Post by Rob Collie
Your Server Options: Power BI Online, On Premises / Do It Yourself,
Third Party Cloud, and Now… Insight Center!
Our Continuing Mission: A Power Pivot Server in Every, Um, Driveway
Everyone, sing it with me: “I’ve been wor-king on The Flow-chart, aalll the live-long daaay…” Yes, The Flowchart. The “yellow brick road” that helps lead your org to the Power Pivot server option best-suited for you. (Why do you need a server? Because it’s YouTube for Workbooks.)
Drawing the flowchart is, of course, the easy part. Making sure that it “ends” in a variety of dependable options – that fit varying budgets, infrastructures, and org sizes – well, THAT is the reason why the flowchart is taking this much time.
But said flowchart is getting closer – MUCH closer – to being ready. We have been busy little beavers here at PowerPivotPro. Crusaders for justice, as we oh-so-modestly think of ourselves, rarely get to rest. The shortage of Power Pivot servers in the world is a humanitarian issue in our eyes. (Yes, this paragraph was tongue-in-cheek. Well, partly anyway.)
Until now, you’ve basically had three classes of option: 1) Install and Run Your Own Servers, 2) Subscribe to Power BI Online, or 3) Lease Space From Third Party (non-Microsoft) Cloud Providers.
All three of those options are good, viable choices, and remain so. The Flowchart will soon help you choose between those, depending on Best Fit. But recently it’s ALSO become clear that some organizations would benefit greatly from a Fourth Option.
And with that realization… Insight Center was born.
Already Gaining Traction with Microsoft’s Enterprise Customers
Insight Center isn’t some “drawing board” concept – in fact it’s already gaining traction with some of Microsoft’s largest customers: “household name” sorts of companies. Companies whose names I wish I could disclose but cannot. How is this happening, you ask?
There are some very progressive-thinking people in Microsoft’s Mid-Atlantic Division. Nimble, flexible, and grounded in reality. Our kind of people, in other words, and we’ve really enjoyed working with them on various projects over the past few months. Insight Center is one of those cooperative efforts.
Windows Azure + Years of Cloud Experience + New Innovations
So, at a high level, Insight Center is:
A Power Pivot for SharePoint Solution.
Installed and Configured in Windows Azure.
A Private Cloud solution (which conveys performance and security benefits over shared cloud platforms).
A “Middle Ground” option between Full Do-It-Yourself one one hand, and Prepackaged Cloud solutions on the other.
More flexible/adaptable/customizable than most cloud solutions while still being much easier to deploy than Full “Do It Yourself.”
Informed by my (Rob Collie’s) experience as the creator of the world’s first cloud Power Pivot platform (my former company, where I was CTO).
A delivery vehicle for a number of innovative software extensions – ideas I’ve been refining for a long time, now coming to fruition.
A set of blueprints and software that your company can quickly deploy yourself, or that can be quickly deployed by Microsoft partner firms.
A particularly good fit for Enterprise customers whose infrastructures aren’t a good fit for Power BI right now, but who still very much desire a simple and robust cloud solution in the near term. (Potentially also a good fit for other orgs as well, but these are the so-called Sweet Spot.)
I don’t want to get too technical here, or reveal all of the new innovations. I will save those for a subsequent post.
But in the meantime, if you are interested in learning more, drop us a note, and the virtual team of PowerPivotPro plus Microsoft Mid Atlantic will get back to you promptly: