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Deal boosts MicroStrategy platform's foray into government

Through its new deal with ImmixGroup, a distributor of enterprise software to the public sector, MicroStrategy aims to increase sales of its BI platform to government agencies.

The MicroStrategy platform already has a presence in federal, state and local government offices, but the vendor says it's about to get bigger.

On August 5, the business intelligence and analytics vendor, based in Tysons Corner, Va., made public an agreement with ImmixGroup, a distributor of enterprise software for the public sector with headquarters in McLean, Va., to distribute the MicroStrategy platform to government agencies.

MicroStrategy already has an internal department dedicated to the public sector, and counts the U.S. Departments of State, Defense and Housing and Urban Development as well as the Transportation Security Administration, among other federal agencies, as customers.

But by enlisting ImmixGroup as, in essence, a conduit to government contracts, MicroStrategy said it can speed up the pace of its foray into agencies at all levels.

"It's such a fast-growing market and there's a lot of opportunity for us to get analytics in their hands," said Rick "Ozzie" Nelson, MicroStrategy's vice president and general manager for the public sector. "Data is the single biggest untapped resource the Federal Government owns -- they've been collecting it since the inception of the country. The problem is how to get their arms around the data and make sense of it."

In particular, according to Nelson, the HyperIntelligence tool in the Microstrategy platform is suited to governments at all levels.

HyperIntelligence, which was introduced as part of MicroStrategy 2019, aims to bring BI to users rather than force users to seek out data, doing so by injecting information into web-based workflows. For example, a user can hover over a word and get a box pop up with pertinent data.

A screenshot shows how data is delivered in Outlook through MicroStrategy's HyperIntelligence.
A sample screenshot shows how MicroStrategy's HyperIntelligence can deliver data in Outlook.

It also reduces what Nelson calls click intolerance. The MicroStrategy platform is designed to minimize the number of clicks it takes to get from the initial search for data to the solution.

"The X-factor has always been ensuring that the right data is being used to make decisions," Nelson said, "and that's a challenge a lot of our federal customers face and one that HyperIntelligence is suited for."

Data is the single biggest untapped resource the Federal Government owns – they've been collecting it since the inception of the country. The problem is how to get their arms around the data and make sense of it.
Rick 'Ozzie' NelsonVice president and general manager for the public sector, MicroStrategy

Regarding the agreement with ImmixGroup and how it will benefit MicroStrategy, it's essentially a means of cutting through the enormous amount of bidding regulations for contracts with government agencies.

Or, more specifically, it's putting the onus on someone else to handle that aspect of getting the MicroStrategy platform into the hands of government customers while allowing MicroStrategy to focus on the technology.

"They know the ins and outs of government contracting and requirements, something that software companies like MicroStrategy don't want to have to specialize in," said Doug Henschen, analyst at Constellation Research.

The agreement with ImmixGroup also represents the continuation of MicroStrategy finding creative ways to expand its presence.

In June, the vendor sold a domain name for $30 million, adding to its ability to invest in the research and development of the MicroStrategy platform. MicroStrategy bought the domain name decades ago, along with a host of others.

"They continue to expand and haven't gotten bought," said Rick Sherman, founder and managing partner of Athena IT Solutions. "MicroStrategy has been a constant force with good sales and has a great, loyal customer base. If they're not at the forefront of an innovation, they follow the innovator very quickly."

MicroStrategy's agreement with ImmixGroup comes as the federal government is mandating that public entities upgrade outdated IT systems with modern technologies, with particular focus on data and its security.

The Modernizing Government Technology Act was signed into law in 2017 establishing a $250 million fund to invest in IT platforms, while the U.S. Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act was passed in 2014 as part of the National Defense Authorization Act to empower the chief information officer of each federal agency to make decisions with respect to modernizing their IT solutions.

According to Nelson, the arrangement with ImmixGroup represents the largest such deal MicroStrategy has made with a conduit. It's something the vendor has done before, but not on the scale of the recently announced agreement.

"It's a force multiplier that gives us access to contract vehicles -- access that we might not otherwise have," he said. "We don't have to go and find contract officers. It saves time, and accelerates the delivery."

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