A few years ago when talking with some potential investors I heard on more than one occasion “Everybody already has BI” or “The market is saturated with BI products.” Quite the contrary – even the few companies that have BI or Data Integration products are just scratching the surface of their potential usage. Many projects are only rolled out to a limited set of users, handcuffed by the outrageous price of most products on the market. And what about all of the other projects that never even started due to cost constraints? And what about the rest of the companies on the planet who could never even buy their first BI/DI products? And what about all of the applications that could desperately use some embedded BI/analytical capabilities but due to cost and technical constraints of the old guard BI companies could never get off these efforts of the ground.
Imagine how frustrating it can be when the needs and requirements to make your business run more efficiently and effectively are held hostage by a few large software vendors. Thus, the founding of Pentaho and the democratization of BI and DI. For the past 5+ years we’ve been blazing trails to innovate and deliver great products to the market at either zero or extremely low prices. We chose open source as the development and distribution vehicles to make this all possible. We spent the first few years doing nothing but building great product and communities around those products. We knew we had to establish high adoption rates and momentum in order to effectively compete against the old school vendors, and to get the word out to the world that a better alternative was now available in BI and DI.
How are we doing? Many say we’ve done a great job: we win awards every year, we get great write-ups from analysts and press, we have a large, active community (I’ll post a separate blog on this subject), we have a large, happy customer base (our renewal rates are amongst the best in the industry), our company is growing at a record pace for any BI/DI company (our Q3 was 160% larger than any prior quarter in company history), our partner network is solid with some of the best minds/talent in the BI/DI market, our products are enterprise-class and easy to use (a combo that is not easy to achieve), and we continue to innovate (Agile BI, Cloud Offerings, Big Data Analytics), bringing great tech to the market to help solve problems for customers and communities. But we’ll truly know that we’ve done a great job when we become the defacto standard for BI/DI – this is what we set out to achieve every day.
What does this have to do with the title “The Party is just starting”? The need for analytics/BI/DI is never-ending and vendors have really only scratched the surface over the last 30 years. Break down one of the biggest barriers to adoption – cost – and you can clearly see how it is just beginning. Companies were starving for this tech and now the gates are wide open for adoption. Couple that with the exponential explosion of data, a global market that is more tech savvy than ever and a worldwide financial crisis/recession over the last few years, and Voila! A full-featured, cost-effective alternative looks pretty attractive to customers.
Even the big vendors know how much value BI, DI and analytics bring to the market, as evidenced by all of the consolidation in our industry over the last 3+ years: ORCL buys Hyperion, IBM buys Cognos, IBM buys SPSS, IBM buys Netezza, SAP buys Business Objects, EMC buys Greenplum, etc. Most of these vendors are creating stacks and appliances, but the cost to get in the game is still prohibitive to the overwhelming majority of companies. This is just one reason why Pentaho will continue to grow at record pace…
We’re winning for one simple reason: our customers, partners and communities are winning. So it is possible to have a party during a recession.