Why choose Intelligence Plaza®

1. How does Intelligence Plaza compare with setting up in-house systems?

Intelligence Plaza is a mature competitive intelligence software that has been developed for the sole purpose of supporting competitive and market intelligence needs of small to large global companies. Conducting competitive intelligence requires specific processing capabilities that are best served by tools that are tailored for such needs from the ground up.

Clients who have evaluated the costs of developing a similar system in-house say that building and maintaining technical solutions in-house can prove costly, time-consuming and ineffective. Intelligence Plaza saves a lot of time and effort from the customer, and is usually the least costly option.

The Head of Market Intelligence at Fujitsu Services says this about choosing Intelligence Plaza over developing a system inhouse; “Having weighed the options, we realized that we would actually be better off by going with a readily available software solution rather than venturing into an internal IT project for which there was no end in sight. So we started evaluating competitive intelligence software products that were available in the market. Intelligence Plaza seemed to fit our needs very well. We were also convinced by its large user base and M-Brain’s consultative expertise that we could leverage and thereby avoid many potential pitfalls in the implementation process.”

Here are some other reasons why Intelligence Plaza is preferred over in-house systems:

  • Intelligence Plaza can be set up quickly
  • The total cost of ownership of Intelligence Plaza is very reasonable
  • Over time, Intelligence Plaza makes day-to-day work more productive throughout the organization, as people need to spend less time searching for information about their markets and their competitors. Intelligence Plaza can potentially save each user at least 1.5 hours a week, according to a 2010 M-Brain (previously known as Global Intelligence Alliance) customer survey. That effectively accumulates to about 9.5 days saved a year per user
  • Customers gain access to the knowledge and best practices through M-Brain’s experience in serving the competitive intelligence needs of companies across different industries and around the world
  • Intelligence Plaza is continuously developed through a controlled R&D process leveraging the experiences of thousands of clients and users
  • Intelligence Plaza complements other internal systems that support different business processes

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2. How does Intelligence Plaza compare with other competitive intelligence solutions?

First and foremost, Intelligence Plaza is developed by the combined strength, experience and insights of strategic market intelligence advisors and software specialists. M-Brain (previously known as Global Intelligence Alliance) is not just a software vendor.

As such, Intelligence Plaza is built to help companies manage their entire competitive intelligence process at a world class level. M-Brain can also offer Intelligence Plaza clients a full range of competitive intelligence services to complement the software:

1. Media Intelligence – Services that help international companies stay aware of developments in their media and competitive environment

2. Market Intelligence – Research and data that help companies understand what market developments mean for them

 3. Strategic Intelligence – Strategic advice to help companies decide on their optimal business strategies for success

Through such Intelligence Plaza partnerships, customers are exposed to competitive intelligence best practices.

Furthermore, Intelligence Plaza is a mature, reliable and robust platform; it requires minimum resources from the customer during setup as well as in its maintenance.

Another key differentiator of Intelligence Plaza is that it enables the delivery of competitive intelligence through multiple channels. Today’s business professionals need several alternative channels to access their competitive intelligence such as automated alerts, easy-to-use web browser interfaces, mobile UI for accessing while on the road, push feeds, access through SharePoint, integration to other systems.

Intelligence Plaza has an exceptionally comprehensive customer base, across different company sizes as well as industry sectors. A reliable choice, Intelligence Plaza is the most established product for supporting a corporate competitive intelligence process. The product serves tens of thousands of users around the world on a daily basis, and has an impressive track record of continuous development in line with client needs for more than 10 years. It is developed by a leading and financially strong company that has been in business and leading the way in meeting the competitive intelligence needs of large companies since 1995.

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3. Will Intelligence Plaza duplicate my existing systems?

No. Intelligence Plaza is an optimized solution that is designed to manage the intelligence process and often acts as a complementary solution to other internal (information) systems that support different business processes.

Intelligence Plaza can also be easily integrated with other systems to provide the optimal user experiences for business executives, specific business processes, or broader audiences.

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Comparison with SharePoint / CRM / ERP systems

4. How is Intelligence Plaza different from SharePoint?

Microsoft SharePoint has been developed as a suite of technologies on which applications for specific business processes can be built. It is therefore not a business application per se, but rather a collection of tools that makes it easier for companies to develop business applications.

Intelligence Plaza, on the other hand, is a software application specifically developed to manage the competitive intelligence process of a company. Intelligence Plaza offers a wide range of specifically designed functionalities for day-to-day operations of a competitive intelligence team.

By running the Intelligence Plaza in SharePoint environment, the features and user experience of SharePoint can be enhanced with features specifically developed for intelligence practitioners and end-users. Likewise, competitive intelligence professionals have a range of options to increase the impact of their work through utilizing SharePoint platform.  

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5. How does it integrate with SharePoint?

Intelligence Plaza for SharePoint is a web application developed by M-Brain (previously known as Global Intelligence Alliance) for running world-class intelligence operations in SharePoint environment. It runs entirely inside client’s SharePoint environment with no need for additional integration projects. 

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6. How does Intelligence Plaza integrate with other solutions such as ERP or CRM systems?

Intelligence Plaza “speaks” XML and that makes integration fairly easy for data, since other external system are likely to use the XML language as well. It is also possible to create different customized web services, Application Programming Interfaces etc. At times, the level of “integration” needed may be as basic as linking two systems by integrating the authentication mechanisms of these systems.

At the end of the day, apart from the necessary technical details, the most important question is about what to integrate and if it really makes sense to. The need for and details of integration between different systems should always be first considered from the business needs perspective. This is where M-Brain’s competitive intelligence expertise and advice comes in very useful. Come speak with us about your specific needs.

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Administration and Content management

7. How are user rights managed?

Intelligence Plaza utilizes user groups to determine the level of access a user can have to the various tools and content areas in the system. The intuitive user admin tools make it easy for the customer to define these access levels to accommodate different roles in the organization.

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8. Can Intelligence Plaza ‘crawl’ the web and collect feeds based on my own parameters?

With Intelligence Plaza’s inbuilt feed configuration tool, administrators can easily configure incoming standard RSS feeds to be utilized in content production. In addition, Intelligence Plaza’s Web News Monitor extension enables administrators to set up incoming news feeds from a global collection of 40,000+ news media sources.

M-Brain (previously known as Global Intelligence Alliance) also provides online market monitoring and news filtering services, which you can commission separately to provide feeds into your Intelligence Plaza.

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9. How can feeds from social media sites be included?

Intelligence Plaza allows you to aggregate information from selected social media sites for delivery through RSS/XML feeds.

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10. How secure will information uploaded to Intelligence Plaza be? Where is it stored?

Information security is of utmost importance to M-Brain (previously known as Global Intelligence Alliance), the developers of Intelligence Plaza. The data of all Intelligence Plaza SaaS partners is stored in M-Brain’s secure hosting environment in the UK, which is managed by M-Brain’s Hosting Service Provider Rackspace Ltd., a world leader in hosting and cloud computing (www.rackspace.co.uk).

In the case of installed licenses, all customer data are stored on the customer’s own servers located inside their internal IT network.

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11. How can we ensure a high level of satisfaction amongst users?

Intelligence Plaza has been developed by experts who are competitive intelligence specialists. As such, M-Brain (previously known as Global Intelligence Alliance)can assist in full range of competitive intelligence services to complement the software tool, including day-to-day coordination and management of Intelligence Plaza, information services etc.

What’s more, M-Brain can also offer Intelligence Plaza clients a full range of competitive intelligence services:

1. Media Intelligence – Services that help international companies stay aware of developments in their media and competitive environment

2. Market Intelligence – Research and data that help companies understand what market developments mean for them

3. Strategic Intelligence – Strategic advice to help companies decide on their optimal business strategies for success

We are not simply a software provider. M-Brain is the proven one-stop strategic market intelligence and advisory partner for numerous growth-oriented international organizations.

The international teamwork and client-service mindset of our people across the world ensures our Intelligence Partnership approach exceeds our clients’ expectations on a daily basis. A full 100% of our global partner clients say they will recommend us. 

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Features and Functionalities

12. What are Intelligence Plaza dashboards and how are they used?

Intelligence Plaza dashboards allow anyone to see an organization’s competitive “big picture” or drill down to more detailed information or analysis in seconds. These views can contain a general view of markets or information focusing on specific topics, including visual charts, images, feeds etc.

Some say dashboards are changing the nature of management into more and more of a science. Various business teams can quickly compute and analyze the same market signals and come together to make quicker and more informed decisions.

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13. What charting tools are there?

Intelligence Plaza can dynamically visualize competitive information, such as competitor financials or market size information for example. When a chart is shared in a dashboard view, updated figures are automatically reflected in the shared charts as well. 

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