategies, as well as competitive product marketing and customer relationship strategies, without a need to procure hardware or software,” concluded Mr. Burney. “No capital expenditures necessary! There is no risk. This type of cloud-based delivery model is vital to those organizations with reporting and analytics needs, who don’t have capital budgets due to the downturned economy.”

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