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SMBs Achieving Competitive Edge with BI



By Lainie Guthrie

SMB Solutions and Route to Market 


HP Flex-Bundles for BI with Microsoft SQL Server 2014, feature HP ProLiant Gen8 servers and soon to feature HP ProLiant Gen9 servers, drastically increases efficiencies and productivity


Businesses that embrace today’s data deluge for the insight it delivers are the ones acquiring and retaining customers – and ultimately gaining market share. While data collection, mining, and analytics can be tedious and overwhelming at times, there are systems and solutions that simplify these processes and maximize ROI.

Business intelligence (BI) solutions are leading the charge for businesses seeking to leverage the voluminous data at their fingertips. For businesses with data warehouses in place, BI is the logical next step. It allows users to quickly access actionable data that drives critical business decision-making, including sales and marketing campaign efficacy, operational efficiencies, cross-selling and up-selling opportunities, inventory management, overall business direction, and more.


“Running a business shouldn't be like gambling,” said Ken Dixon, former executive vice president of marketing at Kogent Corporation. “Far too often, executives must rely on ‘best guesses and ‘gut feel’ decisions as they attempt to steer their companies into the future. They do this because their business data lacks any structure to allow them to make truly informed choices. Business intelligence can provide more accurate historical data, real-time updates, synthesis between departmental data stores, forecasting and trending, and even predictive ‘what if?’ analysis.”


With lower budgets and the need to remain competitive with fewer resources, small to midsize businesses (SMBs) are recognizing the edge that BI affords. A recent SMB report found that 42 percent of SMB decision makers believe their business decisions are based on inaccurate or incomplete data, and 32 percent report their data is too siloed to provide a clear business picture.[1] SMBs are turning to BI to overcome these challenges.


A 2013 BI usage market study by Dresner Advisory Services, LLC revealed that one-third of small enterprises and more than 20 percent of mid-sized businesses surveyed have used BI solutions in the past three to five years.[2] The 2014 study by the same independent advisory firm found the percentage of SMBs using public cloud BI solutions increased more than 17 percent over the 2013 results, and more than 53 percent since the 2012 study.[3]


Data is showing that SMBs are increasingly interested in self-service BI tools, which eliminate the need for IT involvement. These solutions speed delivery of data insight while driving down IT costs and required staff time. A survey by Logi Analytics found that self-service BI reduces IT requests by 37 percent.[4]


Logi Analytics product marketing manager Alvin Wong stated, “Small businesses are investing in self-service BI tools, and it is most encouraging to see that they are investing on their own without the need for IT. The data from the business users in our survey shows that for companies between one and 250 employees, 25 percent have purchased self-service BI tools with minimal or no IT sign-off, which is right on track of the 24 percent average for businesses of all sizes.”[5]


“The flexibility business users have to get things done on their own time is what really drives the need for self-service. Sure, no one wants to wait on IT, but it's really about getting things done when they want,” Wong further explained. “This then makes them more efficient and more agile as they can respond faster to changing business conditions, and helps make the entire organization more competitive because data-driven insights are informing their path.”


HP Flex-Bundles for BI with Microsoft SQL Server 2014 is a self-service BI solution designed specifically for the unique needs of SMBs. It allows users to quickly and easily create their own dashboards to access drilled-down, secure data that accelerates decision-making. Leveraging aggregated data sources, simplified analytics and reporting, In-Memory Columnstore indexing, and Microsoft SharePoint integration, it is a high-performance solution that can easily handle rapid data growth.


Budget-friendly and scalable, HP Flex-Bundles for BI with Microsoft SQL Server 2014 is affordable for SMBs and a future-proof investment. Its automated updates and cloud-based management significantly reduces data management costs business-wide, from operational to capital expenditures.


While this solution has already advanced the data access and decision-making abilities of its SMB users, it will soon be more efficient. HP Flex-Bundles for BI with Microsoft SQL Server 2014 will soon feature HP ProLiant Gen9 servers powered by the latest Intel processors. These servers provide three times the compute capacity – resulting in a lower total cost of ownership[6] – and deliver four times faster workload performance.[7] In addition, service delivery is accelerated 66 times over previous generations to meet enhanced service-level agreements.[8]


By adopting HP Flex-Bundles for BI with Microsoft SQL Server 2014, SMBs can cut through the data clutter and solve complex data analytics issues swiftly and easily. With simplified, data-driven answers to business questions available without the time and budget allocated to IT staff, SMBs like yours can make critical decisions that lead to increased sales and profitability.


To find out how this solution can accelerate your business’ growth, visit today.


[1]Analytics for the SMB: Empowering Users, Leveraging IT,” Aberdeen Group, March 2013

[2] Wisdom of Crowds® Small and Mid-Sized Enterprise Business Intelligence Market Study 2013 market study, Dresner Advisory Services, LLC




[6] HP internal comparison between HP ProLiant DL380 Gen9 vs. HP ProLiant DL380 G6

[7] Based on HP SmartCache Performance testing done with equivalent controller in a controlled environment

[8] Based on anonymous customer results


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