MeLLmo’s Roambi Business Visualization App Comes to iPad, Links to More Data Sources

4/13/10Follow @wroush

If you want your company to buy you an iPad or an iPhone, here’s a tip. Get someone from MeLLmo to stop by and show its data visualization software to your firm’s CEO, CFO, or COO. The Del Mar, CA-based startup’s mobile business app, called Roambi, plugs into enterprise business-intelligence systems and creates interactive charts and graphs for the iPhone and iPad that are so slick that once an executive has tried a device loaded with the software, they usually don’t want to give it back.

“We’ve been with customers who are 100 percent on BlackBerry, and they want to buy iPhones just to run our application,” Santiago Becerra, MeLLmo’s co-founder, chairman, and CEO, told Xconomy last week. “With the iPad, it’s too early to tell, but I have one data point—I met yesterday with a Fortune 500 COO and showed him the iPad app and just left the iPad with him. This morning I heard that he’s already getting all his direct reports converted.”

The Roambi Visualizer iPhone app is available free from the iTunes app store. MeLLmo was careful to ensure that an iPad version—which shows off data to even better advantage than the iPhone app—would be available for the device’s launch on April 3. But the more significant news for the startup, which Bruce profiled last September, is the launch this week of an improved version of its enterprise server. This is the software that connects to business-intelligence systems and prepares data such as sales figures for display on mobile devices, and it’s the product that brings in MeLLmo’s actual revenue.

MeLLmo announced at the Gartner Business Intelligence Summit in Las Vegas yesterday that “Roambi ES3,” as the server software is called, can connect with more business intelligence data sources: on top of SAP BusinessObjects, Salesforce CRM, and Microsoft Excel, it can now tap data from IBM Cognos, LifeRay, Microsoft Sharepoint, and Microsoft Reporting Services. In addition, the new server can create Flash versions of the usual Roambi charts and graphics, meaning employees can access Roambi data dashboards from their desktop or laptop computers as well as their Apple mobile devices.

The changes are intended to make the idea of mobile business intelligence dashboards attractive to a larger swath of companies. “We’re making a huge push to expand who can use Roambi,” says Quinton Alsbury, MeLLmo’s president. “We are doubling the set of data sources that can be integrated, and alongside the new connectivity we’re expanding the number of platforms.”

At the same time, the new server can show data in new ways, including a “trends” view that makes it easier to see how performance indicators are changing over time, and a “pod” view that let users create custom dashboards combining their favorite data types in one view. Behind the scenes, the company has introduced a number of other improvements, such as … Next Page »

Wade Roush is a contributing editor at Xconomy. Follow @wroush

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