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Salesforce Industries Summit

Roambi Mobile BI Walks a Narrow Line but Digs Deep

By Erika Morphy
Sep 24, 2010 5:00 AM PT

Mellmo's Roambi ES3
Mellmo's Roambi ES3 Mobile Business Intelligence App
Many mobile apps for CRM tend to deliver comprehensive versions of the original application. For example, one can use the mobile app on a mobile device to carry out just about any CRM-related function that's possible using the enterprise version on a PC -- from monitoring the pipeline to contacting a lead.

Roambi Mobile BI Walks a Narrow Line but Digs Deep

Not so with Mellmo's Roambi ES3, a mobile application that focuses exclusively on business intelligence data. Users can access the BI functionality of one of four major applications with which it integrates -- SAP, IBM, Microsoft and now, Oracle -- via the iPhone or iPad.

Not surprisingly, given its narrow focus, Roambi ES3 goes deeper than other mobile apps that offer an element of BI. Roambi serves up six -- soon to be seven -- detailed views of BI data.

Roambi ES3 also is following the same trend that has been characterizing BI software in the enterprise for the last few years: The developer has made it as simple as possible to use.

"We are a mobile analytics tool," Quinton Alsbury, Mellmo cofounder and president, told CRM Buyer. "The app takes business data and transforms it into interactive dashboards that are delivered to the iPad or iPhone or iPod touch with minimal effort on the part of the user."

Integrating With Oracle

The latest product the company has introduced is an app that integrates with Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition 11g, which debuted at Oracle OpenWorld.

The app connects users directly to Oracle's EssBase -- an OLAP (Online Analytical Processing) Server that is part of Oracle BI's foundation.

The app also taps into Oracle's user and file management and its security structure, including role level and row level security. It integrates with the Hyperion Workspace portal, allowing users to transform Excel spreadsheets stored in the portal into mobile dashboard views.

6 Different Visualizations

Most users tend to focus on the client, which contains six mini analytic applications that slice and dice the data in different ways, explained Alsbury.

"The client talks to the Roambi enterprise server, which is installed behind the firewall," he said. "It then hooks into the Oracle database, which then takes the necessary data to populate the mobile visualization."

The six different visualizations include a trends view, which is a high-level dashboard for looking at different performance indicators; a pie view; a high-end drill down navigation visualization for hierarchal data; a table browser that converts spreadsheets; a visualization that takes tabulated data and renders it into a virtual file draw ("instead of looking at rows and rows of data they are turned into virtual cards," said Alsbury); and a visualization for the iPad, which lets the user compare five of those cards with each other.

The company plans to introduce a seventh view soon.

Other Roambi ES3 integrations include SAP Crystal Reports, SAP BusinessObjects, IBM Cognos, Microsoft Reporting Services, Microsoft Sharepoint, Salesforce CRM, LifeRay, Google Docs and Microsoft Excel.

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