September appears to be the month for mobile business intelligence (BI). Just last week, IBM, SAP, RoamBI, and PivotLink announced updates or new products around mobile BI capabilities. RoamBI released its version of BI for the iPad, focusing on creating an editorial environment to present data. SAP released version 4.0 of its Business Objects Edge BI software, which boasts mobile updates and geolocation enhancements.
Although there was diversity in these releases, there still seems to be one common denominator: iPad support. And today, open-source BI software provider Jaspersoft is jumping into the fray with a new SDK to bring more BI options to the mobile landscape.
Apple comprises 69 percent of the tablet market, as reported by Fortune, so iPad business users stand to benefit from the growing competition among BI vendors as well as other technical areas that are heading toward a consumerization of IT.
Combine this high market share with Deloitte's predictions that estimate more mobile devices will be purchased than PCs in 2012 and that the iOS market becomes a key strategic play for any BI company.
I discussed this trend with Jaspersoft CMO Jim Bell with regards to the mobile BI market and how Jaspersoft planned to throw its hat in ring with today's release of Jaspersoft 4.2 Business Intelligence Suite.
According to Bell, Jaspersoft is the first BI company to offer "any way you want it mobile BI for Apple" with a plan to deliver separate solutions for developers and executives.
Jaspersoft 4.2 introduces the BI industry's first open-source mobile iOS SDK for developers and comes with a "sample app"--which should be available on the Apple App Store this week--to help jumpstart new custom applications for developers that want to embed BI into iPhone and iPad applications.
The new SDK was sparked not only by the activeness of Apple's app developers but also by demand from Jaspersoft's open-source community who wanted to take their web applications mobile.
For executives who need to take advantage of BI such as business analysts or marketing professionals, Jaspersoft 4.2 includes a full-featured HTML5, touch-screen BI environment that needs no customization, can readily be taken on-the-go, and can actually make new reports directly from the device. This feature pushes the mobile BI market to a new level of information creation and not just information consumption.
Time will tell if there is going to be one single leader in this space, but there is no question that the iPad BI market is sure to see more competition and a race to find which feature set and integration strategy will hold.