Microstrategy vs Cognos—Face Off

Microstrategy Review vs Cognos Review
Check out the new Face Off on IT Central Station for Business Intelligence (BI) tools. Each solution has more than 28 real user reviews and four and five star ratings!

Microstrategy Review vs Cognos Review

Microstrategy Review vs Cognos Review

First look at these quick summaries from expert reviewers for each product:

Senior Manager of IT at government with 5000+ employees:

Cognos Review

“Provides us with “a single version of the truth.”

Manager of Development at tech services company with 5000+ employees:

Microstrategy Review

“Issues with reports, however can be quickly fixed.”

Here’s more of the Face Off—click each one to see all the reviews for each product:

Microstrategy vs Cognos

Now take a look at this line up of the industry’s top BI tools comparison on IT Central Station and add your perspective. You can comment on these reviews, check out what others are saying, or add a review of your own. Also make sure you check out Microstrategy alternatives and Cognos alternatives.

      Ibm                                                               qlikview                     

Cognos Express       SQL Server Reporting . . .         QlikView              Microstrategy

To see a detailed comparison between Cognos and MicroStrategy, check out IT Central Station’s comparison.

Join the “face off” by getting involved in the Yelp for the tech-buying community.

Every review on IT Central Station has been verified to be an authentic review by a real user. You can count on our Station Master, Russell Rothstein and his team to continue to provide you with the kind of tech-buying community source that will shape the future. Take a look at how it all started here.


Harvard Business Review—Big Data Driving Evidence-Based Narratives

MoBig Datast of us would agree that the hype around this term has subsided but it’s still cool to say, “Big Data!”

Having the right Business Intelligence Tools to harvest the velocity, volume, and variety of data makes a huge impact on how you make evidence-based decisions. In a post in the Harvard Business Review, The Value of Big Data Isn’t the Data, Kristian J. Hammond describes coupling the power of data with a contextual narrative to provide more concrete actionable results.

Here’s an example from the post from:

“For the most part, we know what we want out of the data.  We know what analysis needs to be run, what correlations need to be found and what comparisons need to be made.  By taking what we know and putting it into the hands of an automated system that can do all of this and then explain it to us in human terms, or natural language, we can achieve the effectiveness and scale of insight from our data that was always its promise but, until now, has not been delivered.  By embracing the power of the machine, we can automatically generate stories from the data that bridge the gap between numbers and knowing.”

Let’s be fair though, not everyone needs the same “narrative” from their big data harvest. Actionable results can come from all kinds of triggers such as underutilized resources that need to be consolidated. Right-sizing the provisioning of network bandwidth at the enterprise level has a huge impact on customers and end-user experience. Business processes that support internal productivity can be adequately tweaked with or without a narrative.

Find out what others are doing—your peers using the solutions offered now—check out IT Central Station’s lineup of the most reviewed business intelligence solutions here.

CIOs Leading IT Infrastructure and Cloud Management with BYOD

Remember when IT employees received company-paid-for goodies—like a PalmPilot, Blackberry, and a chunky—usually Dell—laptop with carry-on case?

These items were issued by a dedicated IT Help Desk staff who created certified “images” that could be replaced whenever apps or a rogue attachment caused problems.

We’re now finding that innovation-friendly IT enterprises must handle a growing trend—bringing your own devices [to work]—or BYOD. Bring Your Own Device BYOD

For example, Osterman Research conducted a survey of 760 individuals with regard to “bring your own devices” BYOD issues.

“They found that personally owned smartphones and tablets were used extensively instead of company-issued gear. The research also found widespread use of third-party, cloud-based storage and file synchronization offerings that are sometimes used with IT’s blessing, but more often not [and ccomplimentary to your organization when employees use them outside of your firewall].”

For more info, see CIO‘s White Paper on Putting IT Back in Control of BYOD.

You can also check out Tech RepublicTen questions on BYOD in the enterprise, with Peter Price, CEO of Webalo.

Where can you find out how CEOs, CTOs, CIOs and VPs of IT Decision-Making are handling this new trend?

At IT Central Stationyou can look at the products that manage your IT Infrastructure, your Clouds, and SaaS—then, determine if you’re equipped for this growing trend.

For example, read a review about Oracle Enterprise Manager and then compare to other Products and Vendors associated with the same or similar categories.

What a nice way to lead IT innovation in your organization with an informed set of best practices!

Bring Your Own Device BYODYou can follow products, write reviews, and analyze what others in IT Infrastructure planning have done to manage BYOD.

Forrester Insights on B2B Social Media

Forrester’s Zachary Reiss-Davis has been writing noteworthy social media insights for IT Infrastructure CIOs, CEO’s, and Decision-Making VPs to consider.

Most would agree that we all have unique, organic experiences of social media—personally and professionally.

We don’t want to over indulge though, or do we?

Social Media

Zack’s find . . . “For business purposes, the No. 1 and No. 2 communities aren’t specific public social networks but “niche” communities focused on specific objectives. For example, business technology buyers might visit IT Central Station or Spiceworks to learn more about multiple competing technologies at once; alternatively, they might visit a community managed by a single brand, such as the Cisco Communities or SAP Community Network (SCN. . .
In Business, Everybody Uses Social Media For Work; The Question Is How

For B2B Social Media, we want to know when to engage and how—we desire to tag the emerging “beat” or sustainable cusp of importancethis grabs our attention.

In Zach’s research, we’re finding more and more that peers rely on other peers for vendor solution feedback a lot more than they used to and value it more than some analyst reports.

We’re here precisely for that!  Peers communicating with other peers about enterprise vendor solutions and no sales and marketing spins.

So on the social media side, strike a balance but do indulge in becoming a peer leader in your field by following Vendors, Solutions, and Products @ IT Central Station.

Follow Products IT Central Station

You can follow products, write reviews, and analyze what others in IT Infrastructure planning have done to make great decisions—what will you do next to add value to your IT Enterprise or your organization’s Strategic Plan?

Cost savings are not always compelling (enough) . . . from Gartner’s IT Research Director

Gartner’s Rob Addy gives us a run down of why VPs of IT Operations [CIO, CTOs] and Data Center Managers hesitate to purchase IT infrastructure improvements:

Cost savings are not always compelling (enough)

Addy describes when Gartner subscription holders would get a substantial membership discount if he could convince them to save big money—adopting some of Gartner’s recommendations. Now who wouldn’t want to save big money based on Gartner’s proven track record of IT vendor analysis across a worldwide market? The end-user clients he contacted surprised him—and not what anyone would predict—until you read them.

Cost Savings

The top reasons given for non-adoption varied considerably:
“I haven’t been asked to save money there”
“I’ll keep that in my back pocket in case I need to make more cuts later”
“I’d have to get agreement from too many people within my organization”
“It will mean changing our internal processes (and that is too hard)”
“The return isn’t worth the pain”
“I have too many other things on my plate and don’t have the time to do it”
“I’m not prepared to bear the additional risk, however small”

IT Central Station offers a compelling way to dig deeper into the cost-saving strategies available. We empower IT users, cut through vendor spam, enable social networking among IT pros.  Anyone can be on the front lines of what does well in Enterprise IT infrastructure—peer to peer.

Rob Addy’s take on how to address the non-adoption from even the most vetted Gartner recommendations is summarized as,

“In reality you may need to position a minimum of two stories. The official party line for corporate wellness improvement that will be used to explain the rationale behind the decision internally and the highly personalized and personal story for your buyer (or buyers).”

Where can you find these stories? Take a look at IT Central Station’s Reviews as a start .

IT Social Media finds its best address for CTOs, CIOs, and Decision Makers from IT Enterprise and Service Provider markets @ IT Central Station.

At IT Central Station, you can follow products and solutions along with ones you’re considering for near or long-term planning—all done anonymously.

CIOs and Hybrid IT—Clouds and Services

Now more than ever, CIOs must manage Hybrid IT environments. Just when you have a smooth—what seems like a perfect IT infrastructure—now you need to cut your budget and look to cloud computing for Infrastructure, Platform, and Software as a Service. IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS options now balance both internal and external resources effectively—Dang! Sustaining this mix, shows up in your CIO office like a bunch of cats in a room full of rocking chairs!

This won’t be too bad if you know how to stay on top of it—finding the most cost-effective solutions that keep up with the competition can be worth the work. If you don’t, someone else will.

Andy Burton, announced the following results at the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF)-sponsored conCloud Service Providersference on Cloud Outlook for the Enterprise in 2013 just a few days ago:

“The mix of on-premise, hosted or co-location, IaaS/PaaS services in Cloud and full SaaS delivery will, to varying degrees, be the standard mix for the majority of users over the coming year.”

Hybrid IT Industry Forum

Russell Rothstein—our Station Master here at IT Central Station—wants to provide you with the type of “buying journey” that allows you to view what’s out there from your peers before making a purchase.

Try before you buy!

Some of the Cloud Computing services allow you to “try before you buy.” It’s not like the old days when you could just crank up the bandwidth and availability requirements on your SLAs and all your apps would hum through your environment like a locomotive on time. Everyone’s now tweaking and squeezing to find the latest cost-effective solutions for business processes on demand.

At certain times, you might find it easier to strike up a conversation with an anonymous passenger [on a train], rather than with folks who you’re close to in your own organization. You’re not quite ready to discuss with the sales force who cannot say anything wrong about their services either.

For your IT Hybrid categories, take a look at the reviews from either of the Cloud Computing IaaS or PaaS links below.

Don’t let the train leave the station without you on it!



Patrick T Campbell

CIO’s Agenda—Hunt and Harvest in a Digital World!

Gartner’s CIO Digital Agenda requires hunting and harvesting on top of tending to current end-user demands. CIOs need to get more from existing IT infrastructure systems and processes while looking for new solutions, according to Gartner’s Group Vice President and Fellow in Executive Programs, Mark McDonald.

With over 2,000 CIOs surveyed, Mark announced results like these from a Gartner Executive Programs CIO survey and CIO agenda report on CNBC:CIO Agenda Gartner 2013

  • Hunting—occurs in situations where IT needs to be out in front—scouting and finding innovations and opportunities beyond enterprise boundaries. . .
  • Harvesting—occurs in situations where IT needs to raise business performance by actively changing business processes, extending products and services, and replicating best practices. . .  read more here.

Don’t be fooled by a duck in rabbit’s clothing or vice versa!

Problem—How can you hunt or harvest without knowing where or what to hunt and harvest? You need a place to go to find out what products and vendors support the innovation that you seek and how they do it affectively.

Follow Products and Vendors on IT Central Station

Follow the Products you currently have and the Vendors you typically use on IT Central Station. You can then explore other solutions in the same categories. Reach out and find out what others are doing by commenting and asking questions.

IT Central Station provides the framework to get real views from users of your current and potential IT needs. You can also write a review of your own, anonymously or as an Expert Reviewer.

For example, Server Virtualization for most IT Enterprises has rapidly evolved with new vendors entering the space and more promises on the horizon. Harvesting more for less must be achieved to be competitive. Here’s where to get started:

Server VirtualizationHyper-V

Oracle VM

Citrix XenServer


Patrick T Campbell

QlikView vs SAS Business Intelligence—Down River Regatta

A down river regatta typically entails a competition where sailing teams battle a common river using various techniques to get to the finish line. Everything QlikView vs SAScounts—the weight of the people on the boat, the style of boat, the size of sail, the wind of course, and so on. The best combination of these aspects determines the ultimate winner.

Similarly, differentiating a vendor based on individual factors alone can be just as complex . You often find yourselves comparing two solutions that cannot be pitted against each other side-by-side with every metric for functionality or cost benefit and end up with what “wins” for you.

Instead, you have to find the uniqueness of how a particular solution fits your need. Everyone knows that marketing spin inspires you to believe that a “one size fits all” approach. We all know that it’s better to find out what other real users of a solution are experiencing and how relevant that is to your current circumstances.

Enter IT Central Station, the “Yelp for Enterprise IT” as referred to by the Wall Street Journal,” and see this comparison of QlikView vs SAS Business Intelligence. When real user peers commenting on the facets of each of these vendors, the pros, and the cons, you get a sense for how these solutions might fit in with your environment.

Here’s a glimpse at two reviews:

QlikView Review
QlikView is a highly effective management tool, allowing a broad area of analysis.

SAS Business Intelligence Review
Great for data analysis and reports once we got it up and running. Recommended!

Both of these sailors—I mean real users—come from different environments. Do you think that has anything to do with their review? Of course it does and that’s why each reviewer—whether anonymous or not—includes the type of business where they base their review. Each review is also evaluated for authenticity and approved by IT Central Station staff.

For more information about becoming a contributor, see Become a Contributor.


Get to Class!—Server Virtualization Refresher Tips for CIOs and IT Decision Makers

CIOs and IT Decision Makers need savvy IT infrastructure planning to be cost-effective and satisfy increasing expectations for end-user experience. Guess what—or who doesn’t know this—you betta get yer Server Virtualization on!Server Virtualization Refresher

Go ahead, scratch your head. The legacy infrastructure dear to many IT folks has become more expensive than a properly managed set of virtualized platforms—as predicted by most IT enterprise analysts—and now sitting even stronger in the forefront of large and mid-sized enterprises as the way to go.

What are you waiting for? [We know you’re not waiting]

Here’s a five-point run down that we liked from the IT Solutions Blog at ConRes.

Five Refresher Tips for Server Virtualization

  1. How will your software be licensed in a virtual environment?  When you virtualize your systems, will you need new software licenses?  The answer will vary by software.  Find out in advance where you’ll need new licenses.
  2. What is the best virtualization platform for your business?  Each business has different requirements.  And with the amount of virtualization options on the market, the choices can be dizzying.  Work with a trusted IT advisor to determine the most cost-effective virtualization platform that will get the job done.
  3. Does your virtualization plan mitigate failure risk? Virtualization should reduce system risks.  But a poorly implemented virtualization plan can do just the opposite.  Server virtualization means that one physical machine can act as multiple virtual servers.  But what happens when that single machine goes down?The critical point is often the host server.  Contingency plans need to be in place should the host server fail, and the virtualized platform should be designed so that all your critical elements aren’t on the same host server.  In short, don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
  4. Are you overloading your host servers? Each host server can only realistically accommodate a certain number of guest machines.  While that number used to extend to 20 to 50 or even 100 virtual machines on a host, software and applications have become larger and more complex.  Now, industry experts say that 15 virtual servers per host is the likely maximum number, with most enterprises achieving a 6:1 ratio for data applications such as CRM, ERP, databases and e-mail.  It’s important to be realistic about host server capacity so you don’t overwhelm your systems.
  5. Which servers and applications can be virtualized?  Not every server or application can or should be virtualized.  For example, servers that require special hardware or run resource-intensive applications aren’t good candidates for virtualization.  And some common applications just won’t run in a virtual environment.  With a little forethought, you can figure out which applications and servers can work in a virtual environment. Good candidates for virtualization?  Older servers (to avoid upgrade costs or increases in  maintenance costs), multiprocessor servers dedicated to single-processor applications (enabling you to optimize resources), and infrequently used severs (so you can consolidate resources).

Start following top Server Virtualization Software on IT Central Station and any other Products and Vendors you want.

Here’s products you can follow now:

Server VirtualizationHyper-V

Oracle VM

Citrix XenServer


Lead in the Virtualization Strategies for your organization by following Products and Vendors at IT Central Station!