MicroStrategy, Inc. is a provider of business intelligence (BI), mobile software, and cloud-based services. The company is based in the Washington, D.C. area and serves companies and organizations worldwide. Founded in 1989 by Michael J. Saylor and Sanju Bansal, the firm develops software to analyze internal and external data in order to make business decisions and to develop mobile apps. The software can be deployed in companies' data centers, or as cloud services.
MicroStrategy remains one of the few independent, publicly traded BI software providers in the business intelligence (BI) market. Its primary business analytics competitors include SAP Business Objects, IBM Cognos, and Oracle's BI Platform.
MicroStrategy is headquartered in the Washington, D.C. metro area and has worldwide operations in 27 countries. The CEO and chairman of the board of MicroStrategy is Michael J. Saylor, the company's co-founder. The company holds 31 granted patents and 9 additional applications under review.
Michael J. Saylor started MicroStrategy in 1989 with a consulting contract from DuPont, which provided Saylor with $250,000 in start-up capital and office space in Wilmington, Delaware. Saylor was soon joined by company co-founder Sanju Bansal, whom he had met while the two were students at MIT. The company produced software for data mining and business intelligence using nonlinear mathematics, an idea inspired by a course that they took at MIT. During this time period, the company experienced rapid growth. In 1992, it gained its first major client when it signed a $10 million contract with McDonald's, and increased revenues by 100% every year between 1990 and 1996. In 1994, they moved the company's offices and its 50 employees from Delaware to Tysons Corner, Virginia. MicroStrategy had its initial public offering in June 1998. On its first day of trading, the stock price doubled.
In 2000 MicroStrategy founded Angel an IVR and voice application company. In March 2000, after a review of its accounting practices, MicroStrategy announced that it would restate its financial results for the preceding two years, which resulted in an investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. A lawsuit was subsequently filed against MicroStrategy and certain of its officials over fraud. In December 2000, Saylor, Bansal, and the company's former CFO settled with the SEC without admitting wrongdoing by each paying $350,000 in fines. The officers also paid a combined total of $10 million in disgorgement. The firm itself was charged with a number of violations and settled with the SEC by hiring an independent director to ensure regulatory compliance.
By the fourth quarter of 2003, the company added over 200 new corporate customers and posted increased revenue for every quarter through the end of 2007. In 2007 and 2008, the company was named one of the 200 Best Small Companies in America by Forbes.
In 2009, the company introduced OLAP Services with a shared data set cache, to accelerate reports and ad hoc queries. The relational nature of the OLAP services allowed users to drill down through the database to the transaction-level detail.
In 2010, the company began developing and deploying business intelligence software for mobile platforms, such as the iPhone and iPad. Also in 2011, it expanded its offerings to include a cloud-based service, MicroStrategy Cloud.
In 2013, MicroStrategy sold Angel to Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories for $110 Million USD.
In January 2014, the company announced a new feature of the platform called PRIME (Parallel Relational In-Memory Engine), co-developed with Facebook. It is a massively parallel processing engine that the company said can support a data volume of 4.6TB and 200 billion rows. In May, 2014, Microstrategy announced the availability of its enterprise software platforms available via subscription on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Marketplace.
The company slashed Saylor's salary from $875,000 to $1 in September 2014 at his request. In October 2014 the company announced plans to lay off 770 employees.
In April 2015, MicroStrategy introduced enterprise security platform Usher™ and debuted the Usher Software Development Kit. In June 2015, MicroStrategy announced the general availability of MicroStrategy 10™, combining enhanced business-intelligence functionality with data discovery, mobile analytics and enterprise-grade security.
In March 2016. MicroStrategy 10 was showcased in the BI Bake-Off, a product face-off that took place at the Gartner Business Intelligence and Analytics Summit at the Gaylord Texan Hotel & Convention Center in Grapevine, Texas. In September 2016, the company announced the general availability of MicroStrategy 10.5, the latest update to the company's MicroStrategy 10 platform. The release included the latest drivers and gateways with new certifications to support more enterprise assets, allowing organizations to leverage data investments.
MicroStrategy develops scalable enterprise software platforms. MicroStrategy 10 is the company’s flagship product, and it consolidates analytics and mobility on a single integrated platform, available both as on-premise software and as a hosted service offering in MicroStrategy Cloud. It uses business intelligence and predictive analytics to search through and perform analytics on big data from a variety of sources, including data warehouses, Excel files, and Hadoop distributions. MicroStrategy 10, the current suite of software, consists of MicroStrategy Analytics, MicroStrategy Mobile, and Usher. The most recent major release of the software is 10.5, which was released in September 2016.MicroStrategy Analytics allows large organizations to analyze vast amounts of data and securely distribute actionable business insight throughout an enterprise, while also being able to cater to smaller workgroups and departmental use via MicroStrategy Desktop. MicroStrategy Analytics delivers reports and dashboards, and enables users to conduct ad hoc analysis and share insights via mobile devices (via MicroStrategy Mobile) or the Web (via MicroStrategy Web). It also combines the agility of self-service visual data discovery with the security, scalability, and governance features of enterprise-grade business intelligence. MicroStrategy Analytics is available both as on-premises software and as a hosted service offering in MicroStrategy Cloud.
MicroStrategy Mobile, introduced in 2010, is a software platform integrating Analytics capabilities into mobile business apps for the iPhone, iPad, Android, and BlackBerry. It allows improved transactional efficiencies and easier access to intelligence data without needing to reformat the data for different platforms. Apps using it can deliver business intelligence and transactional data derived from their existing data sources, including data warehouses, ERP, CRM and other information systems.
Usher is a digital credential and identity intelligence product that offers a secure, convenient way for organizations to control digital and physical access. By replacing physical badges and passwords with secure digital badges, Usher is able to generate critical information on user behavior and resource usage that can be used to make organizations more productive and secure. Usher's technology architecture incorporates the use of three-factor authentication, out-of-band channels, time-limited codes, and bidirectional public key infrastructure encryption.
In 2011, Apple recognized MicroStrategy's iOS app as one of the best business apps of the year. In 2012, the Business Application Research Center (BARC) ranked MicroStrategy first overall in Mobile BI in the BI Survey 12. Also in 2012, Information Management named MicroStrategy one of the "Forty Vendors We’re Watching" for its ability to understand new business trends.