MeLLmo Inc., a leading provider of innovative mobile apps that allow on-the-go business professionals to stay connected to critical company information, today announced it has secured an additional $10 million in funding from private investors. RoamBI, MeLLmo’s iOS-based business intelligence platform provides three grades of mobile BI services targeting requirements from simple to integrated enterprise grade solutions.
According to said Santiago Becerra, Chairman and co-founder of MeLLmo, Inc.,
“As the workforce becomes more mobile, MeLLmo is helping enterprises and small to medium sized businesses take full advantage of the iPhone and iPad as business tools. Our third round of funding will allow us to expand globally, delivering Roambi to a worldwide market. We will continue to develop strategic reseller, system integrator and technology partnerships with industry-leading companies, and invest in further enhancements to the unparalleled Roambi experience for viewing and interacting with business data on a mobile device.”
Across the industry, mobile BI seems to be gaining momentum on the heels of iPad and the bright horizon of tablet computing in general. Most analysts agree, delivering business intelligence data to employees through their mobile devices will likely become a bigger requirement in 2011 and beyond. IDC analyst Stephen Drake makes this observation.
"Going forward, we’ll see a whole slew of apps for sales forces and field service [teams]."
Mr. Drake indicates the BlackBerry will continue to be used for BI, but concedes that more companies will develop applications for devices like Apple’s iPad and for powerful new phones like the Android-based HTC Evo, which has a high-resolution screen that makes it easier to analyze data on a mobile device. MeLLmo, the makers of RoamBI have indicated their chosen platform is iOS and have shown no signs they intend to support Android.
Drake also points out that the recent interest in mobile BI has a lot to do with pervasive connectivity at 3G speeds and better.
Well-established business intelligence vendors have recast their mobile BI offerings in 2010; SAS added a Mobile dashboard last April, and SAP recently introduced upgrades to its BusinessObjects Explorer for the iPhone and the iPad. The summer began with a flurry of new upgrades including IBM’s cool new interface for its Cognos Go Mobile BI product. Microstrategy has also set a course for deep mobile integration with it’s comprehensive mobile business intelligence suite for iOS devices.
The open-source business intelligence community has also witnessed more than 10 million downloads of project BIRT and 1 million developers according to project sponsor Actuate. According to IDG News Service, Actuate isn’t the only open-source BI player touting serious momentum. Rival JasperSoft has for some time claimed to be the world’s most widely used BI software. It remains to be seen how serious these projects are in terms of support for Apple’s iPad and iPhone however.
At Life Technologies, mobile BI became critically important as end-users indicated a desire to access BI data while on the road. Manoj Prasad, vice president of enterprise architecture at Life Technologies Corp. asked his architecture team to look for ways to get data from SAP BusinessObjects and IBM Cognos BI systems onto employees’ BlackBerries and iPhones. The team concluded that Roambi could provide the solution.
"I showed it to the CIO, and he got excited. And we showed it to some customers, and they got excited too,"
According to Andrew Borg, Sr. Mobile Analyst with Aberdeen Group, companies are responding aggressively to the availability of smart and highly mobile devices such as iPhone and iPad. In a May 2010 Aberdeen survey, 23% of the 146 companies polled said that they now have a mobile BI application or dashboard in place, and another 31% said that they plan to implement some type of mobile business intelligence within the next year. More recent data confirms this trend and indicates even greater momentum.