Emerging tech: Business intelligence apps go mobile

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CIO Joe Beery of Life Technologies has found an answer to the age-old question, "What has IT done for me lately?" Earlier this year, he gave top executives and a pilot group of sales folks and finance staff one of the hottest emerging technologies to arrive on the enterprise scene: mobile business intelligence.

Now, employees eagerly tap and scroll through business data looking at daily sales pipelines, recent activity among key customers, and real-time revenue trends on their iPhones and iPads. "It definitely helps your credibility," says Beery at Life Technologies, a publicly traded biotech company based in southern California. "You want to know what we've done? Well, here it is."

Beery chose a mobile BI solution called Roambi, a native iOS app with hooks into the company's Oracle database and Cognos business intelligence system. Roambi serves up the latest product, customer or financial data via a simple yet elegant virtual card index. The app is as addictive as Facebook-one executive at Life Technologies checks Roambi at least 10 times a day-and thus employees are constantly reminded of the important role technology plays in their daily jobs.

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