Pentaho Global Partner Summit 2011 Recap

January 26, 2011

The energy was high and the sun was shining in San Francisco last week during the Pentaho Global Partner Summit 2011. Pentaho partners from nearly 20 countries around the world came together at the Presidio Golden Gate Club for two days of shared insights, innovation, and networking around open source business intelligence and data integration.

We could go on forever about highlights from the event’s action-packed two days, such as the Global Partner Award ceremony or the Lightening Round session where partners from Hong Kong, Quebec, Portugal, and more impressed us with their innovative implementations of Pentaho. However, we think it best to recount the highlights as shared by our friends and partners:

Thank you!

Thank you to all attendees, speakers, and participants, for playing a part in this year’s Global Partner Summit. It is our hope that you walked away with new ideas, opportunities, knowledge, and a sense of the spirit that continues to drive Pentaho to “Rise Above”. We hope that the experience was valuable to you and your organization, and look forward to seeing what you will accomplish in 2011.

For More…

We welcome you to read these blogs and articles for more information on this year’s Global Partner Summit.


3 questions that every CFO wants to know about Pentaho (and how to answer them)

January 25, 2011

1. Will it do what I need?

2. Will it get done on time?

3. Will it fit my budget?

These are pretty much the 3 questions that any IT Manager will ask him/herself when it comes to evaluating and investing in any type of software. Open Source BI is no different. Call it an over-simplified RFI (Request for Information) or “make my CFO approve my gut feeling” checklist, these questions are essentially what you need to know to go forward with a purchasing decision.

The snippets below show how 4 Pentaho customers have answered these questions.

ZipRealty, a well known real estate firm, wanted to increase the quality and quantity of their reports to their users. Their previous BI solution was cost-prohibitive when it came to rolling out these reports to “all” their agents and district managers. ZipRealty’s Director of Business Intelligence, Salvatore Scalisi quotes: “It wasn’t economical to add the number of users we wanted. The licensing fees became substantial.”

With Pentaho, ZipRealty was able to help its agents and managers track inventory and conversion rates. They also enhanced their client services and satisfaction by rolling out analysis to their client base, allowing them see real estate listings along with embedded analysis and map-based mash ups directly from the ZipRealty’s website.

Estalea L.P., a technology incubator with strong Java programming expertise wanted to find a similar technology-base solution to prepare “data services” for its clients’ independent BI applications. In looking for a solution that was Java base, and did not require very deep technical skills, stating, “Pentaho was the only viable open source product, particularly in the ETL area.” Given that other Java ETL solutions are on a per user licensing model, Pentaho’s unlimited user license was a better option to them.

The simplicity and ease of use of Pentaho Data Integration, further enabled Estalea to save on costs by not hiring more expensive programmer staff. Jon Cotter, Director of Product Design and Technology at Estalea explains, “This way I can take on projects with people with less experience and move my senior people to other projects.”

For Loma Linda University Health Care, the value was mainly around user adoption. Loma Linda’s physicians, a non-technical group in the field of Business Intelligence and ETL, are now very interested to use Pentaho for their analysis. Historically, physicians are primarily Excel users. Their positive experience on the ease of use of Pentaho BI Suite Enterprise Edition is absolutely clear in in the quote by Darrin Blocker, Decision Support Analyst at Loma Linda, “Just the idea of being able to select attributes and pivot that data and get a response in seconds, versus having to send in a report request and waiting for a week was a big selling point”.

Power Costs, Inc.’s goal was to offer an analytical application to its utility customers that can help them with energy bidding process. Monthly gigabytes of data and a seven-year history of data from its customers, combined with Power Costs’ own market data was processed to build these sophisticated analysis. Pentaho Analysis fit the bill.

For the volumes of data that Power Costs needed to analyze, Pentaho Data Integration was well-integrated into BI stack. According to David Nilsson, Power Costs Vice President of Product Strategy, his analysis of Pentaho’s ETL tool was “ One of the better ones that we had seen….Most vendors’ products don’t integrate as well.” The pricing model and easy integration helped Power Costs achieve ROI in less than four months.

4 customers, 4 different business use cases. They all needed Pentaho to not only deliver the functionality they needed, but also to provide them with tools that can easily be implemented and deliver results fast. Needless to say these customers had budget constraint that could not bless them to a ½ million dollar solution! To summarize their results in a few bullets, what they got out of Pentaho was:

  • Ease of use in implementation for the ETL and BI developer
  • Full integration of ETL and BI to speed project cycles
  • Letting business users make changes and see results fast, without having to wait for IT
  • Scalability of the solution for large volumes of data
  • Low cost in rolling out BI to the masses

For more information on these customers, download the white paper “Realizing the Pentaho Agile BI Opportunity: BI for the Masses and Customer Success” by Joshua Greenbaum, Principal at Enterprise Applications Consulting.

Farnaz Erfan
Product Marketing Manager
Pentaho Corporation

To read more examples of customers like Loma Linda University and Estalea experiencing success with Pentaho visit the Pentaho Customer Success webpage.


Business Intelligence – In the heads of people – not the software

January 14, 2011

Business Intelligence is part of a bigger picture and not a particular software package. BI in general involves many different factors in order to be successful no matter what software or skill set is being used. It requires the knowledge and expertise of the individuals who know it best. This includes the customer knowing what problems they have or want to prevent, as well as the software vendor and/or consultants who know how to provide solutions for those problems.

Analogy 1: Imagine you want to hang a picture. You have some screws but do not have any tools. You go to the hardware store and say, “I need a hammer”, because you think that this is the proper tool to get the job done. The proper response would be for the salesperson to ask you, “What do you need the hammer for?” or “What project will the hammer help you with?” When he finds out that you want to hang a picture and all you have are screws, the salesperson may suggest a screwdriver instead of the hammer or perhaps give you nails and a hammer. Even better yet, he may offer something that is even easier to use or costs less like those new gravity hooks. The salesperson needs to ask the proper questions to help the customer with the proper solutions. He may even offer a better solution to which the customer had no idea about. The salesperson was the expert who provided the knowledge for the proper solution or alternative.

BI not only involves helping the customer with existing problems but also involves helping them to see problems that they many not know exist.

Analogy 2: Imagine having a piece of food on your lip and not knowing it. Your friend says, “Hey, you got something on your lip!”, and points it out to you. You then take the appropriate action to resolve that problem by wiping it away with a napkin. The napkin was the tool,  the wiping was the action taken from the knowledge and direction provided by your friend. Your friend helped you discover a problem you didn’t know was there.

It is clear and easy to see that these two analogies provide support that Business Intelligence is about collaboration, communication, discovery, knowledge, insight, direction and action to just name a few. These factors along with the proper software and services can provide an organization with a successful BI implementation. The software can be part of a specific BI Platform or simply an application development environment used to create business applications that provide knowledge on data. Business Intelligence is not just about collecting data and reporting, it is a methodology in which experts can provide assistance. If you would like your organization to succeed with BI, it is extremely important to understand its factors and learn how to analyze and use the data created by this methodology.

BI is part of a bigger picture, is in the heads of people and not just in the software.

Michael Tarallo
Director of Sales Engineering
Pentaho Corporation


Former Jaspersoft exec joins Pentaho

January 13, 2011

I am very excited to welcome, Ian Fyfe to the Pentaho team as our Chief Technology Evangelist. Ian recently joined us after spending six years at Jaspersoft as their senior director of product management and product marketing. However, I know him best from working with him several years ago at an executive information systems start-up that he co-found called Intelligent Office Company (IOC, Inc). Ian’s knowledge of the industry, proven leadership skills, and existing relationships with the executive team are a home run for Pentaho. I like to welcome and introduce all new team members on the blog by asking the same question, “What brought you to Pentaho?” Welcome Ian!

Guest Blogger: Ian Fyfe

There are a number of things that brought me to Pentaho, including great people and great products, but perhaps one of the most compelling was the opportunity to work with the founding principals of the company again (Richard Daley-CEO, James Dixon-CTO, Marc Batchelor- Chief Engineer, and Doug Moran-VP Community), having worked with them several years ago at an earlier software startup.  Coming to Pentaho in some ways brings me full-circle, back to working with this group of extremely talented, innovative, and motivated individuals and helping take the extraordinary company they have built to the next level through a continuation of its high growth in customers, community, and capabilities. Even better, Pentaho has emerged from the swamps of Florida to establish their sales headquarters in downtown San Francisco, the northern anchor of California’s Silicon Valley, and my longtime hometown.

Through my long career in Business Intelligence and related technologies, I’ve been fortunate to work at a number of venture-backed startups such as Jaspersoft and Epiphany, as well as more mature larger enterprise software business such as Business Objects, Informix, and PeopleSoft.  I’ve worked closely with sales, marketing, and engineering, and have become fluent at real-time, bi-directional “translation” between these constituencies, enabling me to bridge the gap between understanding market requirements and customer problems, deriving the products and features to meet those requirements, and marketing and selling the resulting products.  From these experiences I’ve learned well the ingredients critical to success are a modern and well architected product, smart and motivated people, and a high growth or rapidly changing market with unmet requirements.  Pentaho truly has it all, and sits at the confluence of the BI market which continues year after year to be at or near the top of the list of CIO spending priorities, and the spectacular growth and mainstream acceptance of commercial open source technology.

I’m excited by my new position at Pentaho as the Chief Technology Evangelist, which builds solidly on my prior experiences, while also introducing the welcome challenge of a new role.  As one of Pentaho’s primary spokespeople I’m looking forward to communicating and interacting with you through events such as talks, webinars, articles, demonstrations, briefings, and social media.

Cheers,

Ian Fyfe
Chief Product Evangelist
Pentaho Corporation


Reflections on the Wisdom of the Crowds BI Market Study

January 10, 2011

I recently came across a very interesting study that has been published by Dresner Advisory Services. The Business Intelligent market study titled, “The Wisdom of Crowds,” is written by Howard Dresner, one of the foremost thought leaders in the BI market. This in-depth market research has used a survey tactic to gather the wisdom of 457 BI users (quite a crowd!) on 32 essential metrics for choosing a BI technology. The results are astonishing.

Among the many trends two were the most interesting to me:

  1. Today, smaller BI deployments dominate across all geographies and all industries.
  2. Smaller BI deployments have started to take off in the last 2 years or so and are growing in the expense of large deployments that were once popular 5 to 15 years ago.

This is a huge market shift. 1,000+ user base deployments are no longer ideal or even desired. They have been replaced by smaller deployments for individual organizations, departments, and line of businesses.

While this is no surprise due to the economic conditions that has forced companies to cut back in their capital expenditure, including huge licensing costs just to entitle “every” user to the software and tools in hand, plus money spent on training and hiring skilled users, what has truly made this “shift” possible is the opportunity that open source BI has presented to these clients.

In my opinion, Open Source BI provides this opportunity in two ways:

1. Lower cost and easier to deploy BI software is now available. Notice that I am not just talking about the low cost here. Yes, Open Source BI has been a disruptive technology in the past couple of decades. Newer to the BI world, Open Source bears no acquisition cost for the software. Instead it offers a subscription model for support, which has made it the most attractive alternative for most clients. All the required functionality with only 10% of the cost! What else is new?!

Here, however, my emphasis is on the “easier to deploy” factor. What in the past took a symphony of data modelers, BI developers, ETL developers, data analysts, data architects, data warehouse managers, and DBAs, and a 12 month implementation cycle, is now done “only by a few and only in a few weeks”.

What does this mean for smaller organizations or even departments within larger organizations? It means that now they are able to invest in BI. Something that was not viable a few years ago. They not only don’t have to pay high dollars for BI tools, but also don’t need an exhaustive list of skills, consulting, and expertise to get going.

Dresner’s report shows exactly this. More and more smaller deployments are becoming popular in the last couple of years and are replacing the large ones that were on most corporate priority lists 5-10 years ago.

2. The second reason for this market shift is due to the connection that emerging technologies (such as open source) have made to the line of business owners. Business users have found a way to “free” themselves from IT latency. There is no question that you need your technical staff to initially set up the BI infrastructure and build the first round of reports and analysis, but that shouldn’t mean that every time you want add a dimension to your calculations, or measure something slightly different, you would have to go in a waiting list queue behind several other requests and get an answer 3-4 weeks later. Business users now realize that they can take control, and find the answers for themselves — at least in most cases.

Open Source BI has emerged to enable these folks with tools that let them manage changes in their business processes a lot faster. Dresner’s report is an evident to this fact. The study shows that business users are the most likely to chose emerging technologies over BI tools from the Titans (IBM, SAP, Oracle, and Microsoft) and the BI Pure Plays (Actuate, MicroStrategy).

I would encourage you to download and study this report further. You will be intrigued!

To conclude my points, I’d like to point out a chart from the 2010 Wisdom of Crowds Market Study (The 2011 study is underway). It shows the life cycle of all BI vendors. Several vendors matured 2 to 5 years ago. They saw the most deployments and new customer acquisitions in that time frame. But since then, their deployments have declined. Among these vendors are SAP Business Objects, Oracle, MicroSoft, IBM Cognos, and Actuate. With cobbled together tools from different acquisitions that are not integrated and require deep technical skills and long deployment cycles, not to mention the huge software acquisition costs for clients, there is no wonder to this trend. These tools are anything but suitable for small, agile, and high-value projects.

Farnaz Erfan
Product Marketing Manager
Pentaho Corporation

This blog was originally posted on  Open Source Business Intelligence


Where is Pentaho this January?

January 5, 2011

Happy New Year!  Riding the momentum of 2010, we have a lot to look forward to in 2011, and what better way to kick off the New Year than with our partners from around the world?  This year’s Global Partner Summit will be two information-packed days of exciting speakers, sessions, and networking opportunities.  There’s still time to register, so be sure to reserve your space now.

Aside from the Partner Summit, there are a number of opportunities this month for you to get to know Pentaho.  We’ll be on the road, wrapping up the last leg of our Data to Dashboards Tour in North Carolina, our CTO James Dixon will be presenting at the NYC Predictive Analytics MeetUp, and Pentaho Training Classes are taking place everywhere, from Paris to Buenos Aires, throughout the month of January.

We invite you to join us at any of the events below, as we kick off a fresh, new, and exciting year ahead in the world of open source business intelligence!

Pentaho Global Partner Summit 2011: Rising Above

Live Events

Webcasts

Training Classes

Coming in February….

Pentaho is a sponsor of the O’Reilly Strata Conference in Santa Clara, CA February 1 – 3.  Be sure to stop by and pay us a visit! We will also be presenting at the BigDataCamp, going on the night before Strata on January 29th.

As always, you can see a full list of events (conferences and webcasts) for January and beyond at http://www.pentaho.com/events/.


December in review

January 5, 2011

2010 was a huge year for Pentaho. We started the month in review blogs because of the long list of great products, resources and more that were occurring each month. Before we fully say goodbye to 2010 we have a final wrap up for the last month of a decade.

Product Announcements

We did not have any new product launches in the month of December, however, we were proud to celebrate the one-year anniversary of Pentaho Agile BI.  Launched in November 2009 Agile BI has evolved from a concept to reality in making a positive difference for enterprises around the globe. The Pentaho Agile BI initiative, supported by the Pentaho Enterprise Data Services Suite, has received tremendous traction and praise throughout the industry and, more importantly, has impacted organizations in a positive way. You can read more about these accomplishments in the press release.

New Resources

Along with the Agile BI one-year celebration, we released 3 new white papers:

  1. Pentaho Agile BI: An iterative methodology for fast, flexible and cost-effective Business Intelligence, by Pentaho Chief Geek/CTO, James Dixon
  2. Business Intelligence at the Crossroads: The Need for Lean, Agile and Effective End-User Solutions, by Joshua Greenbaum, principal, Enterprise Applications Consulting (part 1)
  3. Realizing the Agile BI Opportunity, by Joshua Greenbaum, principal, Enterprise Applications Consulting (part 2)

You can learn more about these white papers and download them here.

We also launched our website in French! Now you can access Pentaho.com in French, German or English (you can also make the changes using the ‘Language’ tab on the upper right of the webpage).

New Customer References

In the white paper mentioned above, Realizing the Agile BI Opportunity, analyst Joshua Greenbaum interviewed several customers to come to his conclusion of case studies of how Pentaho customers,  Loma Linda University Healthcare, ZipRealty, Power Costs, Inc. and Estalea are benefiting from Agile BI.

December Press Announcements

Event Recap

Thinking about attending a training class? Farnaz Erfan the newest member to the Pentaho Product Marketing team (formerly at IBM) attended the Pentaho BI Suite Bootcamp. Check out her blog: 13 highlights Pentaho BI Suite Bootcamp

Have 45 minutes? Check out these great new on-demand webinars with Pentaho Partners Voodoo and Cloudera.

Adios 2010!


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 105 other followers